The Story Of The Song “Lola” By The Kinks

From the Kinks’ 1970 album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround is the classic track, “Lola”. This track was inspired by the story of the band’s manager getting too drunk at a club and danced with a woman – who apparently was a man but he was too drunk to notice.

In the song, the guy takes Lola home where he finds out that Lola is a man, where writer Ray Davies said, “‘Lola’ was a love song, and the person they fall in love with is a transvestite. It’s not their fault – they didn’t know – but you know it’s not going to last. It was based on a story about my manager.” He further expounded on the encounter, saying, “The song came out of an experience in a club in Paris. I was dancing with this beautiful blonde, then we went out into the daylight and I saw her stubble. So I drew on that but colored it in, made it more interesting lyrically.”

While the subject was quite controversial when in nature, Davies said, “The subject matter was concealed. It’s a crafty way of writing. I say, ‘She woke up next to me,’ and people think it’s a woman. The story unfolds better than if the song were called ‘I Dated a Drag Queen.’”

“Lola” was the Kinks’ ticket back to America as they were waning in demand in the previous years, even leading to an effective ban on them since they couldn’t make big gigs. Dave Davies wanted credits on this track as he was responsible for the riff, but only Ray was credited for the song. This added to the already brewing tension between the brothers.

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