All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...


Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –

Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
Alright, let’s get on it...

From Wackypedia:
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in North London by brothers Dave Davies and Ray Davies in 1963. The Kinks, who rose to fame during the mid-1960s and were part of the British Invasion of the US, are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock groups of the era.

Their music was influenced by a wide range of genres, including rhythm and blues, British music hall, folk and country. [STMcC: Country? I sure don’t hear THAT! Good ol’ Wackypedia – always reliably wacky!]

The Kinks first came to prominence in 1964 with their third single, "You Really Got Me", written by Ray Davies. It became an international hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and reaching the Top 10 [#7, to be precise, Wackypedia!] in the United States. Between the mid-1960s and early 1970s, the group released a string of singles and LPs most of which were critically successful but commercial failures ...  (Their early albums) along with their accompanying singles are considered among the most influential recordings of the period.

The Kinks' subsequent theatrical concept albums met with less success, but the band experienced a revival during the late 1970s and early 1980s with albums Sleepwalker, Misfits, Low Budget, etc. [STMcC: In 1977, I was a big fan of their ‘Sleepwalker’ album.]

The Kinks broke up in 1996, a result of the commercial failures of their last few albums and creative tension between the Davies brothers. [STMcC: Tension between BROTHERS?!?! How could it be so? I Cain’t imagine that; I’m just not Abel to wrap my mind around it!]
And thus sayeth Wackypedia.
An Aside: 
In 1980, I heard a song on Los Angeles FM radio titled ‘NOTHIN’ MORE TO LOSE’ ( It was from the Dave Davies solo album AFL1-3603’. This was a seriously arse-kickin’ song and it (temporarily) replaced Waylon Jennings’ ‘I’VE ALWAYS BEEN CRAZY’ as my  personal  theme  song. I remember being in a record store with my buddy Marty and I wanted that album NOW! But I didn’t have enough money in my wallet, so Marty, my generous friend, purchased the album for me. I went home and cranked that song up to eleven for about the next eleven months! It didn’t kick-start my acting career like I’d hoped, but I can still feel the fire when I hear it cranked up to eleven. Man! All these decades later and that song STILL kicks Royal Ass! It’s like ‘Punk Rock Meets Musicianship!’
To my ears, early Kinks songs have that loose “Garage Punk” sound that often appealed to me. And because their later songs had such a “theatrical” aspect to them, I subconsciously associated The Kinks with The Tubes. Maybe it’s a LOLA-MONDO BONDAGE kind of thing. No, wait! A KINK in my TUBE socks? Then again, it could just be a ‘White Punks On Dope’ connection. I dunno. Mind works in mysterious ways.

Anyway, as Honest John said, ON TO THE THEATRE!...’


Out of Pasadena, California, VAN HALEN released their eponymous debut album in 1978. The third track on that LP was a cover of The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’. Although the cover only made it to #36 on the Billboard music charts, the song and the album turned a lot of heads and got a lot of attention. (Frank Zappa publicly thanked Eddie Van Halen for “reinventing” the electric guitar.) A guy I used to know said that Van Halen played his high school's senior prom a couple years before they exploded on the music scene with their first album. Imagine seeing Van Halen playing in your school gymnasium!

I was shocked when some years later I discovered that my dear ol’ Ma had found a place in her heart for Van Halen, thanks to their ‘You Really Got Me’ cover which was used in what is definitely one of the all-time best TV commercials...
OK, here’s the entire song now, minus the stop-motion animation:

Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.)

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to FAE’s ‘Far Away Series’, Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’, Robin’s ‘Your Daily Dose’, and LC’s ‘DiscConnected’ blogs to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ 'A WRITER'S LIFE IN PROGRESS' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.

Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


  1. I figured someone would eventually have to have this contest and if someone else hadn't have done it I eventually would have.

    As a Kinks fan from the very beginning--I recall listening to their greatest many times over when I was in high school--I can go with no one else on this song but the originals.

    Van Halen does a credible job recreating the song while staying fairly true to its spirit, but there are a bit too many "special effects" and Roth screams for me. But I don't dislike the Van Halen version.

    In the end it's the direct approach of the Kinks that does it for me. I remained a fan of the group when they got into the artier phase. My kind of music.

    Tossing It Out

    1. BOIDMAN ~
      Yeah, this match-up eventually HAD to be done and I waited long enough for someone else to grab it. Finally I thought: OK, I'll do it then.

