I've always wondered about the Kinks' You Really Got Me. When the song appeared on U.S. charts in the fall of 1964, nothing else sounded like it. As raucous and as wise-cracking as the Beatles seemed, they were really a polite band in '64 with a polished tight-harmony sound. Same goes for the Dave Clark Five. By contrast, the Kinks that year were something else—more raw and raging and less concerned about sonics or purity. They were like a power tool come to life. So it was gratifying to interview Ray Davies and Dave Davies of the Kinks as well as producer Shel Talmy about the making of the single for the "Anatomy of a Song" column in today's Wall Street Journal (go here). It turns out Ray wrote it for a girl he saw at a London club but never met while playing in an R&B band. I also wrote a nifty sidebar on the history of electric-guitar distortion, with 10 clips illustrating the chronology from 1949 to 1962 (go here).
Also in today's Wall Street Journal (go here), I interview bestselling gothic novelist Anne Rice on her childhood home in New Orleans and where she caught the vampire bug. It was at a nearby movie theater when she saw Dracula's Daughter. Her new novel is Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles (go here). [Photo of Anne Rice at her home in Palm Desert, Calif., by Austin Hargrave for The Wall Street Journal]
And finally, I interview Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim [above] for the Review section on his favorite song, the Temptations' My Girl (go here). His new book is Bleeding Orange here.