The Kinks

The Kinks on Top of the PopsThe Kinks had hits through the Sixties and Seventies and into the Eighties and are apparently preparing now for a comeback. Some of their major hits are still played on ‘classic’ radio and have been covered by other artists, for instance You Really Got Me Going, Sunny Afternoon, Waterloo Sunset. My favourite song of theirs was Lola.

As a child I knew that The Kinks had their name because they were supposed to be kinky. Though I didn’t know exactly what ‘kinky’ was supposed to mean, I knew it was something a bit naughty and worth a giggle. So although to say you liked The Kinks wasn’t quite as shocking as saying you liked the Sex Pistols, it still got a raised eyebrow.

The Kinks' single cover for LolaMy mum had an album with the ‘Greatest Hits’ of the Sixties and Seventies on it which I used to play a lot as a child. I’m sure that this was in the Seventies, which is ironic but not unusual. Lola was one of the songs on this album. I played it over and again trying to work out the lyrics.

It seemed to me to be a story about a man who went to a bar and danced with someone who he thought was a woman but who turned out to be a man dressed as a woman. Pretty shocking for 1970, though it seems quite tame today. Robbie Williams has covered the song for a special BBC thing, and I’m sure that’s actually a woman in the video snogging him.

I changed the lyrics slightly in my head to make it about a woman dressed as a man, as I usually did. But my favourite bit wasn’t the insinuation of kinky sex, but the mention of cherry cola which I loved but which wasn’t readily available then.

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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