Why Didn't The Kinks Catch On In America? Their Self-Destructive Story

By Kellar Ellsworth
The Kinks in 1965: Ray Davies, Pete Quaife, Dave Davies and Mick Avory holding playing cards (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

The Kinks are responsible for many rock classics, including "You Really Got Me," "All Day And All Of The Night," and "Tired Of Waiting For You." Those three early hits came out in 1964-65, when The Kinks were part of the British Invasion, and all made the top ten of the U.S. Billboard pop chart. Then the group essentially sat out the rest of the decade, as far as American listeners were concerned -- it wasn't until "Lola," in 1970, that the Kinks would again crack the U.S. top ten.

This absence was actually more like exile. The Kinks weren't welcome in the States. Just as their musical star was rising, they irritated the powers that be in the American concert business, and earned a ban that lasted four years. Like overserved party guests, they were asked to leave, and not invited back.