Ray Davies – How a lonely Londoner created one of the great Sixties songs – by Nick Halstead

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"When I was researching my new biography of The Kinks, there were several special moments: sitting in the slightly shabby remnants of their legendary north London studio Konk, for instance, listening to drummer Mick Avory's reminiscences, while Ray Davies flitted around spectrally in the background, scarf trailing behind him like Rupert the Bear. Most magical, though, was the winter evening I spent at 87 Fortis Green, a solid white north London semi-detached house from 1829, which Ray moved into in 1965.

This was the quiet suburban refuge from the Swinging Sixties where almost all his songs were written, till he moved out in 1973. I stood in the front room, facing the wall where his white piano once was. And I imagined him in 1967, on the spot where I was standing, writing perhaps the decade's greatest song."

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