The D.A. (No one listens on Working man’s cafe) : much used abbreviation for District Attorney – in the United States an elected law official of a county or a designated district with the responsibility for prosecuting crimes.
D.J. (Around the dial on GTPWTW): the radio disc jockey who, though knocked by the critics, never let us down, who never gave in to fashion or followed any trends and was honest to the end, when he just disappeared, maybe after a breakdown. He was apparently the singer’s favourite DJ and was, according to Ray in an interview with Dennis Elsas on WFUV in September 2009, “a friend, Seattle maybe”. So now you know. (Many of the qualities listed were displayed in spades by the sainted John Peel, though he was never much of a Kinks fan and he never disappeared, but rather died in Peru to much public wailing in 2004. A one-off; I remember listening when he played the whole of Sergeant Pepper straight off on its release on his pirate radio show. Not that that is relevant to anything here).
DAILEY, Arthur (London song on Storyteller): loveable fictional rogue and wide boy. Though the TV show was called ‘Minder‘ (the character played by Dennis Waterman, previously of ‘The Sweeney’, a tough but humorous UK cop show) it was ‘Arfur’ who was the real star, played by George Cole, a veteran from black and white British movies like the St Trinians saga (anarchic girls school, a treat to come out of the pub on a Sunday afternoon to slump down in front of). You wouldn’t want to buy a second hand car from him. The original series (plural) – forget the revival – are still magic, now easily seen again via the magic of digital tv.
DAISY (Village green on VGPS) : the singer kissed her by the old oak tree, and although he loved his Daisy, he sought fame so he left the idyllic village green. She married Tom, the grocer boy, who did well and subsequently – in the song – owned his own store. Given what’s happening in the countryside these days they were almost certainly driven out of business by an out of town superstore.
DALAI LAMA (No one listens on Working man’s cafe) : a fascinating figure. It’s actually a job title, a sort of Tibetan Buddhist combination of the King or Queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, but respected. Goes back to the fourteenth century. Believed to be an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. For three hundred years until the Chinese Communists drove the current incumbent into exile in 1959, the Dalai Lama was the head of the Tibetan government, operating out of the capital Lhasa. That current incumbent is Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, born 1935 and took up the job in 1950. He doesn’t look that old. Operates from India while the Chinese, those fierce defenders of human rights – what a disgrace they gave them the 2008 Olympics – try to eradicate Tibetan culture from what they claim to be their territory. Another winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1989), he is a prolific author of works like ‘The Art of happiness’, ‘Ethics for the New Millennium’, ‘The wisdom of forgiveness’ and ‘How to see yourself as you really are’. Has an extensive web presence and an official website. Ray has more than once been on the world class roster of musicians performing at the annual The Tibet House Benefit Concert, in New York; there’s an mp3 of him duetting with David Bowie on ‘Waterloo sunset’ floating around from one year (to tell the truth, it’s not essential listening). 2007’s gig featured no less than Laurie Anderson, Ray, Philip Glass, Ben Harper, Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, Sigur Ros, Patti Smith and Michael Stipe. (25/10/07)
DAN (Rock ‘n’ roll fantasy on Misfits) : he’s a fan and he lives for Kinks music. Oasis have a song with the line, “Please don’t put your faith in a rock ‘n’ roll band”; they were and are right. There is a growing consensus building in certain quarters of the English chapter of the KPS (starting with the two Geoffs for sure) that “Dan is a fan” is the worst line Ray Davies ever committed to tape. It would appear that more than one of the American KPS chapter actually claim to be Dan – hi Frank! There has been much discussion of this on the KPS in August, 2009.
DAN, Desperate (VGPS on VGPS) : see Desperate Dan
DAN, Fancy (Stand up on OPL): see Fancy Dan
DANDY : (Dandy on FTF) Could this be a warning to the young ‘bro Dave? Nothing to do with the Beano’s sister comic of yore. That was all I could come up with back in – gulp – 2002. March 24, anniversary of its London premiere in 1966, Frank Lima states (on his Facebook page in 2012) that the title character played by Michael Caine in the film Alfie – a morality tale of mid-’60s London, was the inspiration. Caine slipped a bit in the greatest living Englishman stakes with his open support of David Cameron’s Conservatives in the 2010 General election.
