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"X-Ray: The Unauthorized Autobiography," by Ray Davies....


"X-Ray: The Unauthorized Autobiography," by Ray Davies. New York: Overlook Press. 420 pages. $24.95

Ray Davies of the Kinks is arguably the most literate of the songwriters who burst into prominence during pop music's mid-1960s British invasion.

Here he turns to the printed page with an account of his life up to 1973. It's quirky and Mr. Davies offers startlingly candid nonfiction remembrances of Mod London. You get the inside line on a slew of Kinks classics and as the pages turn, your mental jukebox goes from song to song.

Ray Davies is, by turns, rock 'n' roll dandy/rake, rueful family man, mincing intellect and ranting traditionalist. And, as author and subject, a cool though wistful old goat with great vignettes.

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