So how has "X-Ray" gone over with Ray Davies' fellow Kinks (including brother Dave Davies, the lead guitarist with whom Ray has carried on one of the most famously contentious sibling relationships in pop history--the roots of which, by the "X-Ray" account, go back to Dave's infancy and Ray's toddlerhood)?
"They don't actually say 'We like it' or 'We think it sucks,' " Ray answered. "They probably do think things I do suck sometimes, but they let their feelings out through their work. I don't really phone them up for an opinion. But I think they're generally supportive, which is good."
It now appears as if "X-Ray" will give rise to Davies' first solo album. He says his latest batch of songs has been inspired by memories that came to him while writing the autobiography, and it appears that he'll record them on his own.
"The prospect is quite terrifying, I have to say. Making a record for the Kinks, I just know what I've got to write for. I know I'm the lead singer, but I can somehow cast it for them. But when I'm writing songs just for me, I'm finding, I just don't know what voice I've got."
The Kinks are without a U.S. recording contract (though Davies says it looks as if "To the Bone," the live, unplugged-style album that came out earlier this year in England, may emerge here early in 1996). The Kinks were in fine form during a stand in July at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, and last month they performed during the stadium concert in Cleveland celebrating the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"I think [the Kinks] will keep going whether I plan to do it or not," Davies said of England's second oldest continuously running rock band, after the Rolling Stones. "It's almost as if it's ever been there, and I can't envisage it not being there. Obviously, it will not be there forever. We're thinking about things, put it that way."