DANNY & the Juniors (One of the survivors on PA1) : survivors indeed. This is what they look like now. Their website (Danny & the Juniors have a website!) tells us: “Now, in their fifth decade as performers, the group still appears at a multitude of venues including conventions, theatres, clubs, casinos, fairs and festivals. Their wholesome, fun-loving stage show is embellished with comedy, impressions, bright costumes and audience participation — while still preserving the rich history — and is regarded as one of the best in the business.” They’re billed as ‘featuring Joe Terry’, a name that doesn’t actually feature in the group history at the above website. As young teenagers in the early ’50s four of them constituted The Juvenaires. The record company renamed them Danny & the Juniors. Their self-penned ‘At the hop’ (originally written as ‘Do the bop’) was a massive worldwide hit. ‘Rock and roll is here to stay’ was another. They were of some significance and they shared tours with many of the originals and crossed paths with many a worthy footnote in rock’s history. One of the founder members went on to join the group The Spokesmen, whose minor hit The Dawn Of Correction was an answer song to Barry McGuire’s ‘Eve Of Destruction’ in the 60’s. The original sax player of their travelling band went on to found Sha-na-na. Another of the originals, Danny Rapp, committed suicide in 1983. On the right is the youngest picture I can find; there is a definite resemblance there to at least one of the current outfit. It’s a bit like those old photos of football teams in the ’20s and ’30s where the young men all look ancient. September 2009 the website was offering a chance to accompany them on an “Ultimate Oldies Cruise” along with Larry Chance & the Earls and Tony Darrow of the Sopranos.
DA VINCI (20th century man on MH) : see LEONARDO da Vinci
DAVE THE RAVE (The road on RL) : Bro’ Dave Davies.
DAVIES, Annie Florence (Scattered on Phobia) (X-Ray on Storyteller) : ‘Mum’. The tale of how she met her husband, Ray and Dave’s dad, is told in Rosie Rooke’s entry for reasons which will be obvious when you get there. Though the version given in Dave’s ‘Kinked’ is more prosaic (she was working as a waitress in a coffee shop) and doesn’t mention RR.
DAVIES, Dave (Hatred on Phobia) : see also Ray DAVIES
DAVIES, Rasa: Ray’s first wife. See Rasa DIDZPETRIS below.
DAVIES, Ray (Hatred on Phobia) : see also Dave DAVIES
DAVIES, Rene (Come dancing on SOC) : “My sister” … the inspiration for the song and Ray’s musical of the same name. The tragic story of Ray’s sister Rene, who loved dancing, giving him a birthday gift of his first guitar, and of her death that same night at a dance hall is told in ‘X-Ray’, Ray’s autobiography. But … “My sister’s married now, and she lives on an estate” – obviously poetic license. Or an amalgam – he had a lot of sisters.
DAVIES, Rosie: eldest sister, married Arthur, emigrated to Australia.
The DAVIES family (Summer’s gone on WOM and throughout the oevre d’accord) : echoes of ‘Driving’ from Arthur and the seaside outings in ‘Fortis Green’. “Are we there yet?”
DAVIS, Betty (Celluloid heroes on EIS) : hers was such a lonely life. 1908 – 1989. Another player in the songs of both Bob Dylan and Raymond Douglas Davies (Rita Hayworth was another). Hollywood actress who had a way of putting her hand in her pocket. Frankly, always made my flesh crawl, I’m afraid. Something about her eyes, too. Many books and no doubt a fair few websites. Do it yourself.
DAY, Doris (Oklahoma USA on MH) : professional virgin. “Move over darling” had some sort of effect on the teenage me though. Film star – famously often opposite the later ‘out’ Rock Hudson – and singer. Born 1924 as Doris van Kappelhoff. The western ‘Calamity Jane’ may have got her into this song specifically but there’s a certain general aura of the American good life in her ouevre. Please don’t eat the daisies.
DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASHION : Ray defending the right of the individual to make his own way as against following the latest fad or trend. Jon Savage first told the tale in his ‘official’ biography, but expanded on it in a piece in the Observer (28/10/2010): “In late 1965, Ray Davies threw a party. One of his guests was a clothes designer, and as Davies recalled: “I got pissed off with him always going on about fashion. I had a fight with him, a terrible brawl and I kicked him. It was awful. There was blood. The next day I said, ‘Forget this, this has got to stop, take it out in your work’ and I wrote that song, typed it up straight off.” Designer unknown, so who knows what became of him.
DEGAS, Edward (Art lover on GTPWTW) : he painted ballerinas. Impressionist, a big man in art history terms. His pictures of ballerinas remain … quintessential, really. Again, just bung him into Google image search. Or go to an art gallery. Like most paintings, they look best the right size hanging on a wall.
DELILAH (Beautiful Delilah from The Kinks) : biblical character much celebrated in song. This is Chuck Berry’s take on her. Tom Jones has been asking, “Why?” of her for much of his career. Philistine mistress of Samson, she was the one who cut off all his hair, thus sapping his legendary strength. Possibly why Dave sounds so strangulated on the early albums. And the later ones come to that.
