Dean Clough

December 2, 2022

Portico Darwin: The One About The Kinks & Generation Gaps


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Today - shocker - I will reflect back on a part of my life about which I'd like to brag.  But it's also kind of fun and a generational story. too.  It is also 100% KLUF.

It's about when I saw Ray Davies of The Kinks, in London, while I was working there in 1998.  Indeed, future blog posts may recount further highlights of that era.  You're welcome.  In advance.

Return with me now to Sea Containers House, in the East Bank district of central London.  I worked on and off here for a year, and full time during the summer of 1998.  Yes, it was directly on The Thames. 

That's not the story.  At least not for today.

One day - and OMFG in 1998, in London, at an old-line company like Sea Containers (my client), every lunch was like this - we went to a pub.  Destinations differed, but that day, it was the nearby Mulberry Bush, a go-to and the definition of Textbook.  It also happened to be right across from a TV studio. 

It was a pretty normal lunch.  I probably had 2 or 3 imperial pints of ale, busted balls with my colleagues, and took in the scene.  But I was fairly stunned and very amused to look outside that day and see Ray Davies, coming out of the TV studio across the narrow road from our pub. 

For you kids out there, most would consider The Kinks next in stature after The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who in terms of British Invasion bands.  So, at least to me then and now, seeing Ray Davies is not all that much less significant than seeing Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger or Roger Daltrey.

But that didn't mean shit to my colleague, the young and aspiring football hooligan, Marc Bass.  Marc worked in the telecom group for Sea Containers, was 23 or 24, and was nothing if not the definition of a British lad. 

Because as I was pointing and foaming at the mouth and proclaiming "There's Ray Davies!  There's Ray Davies!", Marc looked at me, and with a completely straight face, asked in his rather guttural East Ender accent:

"Who the fuck is Ray Davies, mate?"

It didn't help that, after my explanation, he asked "Who the fuck are The Kinks?"


Holy smokes, but my watch story brought out one from Arthur.  With a photo, even!

Saw your Omega story and was reminded of my old Seiko.  It was a birthday gift from my parents in 1975.  They also gave my brother one just like it but in blue.  I wore it every day until 6 months later when it was stolen from my gym locker.  I assumed it was gone forever, but several weeks later, my ex-military, hard-ass gym teacher figured out who stole it and it was returned to me.

I stopped wearing it when digital watches came out, then stopped wearing a watch altogether when cell-phones came out.

This year I noticed we had a drawer full of watches requiring battery changes, so I bought some tools and replaced them all myself.  I saw the old Seiko in there and replaced it's broken band, shook it around to wind it, and it immediately started working.  I wore it for a day and it gained an hour.  I opened it up and set the time Vernier, but it still ran fast.  Then I remembered why I stopped wearing it:  it never kept good time, even when new.  I could take it in and have it refurbished, but for that charge I could buy a better quality new one, so it still sits in a drawer while I wear a quartz watch which is accurate within 2 seconds a month.
Nostalgia is a funny thing...
OK - so Arthur repairs watches now?
Next, it's major birthday wishes tomorrow to the rapidly aging Steven Simon.  60!  We grew up together in Albany and have remained close since - our relationship spans six decades.  Here we are during one of his (too rare) visits to SF in 2017.  Happy birthday, my friend. 

Fun Fact:  never lacking for confidence, Steven would often wow us as kids with some obscure intellectual factoid.  Each time, I would say, "Steven, you're my hero."  And - with perfect timing - his response was always, "And I should be."   

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


Just take a wild guess.  But I really hope you'll listen to this personally curated playlist of The Kinks finest, deemed so by yours truly.

Are these guys appreciated enough?  I say no - listen to these 27 tracks on the playlist above and tell me I'm wrong.  

About Dean Clough