The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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Ray Davies accepts induction for the Kinks

"'I recommend,' and this is to the A&R Promotion and Business Affairs, 'I recommend that if this new Kinks record is not a success, that we drop the Kinks from our label, and not renew our option.'  Now, this letter was sent 25 years ago, before the release of 'You Really Got Me.'  I'm not comfortable at these affairs.  I'm sniffing.  I won't cry.  But this is a very posh event, and we're all tarted up to be here tonight.  And I'm looking at the picture on the wall over there of the Kinks, and we're still wearing the same band suits.  We're a very thrifty band.  We had to be.  But when we started, I didn't really think people associated with my lyrics, 'cause I just wrote lyrics to get out - get out of the house, and get out of college, and make a living.  It's true.  You're laughing, Steve [?] This is true.  But it wasn't long that I realized, when all these great bands came over - Martha and the Vandellas, and the Righteous Brothers, and the Beach Boys, that there was something wonderful happening, and it was communication through language.  And I was brought up to see John Wayne movies and Robert Mitchum movies, and ugly Americans.  But the music changed my perspective a lot, and I've learned, from being a very British person - English person - wanting to serve my empire in my own little way, to respect other cultures.  And this is another culture.  And seeing everybody here tonight, it makes me realize that rock and roll has become respectable.  What a bummer.  I hope that bands like us and the Who, who are a fine band - I remember them as a high number supporting us, and they had the craziest drummer I ever saw - but the drummer in that band - I'm not going to say much, because I'm sure there's going to be a lot said about him - I think Keith Moon changed the sound of drumming.  And Shel helped a lot - Shel Tommy [?].  But I came here, and I learned that the first time we reached America - we were signed, I think, to Reprise Records at the time - and we were met from the airplane. . . Dave 16 I think, and I was about 18, (25 Dave, sorry) I was met by these men in black suits and sunglasses, and I thought, yeah.  And I was very intimidated by this country, but now I've learned to admire these very strange people who eat pizzas and pump iron.  I wanted to serve my country as a musician or something; I don't think it would have been possible if it hadn't have been for America.  Because I think it was this country that realized that you could build a career with rock and roll, whereas in England it was just disregarded.  So that's why I'm here tonight.  Not for the so called respectability - because anyone who knows anything about us knows that that would be a joke, to try and say we were respectable.  I do enjoy my images from the street, from a different [unintelligible], as Gram said - and I'm learning to write well, and I hope to do it for many years to come.  And maybe in 25 years' time, rock and roll will become dither and shake.  But until then, I want to thank everybody here, and more than anything else, I'm dressed up in this ridiculous way for my fans, who stayed with the Kinks when our records sold 25,000 copies.  All right - if they need any help building the Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Mick Avery's not doing anything.  He's quite good with the bricks. Thanks a lot, you know - good on you, America, and keep it going for another 25 years."