Thursday, December 11, 2008

When I'm Sixty-Four

There are definite perks to being an aging rock and roll fan, among them having friends in high places. Attended the Ray Davies show at Providence’s Lupo’s last night and pre-show utilized the valet parking and accepted a complimentary drink from a restaurateur friend. I also went to the show as a guest-lister out of the largesse of a promoter friend, but I declined a further invitation to watch from a rattle-your-jewelry special section because I knew it would be crammed and filled with tawkers and gabbers, and I’m just old and cranky enough to want to watch said show, not talk through it or participate in the various running commentaries and rainbow-infused reminiscences. Ray himself was in fine fettle and finer voice, and his set nicely modulated from an acoustic section (a bit heavy on the sing-a-longs and awfully tough to discern the between-song patter, but serving up solid versions of “Where Have the Good Times Gone”, “Apemen” and particularly “See My Friends”) to a band accompanied middle section that was skewered towards the Ray solo stuff (“Vietnam Cowboys”, “Working Man’s CafĂ©”, “The Tourist”) finished off with classy and often rocking interpretations of “You Really Got Me”, “Low Budget”, “Celluloid Heroes” and a truly bring-tears-to-yer-eyes transcendent “Shangri–La”. More great aspects of being an aging rock and roll fan? Among others, showtime sobriety and good ears and eyes for peripheral happenings.

Overheard at the Ray Davies Show at Lupo’s 12-10-08
All Dialogue Guaranteed Verbatim
(All bellowing in caps):


Came out to hear the Poet Laureate, Sir RayDay?


My sisters partied with these guys when they first came to America in ’77.

Should we applaud harder just for Ray’s forehead?

We are the Village People’s Preservation Society.


64 years old. 64 years old.

Not one goddamn song from Muswell Hillbillies.


That bass player’s prettier than the girl singer.


I hope they do “All the Young Dudes”.


wayne said...

on you tube you can find a relatively recent clip (time at this juncture in our chronicle of the pop life being a very relative thing),of ray davies playing several tunes before he's joined by blur's damon albarn for waterloo sunset. he and ray trade off lines of lyric,albarn voicing the melancholy chorus when ray sings lead. it's perfect but that's not the beauty of the clip.
this is--- they take their applause and ray starts strumming the signature chords to one of blur's best and most kinksian tunes, parklife. albarn looks amused, honored and a little flushed. they sing the chorus and ray says, "another one, it's your tune," and i think i hear him say, "a good one." parklife has a chorus you want to sing along with because although it sends up middle-class conformity as mordantly as the best of the kinks' social songs,there's that recognition thing too. you know, you can see yourself in "all the people" going "hand in hand through their parklife."
if self-effacing ambivalence in rock n' roll isn't your cup of tea, find another, but for my money, the continuing appeal of ray davies,blur and the kinks is the acknowledgement of themselves in the lot that they skewer.

Scotty D said...

One always feels compelled to follow-up after hearing from Professor Wayne: