Thursday, October 18, 2012


For the uninitiated: One of the nagging rumors that has persisted over the decades regarding YOU REALLY GOT ME concerns who rightfully let loose the LOUIE LOUIE derived, blisteringly protopunk , now iconic  guitar solo. One would assume the KINKS' lead guitarist Dave Davies, but LED ZEPPELIN's Jimmy Page (and John Paul Jones for that matter) was a well known session player and arranger in the years before he joined THE YARDBIRDS, and took part in the recording of many British 60's classics (and beyond a doubt, he DID play rhythm guitar on a couple of tracks on the KINKS first lp.) Over the years, the story that it was actually Jimmy wailing the lead steadily took hold.

Ray Davies for that matter (NOT always on the best of terms with Dave generally, in case you've lived your life under a rock) has stated emphatically time and again that it was indisputably his brother, even detailing a telling instance where Jimmy actually was in the studio as Dave dubbed his very similar break to their subsequent hit ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT and snickered at it's hamfisted nature.

As an obsessive KINKS fan but only a marginal ZEP fan my sympathies lie in a predictable direction (tho, make no mistake, Jimmy's work on hits such as Them's BABY PLEASE DON'T GO is JUST amazing.) Then, it suddenly struck me- I have a way to independently double check this gnawing myth, thanks to the recordings of one Larry Page.

One of their army of managers, publishers and hangers on during the initial wave of the KINKS popularity (he also handled the TROGGS during their big years), Page had had already had a career as a performer and bandleader before switching to business side of things in the early sixties. Nonetheless, as Ray's viability as a songwriter increased he struck on the idea of recording an album's worth of instrumental versions of the KINKS songs with his orchestra (though pictured on the cover, no KINKS played on the recordings.) Deciding to title it KINKY MUSIC, just WHO do you think it struck him to ask to play some lead guitar? That's right, Jimmy Page.

SO. It seems simple. YOU REALLY GOT ME is on this disc. The probable guitarist is Jimmy Page. Just throw it on, compare with the hit single version, and we'll have this DAMN thing settled ONCE and for ALL.

Well, perhaps not. I'd have to admit that it's actually pretty damn similar. I was expecting to hear a sort of 'virtuoso' version of the Davies lead to be played by Page, but danged if it don't actually sound sloppier, less of an imitation than seemingly just a crappier try of the same groups of licks (with even a snatch of ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT's bit thrown in.) Surprisingly even the tone is kinda close, only a certain lack of OOMPH distinguishing it from the 'real' solo's verve. For comparison:

Huh. Well, that clears nothing up. I'd kinda hoped for a substantial stylistic difference or at least tangible details that might state definitively how it wasn't Page and help put this thing to rest. But although I'll always go along with the Davies brothers version of events I'd hafta admit if anything I am LESS certain than I was before.

Sorry I Kouldn't Klear this up.


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