Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Note on Dave Davies, Jimmy Page, Shel Talmy, and 'The Who FAQ'


Hello, Psychobabble readers. I just want to take a moment to clarify a detail in my new book, The Who FAQ. In my chapter on musicians who guest-starred on Who recordings, I mentioned a much repeated and false claim by producer Shel Talmy that Jimmy Page played rhythm guitar on The Kinks' "You Really Got Me". I indicated that this was merely Talmy's claim and never intended to present it as definitive fact. As the player of the unforgettable riff and astounding lead guitar on that classic song, Dave Davies feels great ownership over it and rightly so. There are few songs in the Rock & Roll pantheon with more iconic guitar playing. 

Nevertheless, I may not have made it sufficiently clear that this was not a fact and that it was merely Talmy's version of what really happened. My source was the producer's interview with Richie Unterberger in his book Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers. In fact, Jimmy Page himself denies playing on the song, which you can in this piece on soundonsound.com here, and in this same piece, Talmy says he does not remember whether or not Page played on the track, further revealing his own shaky grasp on the history of the creation of "You Really Got Me". Once again, the truth is that Page did not play any guitar on "You Really Got Me" whatsoever, nor did he have anything to do with the sound or tone of Dave's guitar. I hope that readers of The Who FAQ will understand that I never intended to indicate otherwise. Talmy's false memory will not appear in future editions of The Who FAQ, including the upcoming Kindle edition.

Obviously, Dave continues to be one of my top Rock & Roll heroes and The Kinks continue to be one of my very favorite bands.
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