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Baker's Dozen

Access All Areas: Barbara Charone’s Baker’s Dozen
Lucy O'Brien , June 22nd, 2022 11:06

The legendary music PR talks to Lucy O’Brien about the albums and the people who have most inspired her, from the Rolling Stones to Madonna, and why artists aren’t necessarily your friends


The Kinks – The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

I was an avid Kinks fan, I was probably the only kid in America who had their 1967 album Something Else. The Kinks, as Ray Davies will tell you, should have been much bigger in America. There's millions of reasons why they weren't [one of which involves a fight in a US TV studio with a snarky producer]. But they had this run of four or five albums in a row which was unbelievable - from Something Else to The Village Green Preservation Society, to Arthur, and Muswell Hillbillies in 1971. They played into my love of England. When I first came to London and walked along Waterloo Bridge, all I could think of was the Kinks’ song [‘Waterloo Sunset’]. And I actually went to the Archway Tavern, the pub on the cover of Muswell Hillbillies. Village Green was quintessentially English – you listen to it now with the Queen's Jubilee and every song still sounds unbelievable.

I once saw Ray before I knew him or interviewed him in the lobby of a musical in the West End, and I was just like, starstruck. I later wrote about the Kinks a lot when I was at Sounds in the mid-70s. Even though they got great reviews they didn't sell. In those days, you know, I used to read Rolling Stone religiously. They had such great writers and if an album sounded good you would just go buy it, so I spent all my money on records and concert tickets, and got an after school job working in a record store.