Simeon Perlin (bartender and actor) tuned up his guitar and lead us in some well-known songs from the Kinks kanon....percussion accompaniment being beaten out with cutlery or (in my case) by shaking a small tin of throat sweets more or less to extinction (or very small pieces). We remembered the long gone summer with Sunny Afternoon, well dressed Englishmen with Dedicated Follower of Fashion and recessions past and present with Dead End Street.
Mick and his girlfriend Marliesa came in from the cold after we had sung the first round of songs and Simeon had wandered off to the bar to go back to work. Mick posed for some photos with George and chatted to the fans.
Suddenly Ray appeared, wearing a grey beret, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed and he and Mick posed for photos with George and then with the fans. He stayed for a little while and then left us before we started on another round of Kinks songs
An amazing buffet appeared on the long table which was one of the tastiest I have seen. The food was absolutely delicious - rustic breads, fat prawns, various meats, potato croquettes, bowls of chips, a selection of cheeses and fruit - a cornucopia of culinary creation.
A tv was playing video klips kompiled by one of the fans and at 10.35 this was tuned into the BBC for the documentary on Ray. It was pretty surreal sitting in the Clissold Arms' front room, where across the road in the front room of 6 Denmark Terrace the Kinks story had begun.
I got a bit misty eyed when I thanked George for the wonderful evening. It was just over a year ago that a couple of us had spoken to him about his plans for the front room, and to see his dream come true was a delight. It's not only a delight for George, but also for the fans who were very upset when the the last owners of the Clissold had absolutely no interest in the Kinks heritage. However we are back where we belong, in a room which is the acme of display art. George Karageorgis Thinks Visual! Olga Ruocco