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The Kinks

Barrie Wentzell

The Kinks

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The Kinks, Hampstead Heath, London, 1968, Barrie Wentzell.

“This session with The Kinks was held on Hampstead Heath. It was one of Ray's favourite places to do photos and interviews, as we’d often had tea and a chat at Kenwood House on The Heath. We strolled over the Heath for an hour taking pictures of the band on a lazy, hazy sunny day. At the end of the shoot we all went up to Kenwood House to partake in tea and currant buns. This was the last shoot I did with the original band, which included Pete Quaife.

A week later I got a call from Ray Davies to ask if I had any colour shots of the shoot, I said, “Yes,” and he said he’ll come by to take a look. He arrived at my Soho studio later that day and said, “Quick come with me to Pye Records, so we can take a look there.” As we were speeding up the Edgware Road he told me about the album idea. The old pubs, houses, steam trains, village greens and old London was disappearing before our eyes—very sadly romantic and nostalgic and true! I left the colour shots with the Pye art department, as Ray went off up north for a Kinks gig and I went home.

When the album Village Green Preservation Society came out, I saw one of my colour pictures on the back cover. The cover picture was by one of the other photographers at the session and was overlaid with psychedelic effects. I somehow forgot to ask Pye for payment, and for them to return the transparencies, which wasn’t unusual back then. It was considered an honour and a privilege to do things for free. It was many years later that I did get paid for use of the photos, when Village Green was reissued, and Ray in his book X Ray said I did all the photos for the original album. Not true! But thanks Ray for the Days!” - Barrie Wentzell, as excerpted from Barrie’s forthcoming book.

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