      I figured both bands would score some votes but I sure did NOT think The Kinks would jump out to a 4 to Nuttin' lead.

      Some of these 'BOTB' contests are very surprising. About half of the time, the results don't turn out the way I expected they would, and that keeps it interesting to me.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  2. I played the Van Halen version first because I already am well acquainted with The Kinks.

    Here is the thing for me about Van Halen... I do like them and I agree with all of the "experts" who say that the things Eddie Van Halen can do to an electric guitar. That guy was seriously in a love affair with his guitar. No surprise to me that his marriage with Valerie Bertinelli bit it. It would be uncomfortable in bed with the two of you and the guitar. And I am probably one of the lone voices in the wilderness who preferred David Lee Roth's vocals over Sammy Hagar. I think Roth is a sleaze of a person and I don't actually know that much about Hagar, but there really is nowhere to go but up. And still... I like his singing better. Ah well. And none of that gets down to the meat of these two songs.

    I like The Kinks better, but I don't know if it is because that version that has been playing in my head for A VERY LONG TIME or if it really is better. All of the electric guitar that Van Halen infused into the song to make it their own just sounded wrong to me (since I like the other version so much). So, I vote for The Kinks but openly admit that it might be a vote based solely on familiarity.

    And that commercial was awesome. My favorite part: the look on Ken's face as Barbie and GI Joe ride away. hahahaha! Can I vote for the commercial? Just kidding.

    1. ROBIN ~
      Ha!-Ha! Funny line about Eddie, his guitars, and his wife. Yeah, Valerie, that poor girl, she had no idea she'd be sharing their bed with Eddie's guitars - which I'll bet he fondled more than he did her.

      Actually, I am with you on the Roth / Hagar vote. When I was a teenager, all of Roth's shrieking didn't really bother me. But now that I'm an old man, I just think: Ouch! All that squealing like a pig! I seek Deliverance from it.

      But even so, I still like Roth's vocals better than Hagar's utterly generic singing. There was nothing distinctive about Hagar's vocals.

      I first heard him when an issue of BAM (Bay Area Music) was singing his praises to the heavens and recommending his latest album 'All Night Long' - a live recording released in 1978. So I bought a copy of it and was underwhelmed to say the least. I'll bet I didn't play that album more than five times and never did hear what was supposed to be so special about it. I'm sure I sold it to a used record store within a year or two.

      David Lee Roth could get annoying but he did fit the Van Halen image. And at least when you hear Roth you KNOW who it is. Sammy "Mr. Generic" Hagar sounds like a thousand other singers in nondescript Hard Rock bands.

      Thanks for your vote!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Just to chime in here-I don't know that I have a strong opinion on either voice (like them both), but I thought the songwriting improved under Hagar.

      I will say if you were to see either singer today, it's Hagar by a country mile.

      I saw the band with Roth a couple of years ago, and he simply does not have it any more (out of breath after a verse, no range)-for a ticket price that was in the $150 range, I was pretty ticked off.

      I've seen Sammy recently as well, and while I obviously like his voice better than Stephen, he can still sing.


    3. Fair enough, LC.
      I never saw Van Halen live, other than concert footage. Never bought a ticket and went to see 'em.

      Yeah, well based on your description above about how Roth and Hagar sound today, maybe I'd have to agree with you. But both of them side by side in their prime and I'll take Roth without a moment's hesitation (even if it means having to accept all the squealing like a pig).

      As for the songwriting, the last album I ever owned was 'Diver Down' or 'Fair Warning'. (I had them both and don't remember which was released later.) But at that point my musical taste had really begun turning drastically. And I did NOT like 'Fair Warning', so I'm guessing that was released AFTER 'Diver Down' because I don't think I'd have purchased a Van Halen album after my negative feelings about 'Fair Warning'.

