Dave Davies: “The truth might be the truth… but it still hurts”

The Kinks' guitarist takes stock of his wild ride in and out of the band with new memoir Living On A Thin Line and discusses what's next

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In his new memoir, Living On A Thin Line, DAVE DAVIES – guitarist, spiritual warrior, astral explorer – goes deep inside his celebrated history in and out of THE KINKS.

Speaking in the latest issue of Uncut magazine – in UK shops from Thursday, July 21 and available to buy from our online store – Davies blows apart some of the myths around his former band, shares news of brother Ray and considers where the deep soul-searching that has gone into writing his memoir will take him next. “It’s better to embrace those feelings full-on than let them fester,” he tells us.

Now read on…

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It’s mid-morning as Dave Davies slips into his favourite pub in Highgate. With long white hair flowing from beneath a soft black Tibetan cap, and a rakishly psychedelic scarf slung across his shoulders, he looks leaner and healthier than ever.

“I’ve always liked it here,” he says, ordering an oat milk cappuccino. “It’s the sort of place where you feel in transit – it’s OK, but you know you’re going to leave. I’ve been used to that feeling all my life on the road.”

Dave began work on his new autobiography here. Living On A Thin Line is an often jaw-dropping account of life as The Kinks’ fiery, innovative guitarist and his equally tempestuous times offstage – from acid breakdowns to alien visitations. “That Covid shit prompted it,” he explains. “But it got tough when I realised that memories aren’t always good memories. There were times when I thought, I can’t fucking do this. It’s too hard. The truth might be the truth, but it still fucking hurts.”

Dave wrote a previous memoir, Kink, in 1996, when the band’s story was still very raw. But Dave’s stroke in 2004 and improved relations with Ray give the new book a wiser perspective. “Is that good?” he wonders. “I’ve had to live with these thoughts and feelings for decades. I’ve had time to mull them over and to mature. It is a less angry book.”

We’re sitting a mile or so from the Davies’ family home at 6 Denmark Terrace, where Dave and Ray wrote the early Kinks hits in the cramped front room. Highgate Wood is visible from the pub, part of the suburban landscape mythologised in The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968). Ray too lives in Highgate, although the brothers rarely meet.

Where Ray is guarded, Dave is wide open, talking in freewheeling tangents and shadow-boxing the air for emphasis. Though he takes far-out spiritual flights, they’re always grounded by his earthy personality. “I’m glad you noticed that!” he laughs. “It’s reassuring. A lot of that came from my upbringing. ‘Get on with it, lad!’ Know what I mean? Check it out – but don’t get too carried away.” The writer of “This Man He Weeps Tonight” also cries several times during our interview, as some memories prove almost too much to take.

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