Dave Davies Again Refutes Jimmy Page Played On The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’

The long-standing controversy was revived by engineer Eddie Kramer.

By Andy Kahn Feb 28, 2024 8:50 am PST

The Kinks’ landmark 1964 single, “You Really Got Me,” has been the subject of controversy for decades. At issue is the involvement, or lack of involvement, of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in the recording of the seminal rock ‘n’ roll anthem.

Page was an in-demand session musician getting regular work in London at the time Ray Davies and his brother Dave Davies introduced the music of The Kinks to the world. The controversy surrounding Page’s involvement in the recording of “You Really Got Me,” stemmed in part from statements made by the track’s producer, Shel Talmy, who said the rhythm parts attributed to Ray Davies were actually played by Page.

Advertisement

Other inaccurate accounts attributed Dave Davies’ lead solo to Page as well. According to The Kinks drummer Mick Avory, Page himself might have been the source of that misinformation, telling Allmusic in 2023:

“[Page] did very little as far as I remember. He came into the studio – I think he came in during ‘You Really Got Me.’ He sort of apparently snickered at what Dave had done, because he was a more ‘polished player.’ And then he spent the rest of his years saying, ‘I played the solo on it.’ He must have said it, because everyone else was asking the question. But that was definitely Dave Davies, because even without knowing, you know it’s Dave rather than Jimmy Page. It just wasn’t in him to play like that. It was just completely off the top of his head – that solo. It fit – the attitude off it. And I never heard that from session men. They just come in and play something they feel – not what is necessarily the right thing. So, not much.”

Both Ray Davies and Dave Davies denied that Page was involved in the recording of “You Really Got Me.” Page himself tried to set the record straight in 2014, responding to a question about “You Really Got Me” during an interview on SiriusXM, he stated:

“This is a result of internet meddling and muddling…. Yes, I was on The Who’s ‘I Can’t Explain.’ I wasn’t on ‘You Really Got Me,’ but I did play on the Kinks’ records. That’s all I’m going to say about it. But every time I do an interview, people ask me about ‘You Really Got Me.’ So maybe somebody can correct Wikipedia so people won’t keep asking me.”

Advertisement

The subject of Page’s purported contribution to “You Really Got Me” resurfaced in an interview with engineer Eddie Kramer published recently by Guitar World. The article quoted Kramer as saying:

“I met Jimmy [Page] while he was working with the Kinks in the early ’60s when they were doing You Really Got Me.’ I know the Davies brothers will say otherwise, but I recall seeing Jimmy coming in and doing an overdub on that song. There’s some contention about that, but that’s how I remember it.”

Dave Davies took to social media to call for a retraction of the Guitar World article. Davies stated he spoke to Kramer after his quote was published and, according to Davies, Kramer claimed to have been misquoted. See Dave Davies’ impassioned response below:

Advertisement
JamBase Collections