DESPERATE DAN (VGPS on VGPS) : a character originally from the Dandy, a British children’s comic out of the same Dundee stable of D.C.Thompson as sister comic Beano (Dennis the Menace, Bash Street Kids et al), where a lot of decent comics artists learnt their trade. A natural strong man, Desperate Dan ate cow pies, with the horns sticking out the pastry crust. Dandy and Beano were the comics choice of the working class in the ’50s Britain; that nice Eagle (Dan Dare et al on shiny paper) was created to keep us middle class kiddies away from this seeming anarchy. On the whole the double paged cutaways of locomotives and airplanes succeeded in this for me. Eagle fell by the wayside many moons ago while Dandy and Beano are still relatively tamely published. Dan had a sauce named after him when I first wrote this, and may well still have, but the link I had doesn’t work any more, though the Henderson’s Relish is still worth a look anyway!
DIANA see Diana DORS (and no-one else)
DICK (Out of the wardrobe on Misfits) : he likes dressing up in women’s clothes. Married Betty Lou back in ’65. Probably pure invention.
DICKENS, Charles (London song on Storyteller / A well bred Englishman from 80 days): successful Victorian novelist – Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Pickwick Papers et al – as if you didn’t know. Another quintessential Englishman, his work got darker as he grew older and saw through shallow financial success. A critic of capitalism who also feared the mob – remind you of anybody? Along with Mark Twain one of the first modern celebrities because of their reading tours – the old rock and roll. If you haven’t read him, you really should.
DIDZPETRIS, Rasa (To the bone on To the bone and in passing, no doubt a few others): Rasa Emilija Halina Didzpetris, to give her her full name, was Ray’s first wife and mother to Louisa and Victoria. Ray was first smitten by this German born teenage daughter of Lithuanian refugees living in Bradford
after a gig in Sheffield; they spent time together and, to the horror of his management, he did the decent thing (as we used to say back in the day) and married Rasa when she became pregnant. The story is told at some length in ‘X-Ray’. She sang on a lot of significant recordings, not least ‘Waterloo sunset’ but could never be called a Yoko figure. Her leaving him and taking the kids with her precipitated the White City crisis, Ray quitting on stage and ending up in Highgate Hospital in 1972. I’ve not seen any documentation of ‘To the bone’ being specifically about Rasa but the Psychobabble website makes the attribution. It is this marriage that is the story behind the song ‘Two sisters’, Ray being the domesticated one (“Priscilla looked into the washing machine”), Dave the one out raving and having it large (Sybilla with “her liberty, and her smart young friends”). A social worker in Bradford (or so I’ve been told, so better make that ‘allegedly’), Rasa has turned up more than once at the annual Official Kinks Fan Club get togethers in North London; indeed on one occasion she was persuaded to take to the stage for a song or two with The Kast Off Kinks, though I think she’d be the first to agree her sense of pitch wasn’t what it used to be.
DION & the BELMONTS (One of the survivors on PA1) : another survivor. Pretty cool guy, actually. From the next generation of early US urban boy bands after Danny & the Juniors, Dion and the Belmonts hailed from the Bronx, born 1939 the son of a professional puppeteer. ‘Teenager in love’ was the big hit. Early ’60s had major hits without the Belmonts with ‘Runaround Sue’ and the great ‘The wanderer’. Had a decent stab at a solo career as a ‘serious artist’, the major legacy of which was a particularly strong song in the protest mould, the poignant ‘Abraham, Martin and John’ about the victims of American political assassination. Follow this link for photos and more on a subsequent low key career which has seen him joining forces with some interesting players including Dave Edmunds, a Fabulous Thunderbird and a Smithereen. It also says he was one of the favoured few (along with Waylon Jennings and … is it just me or do the numbers seem to be growing all the time?) who passed up the chance of a fatal plane ride with Buddy Holly. Truly one of the survivors. Opened for Bob Dylan’s three nights in New York in the 2009 stage of Dylan’s neverending tour.
Dion is of the few contemporary singers – along with Bob Dylan as it happens – featured on Peter Blake’s Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles album cover; he’s in the third row down, to our left of Tony Curtis and north-east of Tom Mix’s hat.
DOCKER (London song on Storyteller): stevedore or longshoreman, depending on where you live; one who loads and unloads cargo boats and does stuff around docks, or at least, used to before it became containerised. London dockers rather blotted their proletarian copybooks when they marched in favour of anti-immigration politician and classical scholar Enoch “Rivers of blood” Powell. “Get right back into line” from Lola vs, oh you know, is almost certainly an allusion to Marlon Brando in ‘On the waterfront’.
