On June 30, 2004, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies’ life changed forever.
The day started out ordinarily enough as Davies was making the rounds promoting his then latest solo release, Bug.
He had just finished an interview at the London offices of the BBC and was leaving with his son. As they entered the elevator, something went seriously wrong.
Recounting the strange events, Davies says, “Luckily, it didn’t happen when I was on the air; it happened when I got into the elevator. I just semi-collapsed. It was a very surreal experience. There was not any pain, but the whole world just turned upside down.”
Davies had suffered a severe stroke. He attempted to get up and tried to speak, but his physical body was divorced from his brain.
“I wasn’t scared; l was just confused,” continues Davies. “When I collapsed, my son got the ambulance. I couldn’t stand up. I tried to speak, but I couldn’t. My thinking was perfectly clear, but I couldn’t do anything. The first two days, I couldn’t walk at all. My thought process was really clear, and it really made it a bit spooky.”
Rehabbing a fractured mind
Davies was taken to the hospital where he remained until Aug. 27, 2004. During that time, he had to relearn nearly everything. Davies explained how he stayed strong during the stressful days ahead.
“I was not going to give up — that would be stupid. There were people in the hospital that had MS and that had really bad brain tumors. I found that those people were very positive. I knew I had no right to complain. I was the most healthy person in that rehab, and I had no right to feel sorry for myself at all. It was curious, but I really felt akin to these people who had such a positive outlook. They really astonished me.”
Seeing others in more dire straits who were willing to give it their all inspired Davies and gave him strength. He slowly regained his speech and his ability to walk, but being a lifelong musician, there was still one thing Davies desperately needed to overcome.
“I couldn’t play guitar. The whole right side of my body was virtually numb for the first few days. It took six months of rehab and exercise to try and get it back. While I was in the hospital, I had my guitar. I used to take it to bed with me. I would touch it and smell it, and press my fingers on it. Your body knows that it is not connecting all the messages properly, but your muscles have memory. You have to teach your body to function again.”
At first, Dave had a very difficult time relearning how to play guitar and sing at the same time, but eventually, he re-trained himself how to be a musician. Now, less than four years after his stroke he has released a new album, titled Fractured Mindz. Davies admits the subject matter on the title track was personal in nature.
“Emotionally it was hard, because I was dealing with subjects that were painful. Fractured Mindz is about me having a stroke, and that is something that really affects you,” Dave continues. “It is not over ’til it’s over. I am not the type of person that can sit around and mope and not work. The creative process has been such a big part of my life that I couldn’t stop it just because I got ill. Mentally and emotionally, I am about 200 percent better, but physically, I am probably 99.9 percent better, but I still have a ways to go.
Davies found artistic freedom during the writing of Fractured Mindz. In his life with the Kinks, Dave had to compromise wit