      But, really, when we're discussing Van Halen - a good time, party band of just loud music - I don't think the lyrics matter much. I mean, they were never going to write something truly meaningful like Bob Dylan, or even Tom Petty, etc. So even if the lyrics improved a little under Hagar, I doubt that would have mattered to me much. I mean, it's not like I was ever going to go around quoting Van Halen, either early or later VH.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    4. It took me a while to get back here. I haven't seen either of them in concert (Roth or Hagar), but I am not surprised that Roth can't sing live anymore. The guy really got into the booze, sex, drugs to the point that naive little ole me heard about it. And I generally don't hear that kind of garbage. But, after his solo career fizzled out I recall reading that he practically lived in strip clubs and was drunk or high all of the time. You can't abuse your body like that and not have it take a toll. (I did say I thought he was a sleaze in my original comment.) But, I agree with Stephen... if you compare them at the height of their careers... Roth by a mile. Plus, I really felt like he got the Van Halen style and image that they were going for at the time. I don't know why he left (or was kicked out), but if I had to guess... his ego. That band belonged to Eddie Van Halen and Roth was just the singer. Most bands are the singer, but not that one... and Roth couldn't take it. Too bad he couldn't shake it off because he couldn't pass muster as a solo artist.

  3. Man, you know I JUST wrote a great gag involving Van Halen in our latest book. Go figure.

    For me it's definitely the Kinks. Van Halen's version rocks a little harder, but I'm a sucker for that English garage punk sound. So is Brandon. I'm 100% confident that he'd vote for the Kinks (if only because he's a big fan and doesn't like Van Halen) and I don't even have to consult him for this one.

    Two votes for the Kinks.

    Gimme the Kinks, gimme the Kooks, and gimme any other British garage rock in between.


    1. 6-B ~
      Thanks for the two votes.

      And I have no problem accepting Brandon's vote from you without your having consulted him first. When it comes to the creative process, you two Beer Brothers seem to almost share a brain, so I have no doubt you've nailed his vote too.

      A great gag about Van Halen, eh? You'll need to tell me 'bout it in an E one o' these days.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  4. Funny, I saw a cover band do this tune on Saturday and they played the VH arrangement, and I thought two things:

    (1) I wonder if anyone has done this for BOTB?

    (2) Does anyone but me remember the Kinks arrangement?

    This is a tough vote, because VH does enough with it to add their signature, and there is no disputing EVH's guitar prowess.

    I have probably listened to the VH version over the Kinks by a ten to one ratio.

    But I think I'm going to cast my vote for the Kinks.

    If you asked me tomorrow, it might go the other way.

    Five to nothing lead....


    1. In doing some Google searches in preparation for this 'BOTB' I discovered something funny: Apparently the Van Halen version is now so much better known than the original that some people have told Dave Davies after concerts that they liked his cover of the Van Halen song 'You Really Got Me'. That really pisses him off.

      I also discovered that Dave Davies has said that he can't stand the Van Halen version, while his brother, Ray Davies, said early on that he thought Van Halen improved on their original. Easy to see why the two Kinks brothers had some serious differences which led to the breakup of the band.

      Ray Davies said something like: Van Halen took our old Prop Plane song and turned it into a Jet Fighter.

      Gotta applaud him for his willingness to distribute kudos to a new band using The Kinks oldie to make a name for themselves.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  5. Sheboyganboy SixJuly 1, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Since you are accepting votes from people on the word of others, I would like to cast five votes for Van Halen. Not that I like their version better, but I don't think the Kinks deserve a runaway, and I have at least four other friends whom I know WOULD vote for VH if they were here to consult.

    I am old enough to vividly remember the Kink's version in real time as it got a lot of airplay. I always felt it was as raw a song as anyone produced in that era. It was "tough," to answer a question not asked yet. Very tough. It feels to me like a bar fight put to music.

    Later, I was a big fan of Van Halen from that first album, which I still have on cassette tape. All their stuff was raw and wild, though I thought it toned down a bit when Hagar arrived.

    So, this contest is between two groups I like, two versions I like. Too bad those Grupo guys didn't produce a version so the choice would be easier. Anyway... as close to a toss up as any you've had, but I cast my five votes for Van Halen.

      Hey, great to hear from you, my friend! I hope things are going well for you on the road (wherever you are today - as I can't keep up with your travels).

      Well, I can't accept those "OTHER" votes until I know what sort of beer those blokes drink. I mean, for all I know they might be Hamm's drinkers, and that would automatically disqualify them as their "taste" would be more than suspect.

      But I can and DO accept your lone vote for Van Halen... which actually blows my mind!

      Here's what I figured even before I posted this 'BOTB': There was no way this would be a shutout, because I guessed that DiscConnected would vote for Van Halen, and Lee and you would vote for The Kinks. (I only got one of the three correct.)

