Chords for "Celluloid Heroes"

From: Ola Rinta-Koski
Subject: Re: REQ: Kinks acoustic stuff

  I'd welcome any Kinks songs too. Here's my contribution, I think
this isn't anywhere yet:

Celluloid Heroes
The Kinks

D             A           G             D
Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star
    F#m            Bm                 G              A
And everybody's in movies, it doesn't matter who you are
          Bm             F#m
There are stars in every city
         G                  A
In every house and on every street
           C                   G                   [see below for corrections -dte]
And if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
                        A      D
Their names are written in concrete

Don't step on Greta Garbo as you walk down the Boulevard
She looks so weak and fragile that's why she tried to be so hard
But they turned her into a princess
And they sat her on a throne
But she turned her back on stardom
Because she wanted to be alone

        C                        G                   D
You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard
C                        G                            D
Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of
C                     G                          D
People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame
C                      G                    D
Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain

Rudolph Valentino looks very much alive
And he looks up ladies dresses as they sadly pass him by
Avoid stepping on Bela Lugosi
'Cause he's liable to turn and bite
But stand close by Bette Davis
Because hers was such a lonely life

If you covered him with garbage
George Sanders would still have style
And if you stamped on Mickey Rooney
He would still turn round and smile
But please don't tread on dearest Marilyn
'Cause she's not very tough
She should have been made of iron or steel
But she was only made of flesh and blood


Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star
And everybody's in show biz, it doesn't matter who you are
And those who are successful
Be always on your guard
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard

I wish my life was non-stop Hollywood movie show
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die

You can see all the stars as you walk along...

La la la la....

Oh, celluloid heroes never feel any pain
Oh, celluloid heroes never really die
I wish my life was non-stop Hollywood movie show
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die

****    Ola Rinta-Koski  OK 20 A 2  02150 Espoo     ****

From: bob gill Date: Wed, 3 Jan 1996 20:36:40 -0500 Subject: Kinks chords In "Celluloid Heroes" a single chord is wrong: D7 G ....And if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, A D their names are written in concrete. The last line of each verse is the same. The guy who sent this in is missing the D7. He has a C there, which is wrong. Originally, I used to play a D there, but I learned it was a D7 in 1977 when I sat in the first row and watched Ray Davies play it right in front of me.
From: PSHAW Date: Thu, 01 Feb 1996 13:16:00 -0500 (EST) [...] the Celluloid Heroes is a bit "screwed up" (I put in parenteses 'cos how a person wants to play it is the truly right way, but as far as Ray's way...). The part in the verse which goes "And if you walk down Hollywood Blvd..." does not begin with that C, but a D7 (if you play or something like that, you may know that the 7 part includes a C note. Me, I just heard that from somebody and have no theory (or practical!) music knowledge whatsoever). It is a really wonderful chord to throw in there.
From: Martijn de Koning Date: January 30, 2003 I talked with my music teacher about the line that goes "And if you walk down Hollywood boulevard", according to the tabs presented here it starts with a D7 chord. However, listening to the record makes clear that the acoustic guitar and the piano do not play the same chords. The guitar plays a D7, but the piano plays an Am, while the bass plays a D. Playing it as one single chord, I think a D7/9 would sound like it does on record.
From: Robert Lafebre Date: June 18, 2005 I played guitar for 30 years and recently saw the video of the kinks doing celluloid heroes for the first time in my life I really loved it you see when they were famous I was into jazz Hammond b3 trios you know but they are doing the the chord in question is "C" because all you have to do is listen to the bass player he is playing "C" I dont care what the guy on acoustical guitar was doing since he wasn't even amplified it wouldn't matter if he hit D7th or C major and the lead guitar was doing so much stuff that it all actually blended with what ever they played c or D but even the keyboard player was playing a C sorry but thats the way it was I took out my acoustic and played along with them on the tv video I saw and it was C If everyone would have played D 7th It would have been a totally different sound not as pretty
From: Donald Damon Date: July 30, 2005 I have been playing this song since it was originally released. The change is to a "D7" not a "C". I have recorded it trying both ways, and the "C" does not fit, and changes the whole feel of the change. This just my two cents worth, play it the way that feels the most comfortable too you. Long live the music! Dastardly Donnie D.
From: Harry D. Date: March 22, 2006 I have seen Ray Davies play the chord in question: It is a D7. It makes sense. The song was written in the key of D and a nice transition to the 4th chord in that progression (the G)is a D7. If the piano or lead guitar plays an Am over the D7 chord, we have a chord over chord situation. But the bass guitar gives the main clue. If an A note was carried over from the previous phase, then the chord would be called A minor6. But the D bass means this chord would be called D7add9. All of this makes great sense. The Kinks were one of the originators of blending a distortion guitar over a clean/acoustic guitar. They rarely did it playing the same chord. Because Ray did not play very much Live, the bands sound was very much different from their recordings. The Kinks are very underrated because most critics do not properly recognize the importance of such great chord blending work. Harry D
From: Stevie T Date: June 15, 2006 Just a quick line to agree with the D7. A tip if you're not too sure of a chord - transpose the song to another key - the 'awkward' chord can sometimes be more noticeable using different shapes. With this song though, keep it in the same key but put a capo on the 2nd fret and start with a C shape. When you come to play the (D7) or C7 as it would now be, you can tell that it's the right chord.
From: Marc Alexander Date: June 20, 2009 The use of a cmaj chord over "walk down Hollywood ..." is incorrect. The chord is D7.
From: Andi Gisler Date: August 19, 2009 On the original studio version, the bass plays a C note over the "walk down Hollywood ..." line, even though the other instruments clearly lay out a D7 chord. What we now have is a D7/C chord, the bass playing the 7 of the chord. I checked YouTube and found the live version from 'One for the road'. The bass l on the part in question plays D and F# during the D7 bit and resolves it to the root of the G chord in the next bar. I can only confrim what others have said above. It definitely IS a D7 chord, both in the studio and live versions. It's just that the bass does it differently, which is fine!
From: Marc Sullivan Date: September 21, 2011 in "Celluloid Heroes", The chord in question ("and as you walk down Hollywood...) is definitely a D7 tonality. The actual chord is a D9, but the voicing is very important, because the harmonic effect comes from the interplay of instruments. It is clear if you listen closely. The reason some people (incorrectly) think it is a C chord is you hear the notes C and E ringing in the upper register, which almost spells a C chord. But the C is the 7 and the E is the 9 of the D9 chord. If your understanding of chords is shaky, you would be better off thinking of it as D7add9: 1st st: (open) E (the 9 of D9) 2cd st: (1st fret) C (the 7 of D9) 3rd st: (2cd fret) A (the fifth of D9) 4th st: (open) D (the root) 5th st: mute 6th st: (2cd fret) F# (the third of D9) (optional) Playing the F# on the bottom is nice because it leads up to the G. It's actually a pretty standard chord progression move. Also, the acoustic (on the studio) adds embellishments by playing the G and F# on the 1st string. (Again, listen closely to the studio recording).
E-mail Dave Emlen