MADRID – The first punk guitar that Marky Ramone remembers hearing was in 1964, exactly 10 years before the founding of the Ramones, with “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks, which became a fundamental, foundational number of the hard rock movement following its launch half a century ago.
Inspired by the Kingsmen’s “Louis Louis,” the Davies brothers – Ray and Dave – were facing the third and last chance their record label was giving them to make a hit record, after their fruitless attempts with the Little Richard number “Long Tall Sally” and with “You Still Want Me.”
Not long before that they had scrapped their previous stage name, the Ravens, and out all the tension they were feeling at that time came a song much noisier than the others, inspired by a meeting Ray Davies had with a fan and which made No. 1 on the charts in Britain and was among the Top 10 in the United States, where it was released on Aug. 26, 1964, as part of the “British invasion.”
The number was “You Really Got Me,” well-known for its powerful guitar chords, the use of distortion in the amplifier, and for a furious way of vocalizing the lyrics, which has made it seen as opening the door to heavy metal and hard rock.
The Kinks’ first big hit was accepted into the Grammy Hall of Fame 25 years ago, and is considered the fourth best guitar number in history by Rolling Stone magazine. But it was actually composed on piano with the idea of giving it a much jazzier sound based on a saxophone instrumental – which ended up being taken over by the lead guitar.- Latin American Herald Tribune
For the record, Dave Davies did play the solo on the record, not Jimmy Page. Somehow his virtuosity as a guitarist has been overlooked in the annals of music history.