DOCTOR, The (Long distance on SOC) : Who? I originally thought he was just a figment of a Dylan frenzied imagination, who looks on an annoyed spectator to the happenings in the song … I’m reliably informed (my lips are sealed), it’s Mick Double, the sound engineer on the February, 1982 tour of Australia and Japan. The song also refers to other members of the touring crew, who appear collectively, along with the band, as the Merry Men. As opposed to …
DOCTOR, The (X-Ray on Storyteller) : who was real and whose identity could probably be traced if anyone could be bothered. No need to spend time in the Local Studies Library though. I stumble over it looking for something else in the book ‘X-Ray’. It’s a Dr Aubrey but – no offence to his relatives – not, I think, worthy of a see reference to an entry in the ‘A’s. Oh, why not? see AUBREY, Doctor
DONALD DUCK (VGPS on VGPS) : one of the very first Walt Disney creations not seen that often in his original cartoon form these days. Often cited as an anomoly in the list of things English that is the song Village Green Preservation Society, there are various theories: 1. An ironic comment on the Americanisation of British culture 2. A celebration of the institution of Saturday morning pictures for kids, where I guess the cartoons were shown (I can’t remember ’em from my time but Ray’s older than I am) 3. The writer’s ignorance. I favour number 2.
DONNA (Afternoon tea on SE): despite being a rock’n’roll name, presumably fictional one time afternoon tea drinking companion of the singer. It was all very nice while it lasted. Or precognition of Madonna marrying a Brit, settling down in London and Wiltshire.
DORS, Diana (Good day on WOM) : vivacious English actress who tried for the homegrown Marilyn Monroe spot, but in truth was closer to Jayne Mansfield. Born in Swindon; other sons and daughters of Swindon include XTC and Mark Lamarr (late addition: Billie Piper – after her Dr Who appearances in 2005/6 well worth a mention). Cheesecake – is that the expression? Hers was a particularly English tale; she inevitably failed in Hollywood. Towards the end of her career, as a plumpish character actress, she was actually involved in the making of a couple of really good films. ‘Steaming’ (1985) was set in a local authority run women’s bathhouse under threat of closure while the earlier and chilling ‘Deep end’ (1970) was set in a swimming baths, in which she used football and Georgie Best scoring a goal as a sexual metaphor, scaring the life out of a rookie swimming pool attendant.
Hers is one of the most prominent figures on Peter Blake’s Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – one of the few other than the Moptops themselves featured full length, arms and all.
DRACULA (VGPS on VGPS) : the hugely influential vampire myth crystalisation cum creation of an Irish civil servant, Bram Stoker, and forever associated with the north eastern seaside town of Whitby. The book was published in 1897. Vampires feed on human blood via a distinctive neck bite; the victims become vampires, the undead, themselves. They can variously be undone by garlic, silver crosses and sunlight, or a combination thereof. A bit like students, they sleep during the day because of said third allergy. Can only be killed by a stake driven through their heart. Bela Lugosi established the image in the public mind with his cinema portrayals of the ’30s. Some of the better Hammer films (a British horror house) of the ’60s and ’70s used the theme extensively.
DRAKE, Sir Francis (A well bred Englishman from 80 days) : playing bowls (“plenty of time to finish the game”), then defeating the Spanish Armada – the stuff of national legend indeed. Or so I thought took for granted … In fact it was the good old British weather that did it. My source of correction is John O’Farrell’s estimable ‘An utterly impartial history of Britain; or 2000 years of upper class idiots in charge’ (Doubleday, 2007). If you only read one book about Englsish history (even if you really should read more) let this be the one; full as it is of useful information, a lot of it debunking the homespun (and I do mean spin in the modern sense) historical received knowledge, complete with good and bad jokes. This is the deal:
” … only in England has the Spanish Armada of 1588 been held up as a great English military victory, the rest of the world has always understood that Spain was defeated by a terrible storm.” The Armada sails from Spain; the plan is to sail through the English Channel and pick up thousands of crack troops in the Netherlands (which was Spanish at the time) and invade England from Kent. Drake does enough to harry them and scupper the immediate plans (that and the fact that the Spanish ships are too big for the Dutch harbour – oops). The Armada is forced north by fireships and a bit of skirmishing, the weather cutting their withdrawal options. At this juncture it’s a tactical no score draw, but then the Spanish “sailed into one of the fiercest hurricanes ever recorded at such a northern latitude, driving ships onto the rocky coast of Scotland and Ireland …” Thousands perished, only half the fleet made it back to Spain and their maritime power was broken. At other times Drake’s basic modus operandi as he roamed the globe was, by any other name, piracy (or whatever that is in Spanish), legitimised by politics. As he seafarer he was undoubtedly accomplished, making it around the globe captaining the Golden Hind 1577-1580, overcoming all sorts of difficulties. Early importer of tobacco and potatoes from the ‘New’ World. Born c1540 in Devon, died 1596.
DUKE (Duke previously unissued track from Picture book): see John Wayne