My sixtieth birthday is coming up next year and I’m planning a birthday party at Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Hawaii. Why not, it’s a huge birthday. Anyway, I’m flying out a band from New York called Paprika and I have one request: I wanna close out the evening by jumping onstage and belting out Lola – the Kinks’ 1970 tranny anthem – with the fantastic musicians in the band.
I can see it now. The breeze off the ocean will float over the beautiful gray-blue Hawaiian evening as everyone chants Lola’s beautiful name and the girls in the band put down their instruments and pick up their drums, come down off the stage and circle the delirious crowd and we dance the night away. Perfection.
Ray Davies wrote Lola and he also sings it. A few weeks ago he was walking around his old haunts in New York with a writer from The New Yorker when he passed the Tip Top shoe store. It turns out that he used to buy his stage shoes there and he bought girls shoes. He bought the largest size he could find from a line of shoes put out by one Chrissie Evert. Yes, that Chrissie Evert.