      But... YOUR vote for The Kinks was the ONE aforementioned vote that I would have put twenty dollars on! I never thought for a second that there was ANY CHANCE WHATSOEVER of YOU voting for Van Halen. I figured you as a Van Halen-hater fo' sho!

      Damn! This whole 'BOTB' installment is not at all like I imagined it would be. I figured that VH would win by 2 or 3 votes and you would be in the minority with your vote. Instead, this looks like an easy win for The Kinks, and your vote absolutely boggles my mind. Of every 'BOTB' installment I've ever put together, THIS was the ONE I felt most confident in advance of how you would vote. Shows ya what I know, when all is said and done.

      Incidentally, I read all those articles that you linked me to in an E regarding the Outkast song. It was interesting, and I have a couple thoughts about it. I'll have to get back to you one o' these days about that, Bro.

      Travel safely, my man!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  6. Have to go with VH, solely on the memories of drunken nights in the "Party Woods". Van Halen echoes nicely off trees at 2 AM at high volumes. Ozzie too.

      I dare say that if you have "memories" of the drunken nights, then they probably weren't quite drunk enuf.

      Nevertheless, it's nice to see VH finally getting into the contest. They have a long way to go to win this one though. I don't think they can make up the distance now.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  7. You can give it to me ‘Kinky’ any day of the week. I like their raw, unpolished sound. Someone said it sounds tough and I agree. There is a real sensual feel to their sound and I like it.

    Sure Eddie Van Halen might have been making love to his guitar, but their version conjures up visions of DLR in his tight pants with his somewhat flabby gut hanging out (total turnoff). I always thought of him as more of a screamer than a singer, and the gyrations that he called dancing seemed kinda silly to me. You can probably get the picture that I was not a fan. I admit there version of this song is not too bad, but doesn’t even come close the The Kinks.

    Just in case I didn’t make myself clear I vote for The Kinks.

    1. FAE ~
      Uhm... no... I think you made it pretty clear. ;-)

      But, hey, DLR did not have a flabby gut at the time he recorded THIS song! That came years later (when he should definitely have done away with the spandex pants... and replaced them with OTHER pants, I mean!)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  8. Really hard to replace a Waylon Jennings theme song with anything else. If the vote was Waylon or Davies, I'd pick Waylon; listened to both references.

    Loved the ‘White Punks On Dope’ analogy.

    However . .

    Normally I'd say nobody does "you've really got me" better than The Kinks. Awesome guitar and vocals. But, man, Van Halen beats out just about every group except Brooks and Dunn.

    Perhaps its just recording quality, but I'm going with Eddie Van Halen on this one.

    BTW: I'm not posting for BotB this month. Sorry.

    1. DONNA ~
      After some years, Waylon's 'Ive Always Been Crazy' reemerged as my personal theme song and has remained in that position since then.

      Thanks for stopping by to cast your vote.

      Sorry to learn you're not playing 'BOTB' with us this month. However, I will leave the link to your blog on all of my 'BOTB' installments, so anytime you want to jump back in, you will be automatically linked to the rest of us.

      Yak Later...

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  9. Hey, Dude! I haven't been around the blogosphere much lately, but I wanted to pop in and say hey and catch this BOTB!

    This is one I definitely considered during the short time I was doing the BOTB. and it's actually a very hard choice for me.

    This would actually be a no-contest easy vote for me on a lot of levels: The Kink's version is SO much better in so many ways. It's earthier, edgier, more real, and more heart-felt, I think. The vocals are WAY better than DLR's Shrieks and squeals, and the Van Halen version "oohs"and "aahs" in the background are schlock.

    But the sticking point for me is that freakin' VH guitar. I LOVE the original Kink's guitar solo, but Eddie just went to a whole 'nother realm with his. That entire first VH album was filled with mind--boggling and phenomenal guitar, and it sent millions of guitar-playing kids into their bedrooms trying to figure out how to get their fingers to do anything even close to Eddie's. It spawned thousands of guitars with ripped-out pickups and tape-wrapped finishes, all trying to do tremelo-arm dive-bombs and finger-tapping and harmonic explosions. And in my head, I can't hear this version of "You Really Got Me" without hearing the jaw-dropping blazing "Eruption" that comes before right it.

    So, on most levels, The Kinks version is absolutely better, but on the strength of VH's world-changing guitar-playing alone, I have to give their version the edge.

