The Kinks are totally under-rated. That’s what she said. Because she’s a big British Invasion fan.
Given the content of their songs, it’s perhaps not surprising. Ray Davies is lyrically brasher than his particular style of pop generally accepts. The later Kinks Katalog is also very theatrical. On the other hand, their biggest hit is about a transvestite, so perhaps that whole point is moot. Of course, on a third hand, which is a little creepy, I’d wager a similar percentage of America knows “Lola” is about a transvestite as knows that “Every Breath You Take” is about a stalker. Despite the fact that Ray even sings “I’m a man, and so is Lola”. No one’s listening to that. They’re just singing LO LO LO LO LO LA…
But I digress.
Schoolboys in Disgrace is an album about looking back on school days, and unsurprisingly some of the content is therefore a bit childish, but this is the cornerstone piece to me. It’s everything nostalgia should be… the sound is pure vintage, in a way that seems like it would read as such even in the 70s. It touches on the deja vu of seeing someone you’re convinced is someone else. The happy memories we dwell on, especially when those times are irrevocably over. That dwelling, and also the inevitable but painful moment when we realize we need to let it go. It’s over. It can’t come back. It belongs to yesterday.
As a bonus, the main guitar riff is possibly one of my top ten favorite licks ever recorded.
This year, I turned 30, and by now, most of my closest old friends have as well. I’m not about to say it doesn’t make the future start feeling pretty scary, especially as I’m feeling my trajectory pull in different directions from people I care deeply about. What I will say, though, is that it also makes the future exhilarating. There’s a lot back in the past which I remember and will always consider important to who I’ve become. There are jokes that recycle regularly, memories brought up again whenever friends gather. There are also, however, years sprawling ahead of me. I think they’re going to be good ones. I hope they are, for myself and us all.
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