The Kinks will celebrate #LolaDay – Two years before an official Gay Pride rally arrived in the United Kingdom, the Kinks released one of pop’s first big hits with an L.G.B.T. theme
Recorded at Morgan Studios during the early months of 1970, Lola’s precise inspiration has been up for discussion during each of those five decades, but it’s safe to say came from somewhere out of the hedonistic London parties at which the Davies brothers were, once upon a time, keen regulars.(liveforever.uk.co)
In 1970, homosexual acts were still outlawed in parts of the United Kingdom and would remain so for more than a decade. Yet two years before the nation even had its first official Gay Pride rally, the quintessentially British songwriter Ray Davies of the Kinks wrote “Lola,” a song that embraced a full spectrum of gender nonconformity. “Girls will be boys/and boys will be girls,” he sang, before emphasizing “it’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world/except for Lola.”
“I remember going into a music store on Shaftesbury Avenue when we were about to make Lola,” Ray Davies recalls. “I said, ‘I want to get a really good guitar sound on this record, I want a Martin’. And in the corner they had this old 1938 Dobro that I bought for £150. I put them together on Lola, which is what makes that clangy sound: the combination of the Martin and the Dobro with heavy compression.”
The band’s break from touring the U.S. gave Davies the chance to soar creatively, leading to his first concept albums, “The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society” and “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire).” But with “Lola” he aimed squarely at the charts. For a fresh sound, Davies sought an instrument that would stand out on the radio. He found it in a National resonator guitar, a brand of dobro that has the hard, tinny sound of a banjo. “My dad was a banjo player,” Davies said. “He said, ‘If you want a hit record, you have to get a banjo on it.’ The National guitar was the next best thing.”
The Kinks lately had release a 50th anniversary edition of Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire on October 25th.“I started Arthur before the end of Village Green.” Ray Davies recalls. “The albums piggyback one another because they are joined. I’d already written the song Arthur.”
“I think I wrote Australia when I was still living at 87 Fortis Green so it was quite early on. I remember taking it over to Dave, he lived in Cockfosters at the time, and playing it to him. We were laughing at the irony in the line, ‘nobody’s got a chip on their shoulder’.”
Among the special features are brand new Doo Wop Choir recordings; the unfinished Dave Davies solo album which was also being recorded at the time; new Ray Davies remixes and previously unreleased tracks which include The Future, streaming below.
“One of the reasons the album wasn’t finished was because I felt The Kinks’ management and record company were forcing me too much,” Dave Davies reflects on the solo album. “I felt very comfortable being in The Kinks and it seemed fulfilling to be part of a band. I didn’t really want for more. I couldn’t see the point.”
Ray Davies says the band is making a new album, plus they plan to play show.They’re also reviving and re-recording old and unreleased Kinks material
Dave Davies has confirmed that he and his brother Ray Davies are currently in the studio working on new Kinks music.
The much-loved band first signalled their intention to return back in June 2018 when Ray disclosed that he was reforming The Kinks with Dave and original drummer Mick Avory, and that the band were set to begin work on new material.
The group formed in 1963 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. The band’s last album was 1994’s ‘To The Bone’ and the Davies brothers haven’t performed together since 1996.
“I think it’s kind of an appropriate time to do it,” he told Channel 4 News. He said he had been working in the studio with his brother Dave Davies and band mate Mick Avory, which has led to the pair making amends.
Work was initially geared towards working on tracks for the upcoming 50th anniversary reissue of their 1969 album ‘Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)’.
“That’s virtually done,” Dave said, noting that the reissue would be released in time for the October anniversary. “It’s a really, really interesting package that’s going to have other songs from that time period like [my solo song]‘Hold My Hand.’”
“The trouble is, the two remaining members – my brother Dave and Mick – never got along very well,” he added. “But I’ve made that work in the studio and it’s fired me up to make them play harder, and with fire.”
“It won’t be well-organised like the Rolling Stones,” Davies added. “You must praise The Rolling Stones for being great at publicity and a great band great at organizing their careers and Mick [Jagger] has done an incredible PR job and it’s kind of inspiring to see them doing it.”
“But The Kinks will probably be playing the local bar.”
“I’ve got all these songs that I wrote for the band when we – not broke up – parted company, and I think it’s kind of an appropriate time to do it.
When pressed if The Kinks were really uniting, Sir Ray said: “Officially we are… in the pub later on.”