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The Kinks' London
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Follow the Kinks through the dark alleyways and passages of

L O N D O N

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The songs of the iconic British rock band The Kinks have often been described as “quintessentially English”. More than that, however, many of them are “quintessentially London”,. 

This is not surprising, as master songwriter Ray Davies has clearly never forgotten his London roots, drawing inspiration from the area for many of his songs, and has always retained a home in the area. He still lives only a few miles from the house in Muswell Hill where he and his brother, lead guitarist Dave Davies, grew up.

This new site, dedicated to London locations relevant to the career of the Kinks, or mentioned in the lyrics of songs by Ray or Dave Davies, brings together an updated version of the Big Black Smoke and four suggested tours of The Kinks’ London - redesigned versions of The Great North London Kinks Tour and The Little North London Kinks Tour and, new, The Great Central London Kinks Tour and The Little Central London Kinks Tour.

The acclaimed Big Black Smoke site was first constructed in 1997, by Jim Smart and Geoff Lewis, who live thousands of miles apart, Jim in Honolulu, Hawaii, Geoff in Worcester, UK and had never even met when the original site was first published. 

They did meet subsequently that year and played the famous Jim Chickens Out gig together at The Dragon Inn, Worcester with a band that was put together for the occasion, but continues playing gigs to this day, as The Fingers, although the venues are rather to far for Jim to attend.

The following year, they met again, on a songwriting course, given by Ray Davies himself.

Although they have of course always kept in touch, Jim and Geoff didn’t meet again until Jim visited the UK in 2010. The Jim Chickens Out line-up was re-formed to play at The Marr’s Bar, Worcester. A few days later, Jim and Geoff jammed together in the Kinks Room at The Clissold Arms, Muswell Hill. To their delight, members of the Crouch End Festival Chorus, who regularly perform with Ray Davies, and who happened to be having an after-practice meal at the pub, sang along with them. The owner of the pub, George Karageorgis, was so delighted with this that, as a result, an annual Kinks singalong now takes place in the Clissold Arms Kinks Room, led by Geoff, the evening before the yearly Official Kinks Fan Club meeting.

jim

Jim Smart is a teacher at Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii.

He is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who has produced numerous albums of his own songs.

Formerly with Beatles tribute The Day Trippers, he now also performs with his band, Green Flash.

Well Mr Churchill says...

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Jim is the one in the middle!.

 

This statue of Winston Churchill & Franklin D Roosevelt, entitled “Allies”, can be reached by a short detour from either of the Central London Kinks Tours: From Savile Row, turn left into Clifford Street and continue to the junction with New Bond Street, where you will find the two great statesmen chatting.

geoff

Geoff Lewis is webmaster for the Kast Off Kinks.

He is keyboard player and backing vocalist in The Fingers, Big Fat Shorty, The Lazy Sundays and Kinks kover specialists, The Spivs.

He has also recorded a number of his own songs with Frightened Eyes.

Acknowledgements

Jim and Geoff would like to thank Peter Oelgaard, Jayne Morgan and Olga Ruocco for carrying out much of the research for this site.

Thanks are also due to :

Dave Emlen, whose wonderful Kinks site, http://www.kindakinks.net was a great source of information and lyrics,

and

The Kast Off Kinks, for allowing this site to be hosted on their webspace.

Rob Peirson and Lloyd Jansen have visited and videoed many of the locations mentioned on this site. We recommend their DVD, “Two For The Road”, which includes an interview with Jim and which can be obtained from their website : http://www.rosierooke.com

Another site we would recommend to those interested in this sort of Kinks scholarship is Dave Quayle’s excellent Lillibullero, which includes:

 “I Wonder Where They All Are Now” - an annotated index of people named or alluded to in the songs of The Kinks,

“The Kinks In Literature” - an extensive collection of literary Kinks references;

A Kinks Bibliography - books by or about The Kinks.

Welcome to The Kinks’ London. Let’s get started :

The Big Black Smoke

Kinks Tours :

If you encounter any problems with this site, please contact webmaster@kastoffkinks.co.uk

Great North London

Little North London

Great Central London

Little Central London