MILESAGO - Tours By Overseas Artists 1964-75
1965 "BIG SHOW" TOUR
DATES / CITIES / VENUES:
4 February 1965 - Christchurch, NZ - Majestic Theatre
DATES / CITIES / VENUES:
To date The Kinks have made only three tours of Australasia, although Ray Davies has also done one solo tour as part of his continuing "Storyteller" series of concerts.
1965 "BIG SHOW" TOUR
The top-billed act, Manfred Mann, were at the time one of the most popular British beat groups, having scored a series of huge hits including Doo Wah Diddy Diddy which went to #1 on both sides of the Atlantic. This was the only tour by this lineup of the group; late that year guitarist Mike Vickers left, bassist Tom McGuinness switched to guitar and Jack Bruce (of Cream fame) came in on bass. Paul Jones quit in mid-1966, followed by Bruce, and Mann reorganised the group with a new lead singer Mike D'Abo and Beatle buddy Klaus Voorman on bass. That version lasted until 1969 and Mann then created a new group, Manfred Mann's Chapter III, who toured Australasia with Deep Purple and Free in 1971.
The Honeycombs are little remembered today but are notable for being one of the very few 'beat' groups on either side of the Atlantic to have a female member, and doubly notable because Ann "Honey" Lantree was their drummer. The Honeycombs shot into the charts in 1964 with their classic debut single Have I The Right, which is regarded as one of the best singles produced by the legendary Joe Meek. It was a huge success for the group, reaching #1 in the UK and #5 in the US, where it was a million-seller. It was covered in the '80s by The Back Street Kids. At the time of this tour their regular lead guitarist Martin Murray had been sidelined by an arm injury and on this and their preceding UK tour, sixteen-year-old Peter Pye filled in for him. The group continued, without much further chart success, until 1966. Their second LP All Systems Go is of interest to Kinks fans for the inclusion of an otherwise unreleased Ray Davies song, Emptiness.
Solo singer Tony Sheveton is best known for his hit 1964 version of the Jeff Barry song A Million Drums. Sheveton, who is still performing today, also had a tengential connection with Jimi Hexndrix, having been part of an October 1964 UK package tour headlined by The Isley Brothers, which at that time included the then-unknown Hendrix on lead guitar.
The '65 Australian tour was an important event for The Kinks and Ray Davies devotes several pages to it in his autobiography X-Ray. It was also a personally significant and much-anticipated event for the Davies brothers since the trip to Australia reunited was to them with their beloved eldest sister Rosie and her family, who had emigrated to Adelaide some years before.
Rosie exerted a major influence on the brothers' early interest in music, and a lasting influence on Ray's writing -- Rosie Won't You Please Come Home (from the Face To Face album) was about her, much of the acclaimed 1969 Arthur LP was inspired by her emigration -- her husband was in fact named Arthur. The Kinks' 1980s hit Come Dancing was also written about her. Ray was also very close to Rosie's son Terry.
Ray's mother insisted on bringing the entire family to the airport to see her sons off on the tour, a source of some amusement to fellow tour member Manfred Mann, with whom Ray developed a friendly if competitive relationship. For financial reasons, the band's managers came on the tour, which was overseen by an ex-entertainer called Johnny Clapson.
The plane stopped over in Moscow and then Bombay, where they stayed at what was supposed to be the best hotel in the city, which was built on the beach . Unable to sleep -- partly from excitement and partly due to the ants and cockroaches in the room -- Ray got up and watched the sun rise on the beach, accompanied by the chanting of the local fishermen as they carried their nets to work. This chant lodged in Ray's memory and eventually resurfaced in the melody of his classic song See My Friends. Dave's walk on the beach had a less poetic outcome -- he was chased by a mad dog.
The next stopover was at Madras, where Ray recieved a telegram that their new single Tired of Waiting had entered the UK charts at #11. Next stop was Singapore, where the crowd of screaming fans got out of control and the police fired warning shots in the air to subdue them. After a brief stopover in Perth for two concerts on 19 January, the band arrived in Adelaide, where Ray was briefly reunited with sister Rosie, brother-in-law Arthur and nephew Terry, after which he immediately passed out from jet-lag.
Manfred Mann had the closing spot in the concerts, since their song Diddy Wah Diddy had been a hit before You Really Got Me, but according to Ray it was the Kinks who gained greater notoriety. Before the Adelaide shows on the 21st, they caused a stir when Dave shoved a hamburger into the face of a stroppy Adelaide DJ, leading to headlines in the local press of POMMY KINKS GO HOME! WE DON'T NEED YOU!. The group ignored the criticism and performed well, according to Ray. After the Adelaide shows they went to Rosie and Arthur's house, finding to their relief that they were living comfortably and that emigration had been a successful move for them.
