The Man in the Street

In fact Davies finds himself surprised that the Kinks have lasted so long. "We just wanted to be a dance band, really. It just turned into a job, I suppose, for a while. And then it became almost vocational. I wouldn't have planned it this way. It just ended up this way. Yeah, it does surprise me, shocks me sometimes."

Davies' many attempts to transcend the limitations of the rock-band-playing-pop-songs mode on conceptual works such as (The Kinks Are) The Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire, and Preservation never reached full multimedia fruition and probably hobbled the band's ascent to rock superstardom. But this extramusical vision may also have preserved the Kinks, saving them from the junk heap of history. "It's really weird," Davies says. "I don't feel like a musician, never have.... I'm just kind of a creative person who looks for things to do. I think that's the best way to do it. I don't have time to practice, to become an accomplished player. I get my chops together when I'm on tour fine. But off the road I'm too busy writing to practice. I guess I'm just a creative person.

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