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Only Joe King

A light-hearted look at life in Andalucía and Spain in general. Its good points and its bad. This blog doesn't pull any punches.

“Lola, She Was a Showgirl…..”
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 @ 12:43 PM

Joe King has known five Lola’s in his life – one was a transvestite; two are animals; and the other two are/were ….. show-girls!









Lola the “Tranny”

The first Lolwas the presumed transvestite in the 1970 pop hit “Lola” by The Kinks. Although I rocked along to this controversial* song at the time of its release (I was 20 back then), it took on a new significance 45 years later when my actor son Tom Whitelock appeared as the bassist Pete Quaife in a year-long run in the award-winning West-End musical “Sunny Afternoon” at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London.Tom Whitelock

*The song was originally banned by the BBC because the lyrics contained a reference to the commercial product Coca Cola. This was later changed to Cherry Cola and the song was allowed to be played.


Lola, the Original Showgirl

My second Lola was the protagonist in Barry Manilow’s seminal 1978 work “Copacabana”. Lola was the poor unfortunate showgirl in his most famous song. She had a s**t life, ending up as a jaded, ageing showgirl mourning the loss of her murdered lover Tony.


Two Animal Lola’s

The third and fourth Lola's were both animals – pets. Lola the donkey, lovely beast, is my next-door neighbour. When I was in the garden, she always used to come to the fence to say hello and I love her to bits for the unconditional love she offered back.

The only problem with Lola is that she likes to do the donkey equivalent of singing in the shower – at 3.00 in the morning!

She still lives next door, but no longer comes to the fence to say hello, for she is tethered. The reason being that she preferred the grass on my side of the fence, and over several weeks earlier this year, in trying to reach it, she destroyed 60 metres of my wire fencing.

So, she is now hobbled, to prevent her doing further damage while I am in dispute with Lola’s owner over who pays for new fencing.

The other animal Lola is an altogether more unpleasant beast, a horrible dog that lives in the village, and is never on a leash.

Not only did she bite me on the leg last year, but she also takes great delight in crapping in front of my front door. I’ve placed five-litre plastic bottles of water there (the local Spanish do that, and it seems to work for them) and I’ve disinfected the area with the Spanish equivalent of TCP, but Lola still manages to dump on my doormat on an almost daily basis.

In truth, I don’t know that it is Lola, but it is! And if I can get a photo of her in flagrante delicto I can denounce her owner who will cop a fine of 1500€!

Be neighbourly, I hear you cry. Not in this case!


Lola, the 12-year-old Showgirl

The fifth Lola is a delight, the 12-year-old daughter of a Chilean mother and a German father. The family lived for a couple of years in the next village, but Lola and her dad are now back in Germany.

Lola really was a “showgirl”. I met her at the local drama group Proyecto Platea in Ronda, where we were both members.

Her first, and last, role was in “Le malade imaginaire” by Molière, in 2021.








“Her name is Lola, she was a showgirl
But that was 30 years ago, when they used to have a show
Now it’s a disco, but not for Lola
Still in the dress she used to wear, faded feathers in her hair
She sits there so refined, and drinks herself half-blind
She lost her youth and she lost her Tony
Now she’s lost her mind!”



© Joe King


Tags: Barry Manilow, Chilean, Copacabana, dog, donkey, German, Germany, Harold Pinter, Joe King, Kinks, Lola, Pete Quaife, Proyecto Platea, showgirl, Sunny Afternoon, Tom Whitelock, transvestite, West-End

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