The Kinks Show That Was Promoted By A Serial Killer

In 1965, The Kinks embarked on a US tour, an experience that quickly turned sour. The band received a four-year ban from the country because of their antics at these concerts, which were deemed unprofessional by the American Federation of Musicians. However, this was not the only significance of these shows.

The fifth date of the tour in Springfield was thrown together in a rush and suffered from low attendance. To boost interest, the show was promoted by The Jaycees, with their vice president, a then shoe salesman named John Wayne Gacy. Little did anyone know that the group’s sponsor would later be convicted as a notorious serial killer.

After the performance, the businessman threw a party for The Kinks and invited them to his house for drinks. For reasons varying from an unusual smell invading the house to the strange aura the host radiated, the band decided to seek hotel rooms instead of spending the night at the place.

Years later, the band’s intuition proved to be painfully accurate. Gacy, who also doubled as a children’s entertainer known as Pogo the Clown, was discovered to be a serial killer responsible for the brutal murders of 33 young men and children. His reign of terror ended in 1994 when he was executed.

Dave Davies recalled this peculiar encounter with the man in his autobiography, ‘Living On A Thin Line.’ According to what he recalled, he had a poor judgment of character when he thought Gacy was a kind person.

Reflecting on the experience, the musician wrote:

“He threw us a party, and I felt he was a really nice guy. Which shows what a good judge of character I was.”

In an eerie twist of fate, two years after their encounter with the murderer, The Kinks guitarist also wrote the song ‘Death of a Clown.’ While the lyrics bear no relevance to the serial killer, the title itself casts a shadow of irony over his demise.