  10. CHRIS, great to see you here again, my friend!

    I had always hoped you would continue voting on our 'BOTBs' even though you stopped putting your own match-ups together, because you always had interesting insight to share in the comment sections.

    Well, Bruddah, believe me I know EXACTLY what you mean. I think we're probably close to the same age (as I recall), and I was at the peak of my record-buying and listening life when the first Van Halen album was released, and I got into it even before the FM radio stations discovered it.

    My buddy Al and I were big into Hard Rock and always turning each other onto new bands and albums. He and I were both doing 'Background' work in movies and TV back in '78, and we were working together on some movie one day (I think it might have been 'Grease', but I’m not certain) and so we car-pooled. Al picked me up - and he had this outrageous stereo system in his Cougar - and he says, "Listen to this new cassette I picked up" and he pops in that first VH album. I had never even heard of Van Halen yet, so Al must have got some inside info to be onto them even before the FM stations were.

    I hear that siren sound getting louder and louder just before 'Runnin' With The Devil' comes blasting out of the speakers and I'm thinking: Whoa! Sh-eee-it!

    Then the 'Eruption' you mentioned comes through the speakers, cranked up to eleven. And my head is going in circles like Linda Blair in 'The Exorcist'. There was ONLY ONE THING I knew with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY at that point: The VERY FIRST THING I was going to do when I got off work that day was buy a copy of that LP!

    I did, and then I spent an hour going over the liner notes again and again, sure that the second half of 'Eruption' HAD TO HAVE BEEN played on a synthesizer, NOT an electric guitar. Nope. It was all Eddie and his striped guitar.

    So, yeah, I was right there when Eddie first started “turning heads” and completely changing the electric guitar in Rock music. I had never heard nuttin’ like that before, and for several years I was just like everyone else: completely in awe by what he did. That awe even lasted up through the third VH album, because I remember the first time I heard the opening to ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ and thinking: Alright, now how the f**k is he getting that cracking, splintering sound?!

    It’s still pretty amazing listening, even though everybody and his two-handed brother began copying Eddie’s style until I actually got tired of hearing it.

    When Eddie Money’s ‘NO CONTROL’ album came out in 1982, I remember finding it kind of refreshing to hear “tough-sounding” Rock songs with just a “regular” electric guitar sound again. Ha! True!

    Thanks so much for coming by to vote on a ‘BOTB’ installment again. Please don’t be a stranger on the 1st and 15th of the months, eh?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  11. I'm kinda late to this party, and I don't have anything fresh to add. And I'm going with the majority, too. Sheesh. But I've gotta go with the Kinks. Always hated their name, but love their sound.

    1. SUSAN ~
      I'm glad you're here though.

      Better late than never. (That line's not exactly fresh either, but just as true.)

      Thanks for your vote. You still got it in with a day to spare.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

  12. Al Bondigas here. I go with VH barely. I like the Kinks singer better, but the energy, and especially the guitar work in the VH version wins the day. Wish I could go with the kinks, but, got to keep it honest. That's it. That's my rulin.

  13. STMcC’s Vote On ‘BOTB #23’
    And The Final Tally:

    Well, I gotta say that the results of this ‘BOTB’ installment surprised me. I expected that both bands would get votes, but I also guessed that Van Halen would probably win this battle by a 2 to 1 margin. Instead, The Kinks won it, but by the narrowest margin possible.

    I will tell you that I liked The Kinks’ original recording of ‘You Really Got Me’ just fine (and even owned it on LP) until 1978. That’s when I heard the Van Halen cover and realized just how powerful that song could really sound.

    Say what we will about David Lee Roth’s so-called “singing”, but at the seven second mark of ‘You Really Got Me’, when he goes “OOH!”, we know immediately that we’re on an “E Ticket” ride!

    I’m not going to overanalyze this one, because I think Ray Davies (one of the brothers who founded The Kinks) said it best. He was quoted in an interview as having said he loved the Van Halen cover of his song, and he made the following comparison: The original version (The Kinks) was like a prop plane and Van Halen's was like a jet fighter.

    Far be it from me to argue with Ray Davies about that; I think he NAILED IT!

    Nevertheless, The Kinks managed to squeeze out a victory in a damned close contest:

    The Kinks = 7 Votes
    Van Halen = 6 Votes

    As always, my thanks to ALL Y’ALL who voted, and I hope to see y’all back here again on the 15th for ‘BOTB’ #24.

    Yak Then.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted and responded to as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.