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Observations placeholder

Ray Davies and the Kinks - 1967 Waterloo Sunset



Type of Spiritual Experience


"‘He was being very difficult,’ says Rasa. ‘I think he was ill. He was quite threatening and I said to him that I was going to call the police or I was going to leave him.’   Ray was never physically abusive towards Rasa, either before or since, but in March 1966, stricken by flu and nervous and physical exhaustion, and haunted by creative, recording, personal and business pressures, he snapped. 

‘I said something like: “You need to see a psychiatrist, you’ll have to go somewhere and get sorted. I’ve had enough, I can’t stand it,”’ says Rasa.   'And then: Boom! We had a big black phone. He picked it up and hit me in the face, so I had a black eye. Then I had to call our doctor.’  Ray’s breakdown wasn’t over yet. His family staged an intervention, after which he took to his bed. When a performance of The Kinks’ current hit was aired on Top Of The Pops, he tried to put the television in the gas oven.

Then, on St Patrick’s Day, he unexpectedly rose from his bed in a state of agitation. ‘I was a zombie,’ says Davies. ‘I’d been on the go all the time from when we first made it till then, and I was completely out of my mind.’

From his home in Fortis Green, he ran six miles to Tin Pan Alley in central London, where he confronted and attempted to punch his publicist Brian Sommerville. His next encounter, after he was chased from the premises, was with his music publisher, in whose office he caused further chaos.

‘I don’t know what happened to me,’ says Ray. ‘I’d run into the West End with my money stuffed in my socks; I’d tried to punch my press agent; I was chased down Denmark Street by the police, hustled into a taxi by a psychiatrist and driven off somewhere.’ Page reacted to Ray’s appearance that day with a jaundiced shrug. 

‘There was nothing unusual about that. It was like having afternoon tea with Ray. 

'When Page informed Curtis of Ray’s ‘breakdown’, he offered the withering response: ‘How would anyone know the difference?’

Ray, for all his eccentricities, has emerged as a rock icon and national treasure whose life is overshadowed by the impact of his greatest songs.

‘My work is better than I am,’ he admits. ‘I just don’t live up to it. I’d love to be as good as Waterloo Sunset.’ 

A description of the experience

The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset (Official Audio)


"Waterloo Sunset" is a song by British rock band The Kinks. It was released as a single in 1967, and featured on their album Something Else by The Kinks. Composed and produced by Kinks frontman Ray Davies, "Waterloo Sunset" is one of the band's best known and most acclaimed songs, and ranked number 42 on "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". It is also their first single that is available in true stereo.

The record reached number 2 on the British charts in mid 1967, behind the Tremeloes' "Silence Is Golden". It was a top 10 hit in Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe.

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling, rolling into the night
People so busy, make me feel dizzy, taxi light shines so bright
But I don't, need no friends
As long as I gaze on Waterloo Sunset, I am in paradise
Every day I look at the world from my window
Chilly chilly is the evening time, Waterloo sunset's fine
Terry meets Julie, Waterloo Station, every Friday night
But I am so lazy, don't want to wander, I stay at home at night
But I don't, feel afraid
As long as I gaze on Waterloo Sunset, I am in paradise
Every day I look at the world from my window
Chilly chilly is the evening time, Waterloo sunset's fine
Millions of people swarming like flies 'round Waterloo underground
Terry and Julie cross over the river where they feel safe and sound
And they don't, need no friends
As long as they gaze on Waterloo Sunset, they are in paradise
Songwriters: Raymond Douglas Davies

The source of the experience

Ray Davies and the Kinks

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



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