Thursday, August 26, 2010

You Really Got Me

Things were more chaotic than usual at the Cardiff Police station. Besides the usual tumult, the hustling in of the daily sots, the common hooligan run in for vandalism, there was a buzz in the air. Something else had happened, something that drew the local press gaggle to the station looking for a story.

“So, what’s all the racket, Constable?” asked Sergeant Dalton.

“A bit of mayhem out at the theater, Sir. Terrible scene.”

“A concert?”

“Yes, Sir, one of those rock and roll shows. We’ve got one of them in for questioning, Skipper. A real long haired poof,” the Constable spit contemptuously.

“Now, now, they’re just boys, officer. No need to be so harsh in your judgments.”

“Sorry to be disagreeable, but they’re bloody animals, the lot of them, Sarge. Plain and simple.”

“Well, Constable, perhaps I’ll head back and have a little sit down with the boy. How does that sound?”

"If it suits your fancy sir, have a bash.”

Dalton politely knocked on the door to the interrogation room. He thought he heard a low “Come in” and turned the knob. Entering, he encountered a visibly shaken lad, couldn’t have been more than 20 years old. Oh, he was poncified for sure, with his long burgundy hunting jacket and yellow shirt beneath, his puffy hair sticking up, his sideboards well below his ear looking for all the world like an ancient Roman helmet.

“Have a cuppa tea, son?” Dalton offered kindly.

“Ta.” Not much of a talker, this one.

“What’s your name son?”

“Ray, sir.” Polite though.

“Ray what?” It’s like pulling teeth, Dalton thought as he slid over the steaming mug.

“Davies, Ray Davies.”

“Alright, Ray Davies, care to tell me what happened out there tonight?”
“Well, sir, I don’t really know. We were playing over at the Capitol Theatre tonight and everything seemed fine. We started with ‘You Really Got Me.’ That’s our big hit. Do you know it, sir?”

“Sorry, can’t say I do. Acker Bilk’s more my speed these days.” Dalton smiled.

Ray chuckled. “Yeah, I can see that. Well, I guess Dave, he’s my brother and the lead guitar player in the band, insulted Mick, he’s our drummer, and gave his kit the boot. Mick didn’t care for that, I guess.”

“I guess not,” Sergeant Dalton nodded for Ray to go on.
“We started our second number, called ‘Beautiful Delilah,’ and all of a sudden there was a really loud racket. Next thing I knew, Dave was knocked out cold on the stage and Mick was hitting him over and over again with his hi-hat, you know, the cymbals.”

“Was there bad blood between the two?”

“Funny, there is and there isn’t. They live together in Connaught Gardens, up in Muswell Hill. It’s kind of a den of iniquity, a real orgy palace. Mick’s room is called ‘Spunker’s Squalor,’ Dave’s is called ‘Whore’s Hovel,’ and they…”

“That’s enough, son. I get the picture and I don’t cotton to that sort of talk.” These kids really are a different breed, smutty and offensive and not caring a whit about propriety.

“Sorry, sir, I didn’t mean anything by it. Mick and Dave, well, they drink a lot, and there are always birds, sorry, girls, hanging around. Sometimes they get along quite well, other times they’re chalk and cheese. I don’t know what Dave said to Mick last night in Taunton, but they had a real punch up and Mick won. I’m sure Dave didn’t like that one bit. They were both soused, of course.”

“Do you think that caused tonight’s row?”

“I suppose so, but they always get on each other’s wick about something or other. Could’ve been anything, really.” Ray thought back to the scene, and put both hands in his hair, pushing it up even further. “There was Dave, my own brother, on the stage, bleeding all over, and my best mate Mick, beating the stuffing out of him and slicing at his throat with a cymbal. I didn’t know what to do. I was stunned.”

“Where’s Mick now, do you think?” asked the Sergeant.

“I don’t know. After he leapt off the stage and into the crowd I lost him. He could be anywhere, I suppose.”

Dalton nodded. That Avory boy had committed this fiendish assault in front of a crowd of screaming kids and then flew the coop. He must’ve known he’d be in for it, most likely thinking he’d be nicked for Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent to Kill. There’d be jail time for sure. But Avory couldn’t have known what a bollocks he’d made of his life.

“Sir?” asked Ray meekly.

“Yes, Ray?”

“Where is Dave now?”

“He’s at Royal Cardiff Infirmary.”

“Is he alright then?”

Sergeant Dalton got up from the metal chair and shuffled slowly over to Ray. As he put his hand on the lad’s shoulder, Dalton notice the darker red spots that had spurted from the ghastly cuts that Avory had sliced into Dave Davies as he lay unconscious. They’d made a mess of Ray’s frock. Dalton spoke soothingly.

“I’m sorry son, your brother lost too much blood. Dave’s dead.”

During their 1965 spring tour, The Kinks stopped in Cardiff, Wales, for a show at the Capitol Theater. Dave Davies and Mick Avory, always arguing, had fought the night before. After completing their first song, Dave kicked Mick’s drums. Avory retaliated by smashing his hi-hat stand on Davies, who was rendered unconscious. Afraid he’d killed his bandmate, Avory fled from the scene and went into hiding. Dave Davies was rushed to the hospital, where his head wound required 16 stitches. Dave refused to press charges, saving Mick from sure arrest. Mick said it was part of the act, a new bit where band members would throw instruments at each other. Ray remembers it as the night when “Mick tried to slice Dave’s head off with a cymbal.”

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