In 1968, while most rock bands were going as far out into psychedelic territory as they possibly could, the Kinks released the commercial flop The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, which has since become a cult classic and a favorite among Kinks fans. In fact, local Kinks tribute band the Village Green like it so much, they named their band after it.
“It was a very British album. It talked about going out and having afternoon tea and preserving the tradition of the Village Green,” says guitarist Jeff Ebbage. “There was nothing psychedelic about it. It wasn’t what was popular. That meant that people got into it because they looked for it, and something about it really resonated.”
The Village Green does play hits like “You Really Got Me” and “Lola,” but they also dig deep into obscure cuts from the late ’60s and early ’70s, when the group was getting really experimental and mixing musical theatre and opera into its music.
The group doesn’t play much. In fact, it exists almost exclusively to raise money for Guitars Not Guns, which helps put instruments in the hands of disadvantaged kids. They’ve also recorded an album of Kinks songs to sell and raise more money for this organization. Sometime later this year, they hope to release a second album for the nonprofit.
After all, the Kinks are the perfect vehicle to celebrate everyone’s weird side and encourage creativity in kids.
“The Kinks were misfits. When you get the misfits together, it’s a beautiful thing,” Ebbage says. “There was the Beatles, the Stones and then the Kinks, and they were on the fringe. Us collectively all getting together and celebrating the stuff, it’s powerful.”
INFO: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. Michael’s On Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $12. 479-9777.