Forty-six years later, Kinks “K” schtick lives. Don’t blame me – blame publicist Brian Sommerville. He started it.

Here is my advice to you: if you don’t live in a town where you can go to a club and see some great local musicians get together and play great songs all night to benefit a great charity, then you should move to such a town. Forget the job market or affordable housing; this makes up for all that, trust me. Call me a little biased, but I think I’ve got something here.

Seattle and Seattle-ish residents packed the Sunset Tavern in Ballard last Friday night came together in celebration of a band that their fans love with all their hearts: THE KINKS. Sponsored by City Arts Magazine, Gibson Guitars, and Heineken (terribly appropriate, but I will save the Heineken Kinks stories for some other time. Maybe.), the evening’s monetary proceeds went in full to MusiCares. The Grammy peeps set up MusiCares in 1989 to assist those 99.9% of musicians and people in the surrounding business who are not wealthy and often do not have a lot in savings, health insurance, or the like. The foundation can provide funds and other resources for those music folks in need of help in the case of devastating personal circumstances, and is deeply appreciated by those who would otherwise been bankrupted or unable to rebuild their lives.

As soon as I found out about the Kinks Tribute Night (via the lovely and talented Dave Emlen’s Kinks klearinghouse of info and organized by Davies devotee and Seattle music scenester Kwab Copeland, no stranger to Kinks covers we see) I bought my tickets. No. I bought the tickets after I went WOOOOOOOOOOO! This is a town full of talented musicians, and it was gonna be HOT, that I knew. But would people come? It’s always a kwestion. For the one person you find who goes, “Oh, I LOVE the Kinks!” it seems there are 100 who go, “Eh? Are those the guys who did ‘Switchin’ To Glide?’” It’s been a lifelong rolleyes for me and many other Kinks fans. Their kareer has had so much funky krap, much of it self-generated, and the outcome of that is for many people the Kinks are off their radar or never made it on to begin with, and this is a shame. YOU know and I know that the Kinks provided us with some of the best rock n’ roll that was ever made, from the grinding punk power of “All Day and All of the Night” to the sweet transcendent sadness of “Waterloo Sunset” to the ultimate “does she or doesn’t she” question of the super-singalong “Lola” to the dorky fun arena rock of “Low Budget” and so much more. I got to the Sunset early-ish and grabbed a barstool near the stage, and I was a bit worried. Where was everyone? But my concern was silly; not 45 minutes after I arrived the place had sold out! Well, way to go, Seattle!

MC for the night was DJ Taco Supreme, who affably provided the intros and plugged MusiCares and Heineken (who donated a buck for every Heinie bought). First up: “The Quaifes,” featuring Kwab Copeland, Bill Herzog, Chris Lefebvre, Dan Peters and Ty Bailie, who were going to perform, in its entirety and in sequence, what is arguably the Kinks’ finest album, “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society,” released in the U.S. in 1969. Well, you gotta know this was extra-special for me (see my post on VGPS right….here). VGPS is one of those rare recordings where every single song is a complete, perfect little gem. It is a bit heartbreaking that so few people have ever been able to hear any of VGPS performed live. When the Kinks came back to the U.S. after their 4-yr. union ban, bassist Pete Quaife had left the band, John Dalton moved in, and the band was already moving on to “Arthur,” another tremendous set of songs. The last time I saw Ray Davies play, at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, the crowd was thrilled when he played “Johnny Thunder,” “The Village Green Preservation Society,” and “Starstruck.” The Quaifes brought VGPS to life again for the smiling fans at the Sunset, who nodded and and sang along with them. Here’s “Last of the Steam-Powered Trains,” with Matt Harvey bringing a smokin’ harmonica and Luciferian facial hair.

Look at all the bands on the bill!

I caught video on every one except for two acts, and I apologize. I was not quick enough on the ball to get marimba player Erin Jorgensen’s sweet two songs (and my god, that was some big marimba they got on and off the tiny stage) and I sadly ran out of memory space on both my small cameras by the time the rockin’ Raggedy Anns, the last act of the night, appeared.

The musical diversity shown was impressive, as was the enthusiasm each musician brought to their kovers. You had the feeling each one really wanted to knock it out of the park in honor of Ray, Dave, and Pals. You can watch all the vids if you go over to mah YouTube channel. Here’s a few to enjoy RIGHT NOW.

A dirrrrty cover of a dirrrrry garage band staple? YES! “I Need You” by the Small Change.

And if you wondered how much fun someone can have playing a Kinks song? Holy moly, check out “Father Christmas” by Jodie Watts!

Thank you, Kwab Kopeland and Komrades, for making a whole bunch of people happy, reppin’ for the Kinks, and providing MusiCares with nearly 2K of kold hard kash! I hear tell The Quaifes may be making a reappearance at the Seattle premiere of “Do It Again” at the Northwest Film Forum this fall, so don’t miss that!

And, in the lasting and good-hearted spirit of Kinks Kovers, I’m gonna suck it up and bring you possibly the oddest, sloppiest version of “Last of the Steam-Powered Trains” ever to be played on radio – the wonderful WORT-FM in Madison, WI. From the cassette vaults, Ladies & Gentlemen, The Performa-Chords.

Teenaged, beered to the hilt, playing electric guitar, and flubbing through song lyrics while COMPLETELY PRONE ON THE FLOOR THE WHOLE TIME is no way to go through life, Marianne. At least not more than a few times.

Yes, the drums were beer cans.