Baby boomers will have to choose Saturday, July 14, between two '60s icons. Ringo Starr and his All-Stars play Ste. Michelle and Ray Davies, of the Kinks, is at the Neptune Theatre.
Two classic-rock stars are coming to town to perform separate shows on the same night, so baby boomers who grew up with their music will have to choose, perhaps stirring up old discussions about which band was cooler — the Beatles or The Kinks.
Ringo Starr, of course, was the Beatles’ cheerfully animated drummer, sporting a goofy grin below his thick mop of hair. Ray Davies was The Kinks’ talented, introspective songwriter and lead singer, guiding the band through its transition from garage rock to a more sophisticated sound.
Starr and Davies became icons of the British Invasion, the musical tsunami that brightened the spirits of American teenagers after the national trauma of the J.F.K. assassination.
Starr and his All-Starr Band — featuring Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather of Toto, Gregg Rolie (Journey, Santana), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Mark Rivera and Gregg Bissonette — perform at Chateau Ste. Michelle. Davies, former lead singer for The Kinks, is at the Neptune Theatre. Both shows are Saturday.
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Starr, who celebrated his 72nd birthday on July 7 (with a worldwide call for “peace and love”), will perform “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Yellow Submarine,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally” and John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” as well as individual hits of his band mates (“Bang the Drum All Day” (Rundgren) and “Hold the Line” (Lukather). Shows have been opening with Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox.”
Davies, with backing by opening act The 88, will mix Kinks classics with songs from his solo career: “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Sunny Afternoon,” “Johnny Thunder,” “Celluloid Heroes,” “Shangri-La,” “This Time Tomorrow,” “Victoria” and “Low Budget” (but apparently not “Lola,” which hasn’t turned up on recent set lists).
Dubbed “the Godfather of Brit Pop,” Davies is highly influential as a songwriter, counting many rock luminaries among his fans. His latest album in a prolific solo career is “See My Friends,” featuring collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Mumford & Sons, Billy Corgan, Black Francis, Lucinda Williams, Spoon, Jackson Browne and the late Alex Chilton, among others.
Starr, on the other hand, has never set the world on fire with his drumming. He once described himself as “your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills.” But like Davies, Starr commands respect as a beloved icon who gets by “with a little help from [his] friends.” He’ll have plenty of them on stage Saturday.
Gene Stout: firstname.lastname@example.org