The phone rang, it was a call from Larry. "Hello, cock.
Cock, it's time for
The third single". If this is a flop, if the third
single doesn't make it, our
Career would be over. I'd written another song that we
played on stage
Quite a lot. It was called You really got me. And the
audiences loved it,
No, the audiences loved it. They liked it because they
could dance to it.
But the record company hated it. They said "You can't
record that piece
Of rubish. And we don't like the sound of that terrible
Amplifier. No, no. You can't record it, that's final".
But Robert and
Grenville thought it was marvelous. "Don't you think
"Oh, every time they play 'You really got me' I get
shivers up my spine".
"I think it's a hit, cock, I gotta tell ya, I'll state
my reputation on it".
Now, with management like that, how could we fail?
But the record company said "Look, we don't believe in
it. We're very
Sorry, we don't believe in it. If you want to make the
record, fine, but you
Have to pay for the recording yourselves". And that was
Because they knew we were broke. But Robert knew a man.
"Here, Ray, here's 200 quid. Go in the bloody studio
and make that
Record. And make sure it's a bloody hit, what?".
You see, Mick Avory hadn't signed the recording
contract, and they said
He couldn't play on the record. We'd have to get a
session drummer in,
He's a guy that'd come in and play for hire. And they
said this thinking
That we'd be loyal to Mick and cancel the session. But
Gonna do that. But at the last minute we snug Mick into
He can only play tambourine, but at least he was on the
I'd written 'You really got me' as tribute to all those
great blues people
I love: Leadbelly and Big Bill Broonzy. And Dave was
playing the song
In the studio that day, but he was playing it in the
style I'd written it.
But then Dave plugged the guitar into the green amp,
and he plugged
The green amp into a Vox AC30, and it sounded hugh.
And when Dave played the opening chords to 'You really
They were so loud that the session drummer forgot the
Little patern he was gonna play at the beginning and
just hit one beat
On the snare drum as loud as he could, pow, as if to
say to Dave
"You noisy little bleeder. I can play just as loud as
you can. And I've got
A big stick". But that's exactly what we wanted, you
see, we wanted to
Sound loud. Now we sounded like a group.
Halfway through the song it was time for Dave's guitar
This moment had to be right. So I shouted across the
studio to Dave,
Give him encouragement. But I seemed to spoil his
He looked at me with a dazed expression. "f*ck off".
If you doubt me, if you doubt what I'm saying, I
challenge you to listen
To the original Kinks recording of 'You really got me'.
Halfway through the song, after the second chorus,
before the guitar
Solo, there's a drum break. Boo ka, boo boo ka, boo ka,
And in the background you can hear "f*ckoff". You can,
When I did the vocal I tried to cover it up by going
"Oh no", but in the
Background you still hear it "f*ckoff". And it's even
clearer on CD,
It's really embarrassing.
Well then Dave looked like you'd done something wrong,
Relaxed and his jaw dropped. But it was halfway through
Important track we'd ever do. And if it wasn't a hit,
it would be the last
Track we'd ever do. And the lead guitarist stops
playing before the solo.
But then Dave's eyes squinted and his face broke into
Sideways grin I've learnt to love and hate over the
years. You see,
He hadn't heard me shout at all. He just thought of
looking at me
At the same time as I looked at him, a kind of
telepathic way of saying
"This is it, remember, the front room". Then he gritted
his teeth and
Sneered at me one more time and cocked an attitude
Away into the corner of the studio to play himself into
rock 'n' roll history.