Time Out magazine, September 21-28, 2005, No. 1831
Ask a silly question... Ray DaviesThis week, The Kinks frontman releases a solo single, 'Tourist EP', and plays a a show at the Royal Albert Hall on Wed 28. What better time to call him up?
Favourite city in the world?
Ooh, difficult to say. No, don't have one. London? New Orleans? Gosh.
What's the best thing you can cook?
I'm a pasta wizard. And I'm good at whizzing things up from what's left in the fridge. I'm one of those people that can make a masterpiece out of nothing.
First gig you ever went to?
I remember seeing the Rolling Stones play at my art college. But the most outstanding memory from that time was when I was playing a gig in Richmond somewhere and Davey Graham came up and borrowed my guitar and gave one of the most outstanding displays of playing. It was the guitar I used when I recorded 'You Really Got Me' so something rubbed off.
Did you ever get lost as a child?
Well I packed my case and left home when I was five. I couldn't stand the people and I felt I needed distance. I walked to Highgate where my sister lived.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Very rich. Hur hur! No I wanted to be a good drawer. And more than anything else I wanted to play for England at either running, cricket or soccer.
How near did you get?
Well it was scuppered by an injury to my spine. I think if I'd have pursued cricket I'd have done really well, cos I'm a slimy googley bowler. I can turn it both ways.
Did you watch much of the Ashes?
I watched what I could because I was rehearsing. A very good friend of mine called me before the series started and asked what I thought. I said I want us to lose the first test, because I want us to come back and win it in the last one.
Do you believe in God?
I don't believe that God is a man with white hair sitting in a big chair. That's actually a quote from a song I've written. But I do believe in a greater knowledge somewhere.
Did you vote at the last election?
I'm ashamed to say I've never voted.
No. And I'll tell you why. Because I don't think any politician that I've encountered in my lifetime addresses the real issues. We've got to make radical changes with the way the world goes about its day. It's just a wasteful society.
Aren't the Green Party fairly decent for that sort of thing?
Are they? I don't believe in left, right, centre, I believe in... I dunno. Maybe I should find a group of eccentrics somewhere who believe... I dunno. I was brought up left, very socialist, extremely socialist, but they've let me down, I think.
What's the worst thing about your job?
Having to do this, really. I've never been very good at interviews. I've still got the mentality of why do I have to talk to these people, why can't they just listen to my music? But I've learned over the years that interviews can be quite a useful barometer on yourself.
What's your favourite place in London?
Why should I tell you that? Then everyone would go there! I like the small villages, Dulwich, Highgate. And I used to really like cycling through the city at weekends.
I've been looking at democracynow.org these last few weeks to find out what's happening in America.
Money, have you got a lot?
I've got about £65 with me at the moment.
What is the question you hate getting asked?
'Will you marry me?' Ha ha. Or, 'What's the secret of being in the music business for so long?' The secret is there is no secret.
Have you ever sung karaoke?
I have. The last time was in a Korean karaoke bar in Austin, Texas. I sang 'All Day And All Of The Night'. I sang it like a fake Korean person. I think that was one of my better versions.
Interview: Chris Salmon