Tuesday 28 April 2009

Waterloo Sunset and the Kinks

An endlessly intriguing feature of the blogosphere is that you stumble across all sorts of unexpected delights. I think it was a link from John Baker’s blog that took me to a site on the topic of ‘The Kinks in Literature’, where I found a very positive review of Waterloo Sunset (the song which provided the title was, of course, a Kinks hit written by the great Ray Davies.) It turned out that the compiler of the site is Dave Quayle, and among other things he’s acquainted both with John and that very fine short story writer Mat Coward.

When I was young, my parents used to go out to a club in Northwich called The Grey Parrot (a name slightly reminiscent of The Odd Flamingo, the eponymous club in Nina Bawden’s crime novel, perhaps?) There was a small hotel attached to the club and many bands who played Saturday gigs in the town in the 1960s stayed there overnight. So my parents – rather improbably, it must be said – met a good many pop stars of the 1960s. Their number included the Kinks, and they even obtained for me a photo signed by the band members, though I’m afraid it disappeared years ago. I can’t remember many of the others whom they met, though Lulu was among them, but it does strike me as an amusing paradox that a couple who were definitely not part of the Swinging Sixties should actually have had a few late night drinks with so many stars of the day.

I’ve included a link to Dave’s site in the blogroll. Other recent additions include Pulp Serrenade, which I discovered recently – very good!


Nan said...

My favorite song by the best group ever! Well, Days is pretty good, too. :<)

Eric Mayer said...

Waterloo Sunset, one of the greatest sons of all time! But then I am a Kinks fan. I did see them in concert a few times, most notably in 1971 at the Fillmore East in New York City but have never met any of them...well, except that I did have the chance to speak to Dave at an album signing once but, of course, I was tongue tied.

Peter Rozovsky said...

One of the best rock concerts I ever saw was the Kinks at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles in 1978, which has nothing to do with the subject of your post or my comment. But you did pick what is probably the band's most beautiful and touching song as a title for your novel. Davies could adopt a horribly snotty attitde toward the middle classes, "A Well-Respected Man" being the worst example. But not at all in "Waterloo Sunset."

If you ever write a book called "A Well-Respected Man," I hope it's bitter, snotty, sarcastic and condescending.
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

Martin Edwards said...

Thank you all It is a great song, I think. I also have a very soft spot for Sunny Afternoon, but it's less evocative as a title. I was delighted the day it struck me I could use the title of Waterloo Sunset to allude to Antony Gormley's amazing statues on WAterloo Beach in Liverpool.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I remember them well.