Dave Davies Didn’t Think ‘You Really Got Me’ Amp Stunt Would Work
The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies recalled the celebrated moment a slashed-open speaker cone created the iconic distorted sound for “You Really Got Me” – and admitted he didn't expect it to work.
The 1964 track is credited with having inspired the distortion effects that led to the development of hard rock and metal music. Even though Dave and his brother Ray Davies have continually disagreed over who actually performed surgery on the amplifier, Dave shared his personal memory with Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“I think it was like a six-inch speaker,” he said. “It was quite small, in a very small amp, and it had a couple of inputs, and it had treble, bass and volume controls. I didn’t like the way it sounded, so I thought I’d jazz it up by cutting the speaker with a razor blade.”
He noted that he "didn’t even think it would work – but luckily it came back with that amazing, roar sound.” The effect, which came to be known as “fuzz,” helped the Kinks focus on a second version of “You Really Got Me” after they’d felt the first sounded too clean.
The later recording was released as their third single in the U.K. after their previous two songs flopped, and went on to become their breakthrough single in the U.S., marking the band as stalwarts of the British Invasion.
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