The Kinks‘ classic “You Really Got Me” is the latest subject of a tiff between Kinks founders and brothers Ray and Dave Davies.
In a recent interview with NPR, Ray claimed credit for the song’s signature distorted sound.
“My brother Dave and I played records so loud it made the speakers distort, and we thought it’d be a nice idea to make the guitar sound that distorted, and we cranked up the amplifier and I stuck a knitting needle in it,” he told NPR.
He gave the same account to the Wall Street Journal, and that storyline, much to Dave’s umbrage, is in the play Sunny Afternoon, now playing in London.
Dave took umbrage with this, and took to his official Facebook page to address it.
“My brother is lying,” he wrote. “I don’t know why he does this but it was my Elpico amp that I bought and out of frustration I cut the speaker cone up with a razor blade and I was so shocked and surprised and excited that it worked that I demonstrated the sound to Ray and Pete,” referring to Pete Quaife, the band’s original bass player who passed away in 2010.
“Pete didn’t even like it and laughed and said it sounded like a dog barking. Ray liked the sound and he had written a riff on the piano which formed the basis of the song ‘You Really Got Me’ and I played the riff on my guitar with MY new sound. I ALONE CREATED THIS SOUND. Ray wrote ‘You Really Got Me’ and we used my guitar sound to embellish the song and riff. He never stuck a knitting needle or anything else in my amp. I wouldn’t let anybody come near it. My amp was the ONLY amp we used to create this sound and I don’t know why only in the past few years Ray has started changing the whole concept. I am just flabbergasted and shocked at the depth of his selfish desire to take credit for everything. I never once claimed songwriting royalties on ‘You Really Got Me’ yet this song would not have happened without my guitar sound.”
This hasn’t been the first controversy over who did what on “You Really Got Me.”