Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Musical icons. Innovative and influential guitarists. These are just a few phrases to describe the brilliant careers of George Harrison and Dave Davies, two musicians and artists who share more in common than just a position in the 2011 Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.
MASTERFUL GUITARISTS AND PROLIFIC WRITERS
1964 was the year that English bands The Beatles and The Kinks first rose to International acclaim, with a triumphant Fab Four appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and a Top 10 U.S. hit for The Kinks with “You Really Got Me.” Both George Harrison and Dave Davies are masterful lead guitarists for their respective bands, enjoyed successful solo careers, penned autobiographies (“Kink” and “I, Me, Mine”) and have talented sons in the music business (Dhani Harrison, Christian and Russ Davies). In addition, both Harrison and Davies, at some point, grew disillusioned by their careers, but both found solace and contentment through their own spiritual journey.
A STRONG SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION
In a 1982 interview, George Harrison was quoted as saying: “I always felt at home with Krishna. You see it was already a part of me. I think it’s something that’s been with me from my previous birth. I’d rather be one of the devotees of God than one of the straight, so-called sane or normal people who just don’t understand that man is a spiritual being, that he has a soul.”
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the critically acclaimed and deeply introspective “All Things Must Pass” was re-released in 2010 as a 3-album boxed set. This beautiful piece of musical genius from George Harrison included the songs “What is Life,” “My Sweet Lord” and “Isn’t It a Pity.”
“A lot of people that embark on spiritual endeavors tended to, especially in the 60s and 70s, they tended to give up what they had before and cut themselves off from their lives, previous life as it were. But, I don’t think that one should do that.” says Dave Davies.
In 2010, the documentary DVD “Dave Davies Kronickles: Mystical Journey” was released, which is a fascinating and touching look into the musical and spiritual life of The Kinks’ founder, who along with his brother Ray, helmed one of the biggest rock bands in history.
INFLUENCING FANS AROUND THE WORLD
The music and guitar styles of George Harrison and Dave Davies influenced bands around the world. I interviewed two musicians for their thoughts on these rock ‘n roll heroes.
Allen Parsons of Bedworth, England, had this to say: “The Kinks had something about them that was very interesting. Dave’s guitar work got a hold of me for his showmanship in the live version of “Victoria.” To me, Dave is the same as me, but he made it, I didn’t.” Allen is actually being somewhat modest, because in truth, he, along with his wife Julie Parson, have recorded CDs and achieved success performing in local venues throughout England.
Chris Dumler, a musician from Hoffman Estates, Illinois, describes George Harrison as: “Memorable, tasteful and spiritual.” In response to the 2011 Rolling Stone Top 100 Guitarist, Dumler said: “I thought that George should’ve been in the top 10. Maybe not flashy, but creative and always suited the song with the best part. (He did) service to the song.”
Personal reflection on two rock legends
For me personally, I never had the opportunity to see George Harrison live in concert, but his incredible talent, signature guitar sound, innovative style and his emotional, heart-felt song writing, move and inspire me.
One of the best concerts I ever attended was The Kinks, during what I felt was a career high period for them, 1980. Ray Davies has always been one of the best front men in rock and a witty, creative writer. His brother, Dave, was an electrifying performer, with incredible energy and passion. You couldn’t take your eyes off them during their shows, and the connection they had with their fans was powerful and genuine. Now that Dave Davies has matured, his music is beautifully reflective, spiritual and speaks directly to your heart. He is also a very loving and kind human being, as well as a talented artist.
George, Dave and the fans
One area where George Harrison and Dave Davies differ is with their devoted admirers. While George was more comfortable living a reclusive life, shying away from autographs, Dave has taken a totally different approach. He is known to be very gracious and open with fans, with personal interaction through his own message boards and social networking pages.
Mr. Davies also hosts a spiritual and rock ‘n roll retreat called the Dave Davies Sastang Spiritual Weekend (scheduled for April, 2012), offering fans an opportunity to enjoy a few days of meditation, yoga and a special concert from Dave.
A lasting musical legacy
The long and glorious legacies of George Harrison and Dave Davies continue to inspire music lovers and musicians. To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the passing of George Harrison, the wonderful HBO documentary from director Martin Scorsese “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” was released.
The Aschere Project, a collaboration CD from Dave Davies and his son Russ, is a fascinating and thought-provoking piece of work.
The lives and music of George Harrison and Dave Davies were once again connected on the “Songs From the Material World: George Harrison” tribute CD, featuring a stunning Davies cover of Harrison’s iconic song, “Give me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).”