my friend on the raga

Released on July 30th, 1965, the Davies brothers use of sitar here predates the release of The Beatles\’ \”Rubber Soul\” by several months. It has been alleged in some quarters that this superior Raymond Douglas Davies composition may in fact constitute the first popular release in the west to utilize Raga as a core motif.

From Wiki: \”Ray Davies has been heard to say the song is about the loss of his sister, who lived for a time in Ontario, Canada. Upon her return to England she developed a sickness and died while dancing at a night club. Just before she died he says she gave him his first guitar for his 13th birthday. Inspiration for the song came after a stopover in Bombay, where, finding himself jetlagged on a beach, Davies encountered two fishermen chanting on their way to their morning work. He wrote the song while traveling in India years later when he heard about the significance of the Ganges river in the Indian death ritual.\”

Misprint or not, I infinitely prefer the romantic introspection and polite air of mystery suggested by the former.

Produced by Shel Talmy.

THE KINKS: SEE MY FRIEND from \”See My Friend b/w Never Met A Girl Like You Before\” 45 (PYE) 1965 (UK)


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