Ray recalled the rest of the tour as relatively uneventful, other than the usual outrageous sexual exploits of brother Dave, and the surprise re-appearance of Rosie, who flew to Brisbane to stay with them. Somewhat unusually, the tour also played in Newcastle, NSW. His enduring memory of the tour, he says, was seeing Rosie Arthur and Terry waving goodbye at Adelaide airport.
At his hotel in Brisbane, after the show there, Ray had a surprise visit from Mick Jagger. He suddenly appeared at Ray's door shouting that Peter Quaife was "a fucking liar". His anger was apparently triggered by one of Quaife's typically grandiose statements to the press about the relative importance of the Kinks and the Stones. According to Ray, Jagger then took a beer out of the fridge and wandered off down the corridor muttering "Liar, liar".
The Big Show tour coincided with the first Australian tour by The Rolling Stones; indeed, in Brisbane the Big Show played at Festival Hall on the same day (26 January) as the Stones' second two concerts there. This was deliberate -- it was a product of the rivalry between promoter Kenn Brodziak and his main competitor, Harry M. Miller. Brodziak had recently signed an exclusive deal with Stadiums Ltd which had effectively locked Miller out of the Stadiums venues, so Miller responded by finding alternative venues (including the Manufacturer's Pavilion at the Sydney Showground) and by deliberately scheduling the Rolling Stones tour to coincide with the Big Show tour.
After the Australian dates, the tour went on to New Zealand. Their first Christchurch concert had to be cancelled due to the failure of the sound system. Ticket holders were reportedly offered either a refund or tickets to the Cilla Black concert, which was scheduled there the following month.
After New Zealand, the tour moved on to Singapore where Ray Davies learned that Tired Of Waiting had hit #1 in England. Although Ray hoped the tour would end there, the band went on immediately to their first tour of America, where they caused a stir with their appearance on Hullaballoo which, to the horror of the director, began unexpectedly with Dave and Mick Avory provocatively dancing cheek to cheek.
Another "Big Show" tour headlined by The Kinks was scheduled for 1968 but they were later replaced by other acts, and the tour eventually went ahead in late January that year -- it was of course the infamous "Fortnight of Furore" with The Who, Small Faces and former Manfred Mann lead singer Paul Jones.
Between their first and second Australian tours, Peter Quaife left the band (in late 1968) and was replaced by John Dalton, who remained with the group for many years. In 1971 The Kinks were booked and advertised (as headline act) to play at the The Odyssey festival at Wallacia but they reportedly couldn't make it due to a British postal strike.
The Kinks at their Melbourne press conference, June 1971
L-R: Dave Davies, John Dalton, Ray Davies, John Gosling, Mick Avory
(Photo: Laurie Richards Collection, Performing Arts Museum of Victoria)
The '71 tour tour was originally to have been headlined by leading UK band Badfinger but they cancelled just prior the tour in order to record their next LP Straight Up (with George Harrison producing) so The Kinks took over as headliners.
RIGHT: the original tour poster for the 1971 Badfinger/Kinks tour.
The tour featured the new five-piece Kinks lineup, which had recently been augmented by keyboard player John Gosling. It took place shortly before the release of their new LP Muswell Hillbillies, which was also the first for their new label, RCA. During the tour The Kinks reportedly walked out on an ABC-TV special they were filming. In Adelaide they were again reunited with Rosie and her family, but it as a bittersweet meeting. At the airport Ray's brother-in-law Arthur spoke openly to him for the first time about his pride in The Kinks' music and in his role as an inspiration for the Arthur album, but as they parted Arthur told Ray that he was going into hospital for an operation; sadly he died not long afterwards.
Tours were proposed for 1973, 1978 and 1980 but never realized. It was reported at the time that one of the major reasons The Kinks pulled out of the planned '78 tour was because they (quite fairly) objected to being second-billed to Peter Frampton, who was by then well past the peak of his mega-successful Frampton Comes Alive LP and had virtually wrecked his career with an ill-advised role in the disastrous Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie musical.
On the 1982 tour they appeared on The Done Lane Show and Countdown. Also on that tour The Kinks made headlines again when they reportedly threw beer can at a TAA air hostess.
Ray Davies made a solo tour in 1995, originally billed as "Ray Davies: 20th Century Man" but changed to "Ray Davies: Storyteller", consisting of performances of The Kinks' hits, interspersed with Ray reading excerpts from his memoir X-Ray.
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|REFERENCES / LINKS|
The Kinks Official Fan Club
Vernon Joyson et al
Dave Emlen's Kinks Website
Early Hendrix - Timeline
New Zealand Music ...