Kinks frontman Ray Davies wrote this song after the group's 1965 tour of the United States. The tour did not go well, with infighting, fatigue and a conflict with the musician's union that kept them from performing in the country for another four years.
Davies recovered from the tour with a vacation at the English resort town of Torquay, Devon. There, a wealthy hotel guest recognized him and asked Ray to play a round of golf. Far from being flattered by the invitation, he took great offense. "I'm not gonna play f--king golf with you," he told him. "I'm not gonna be your caddy so you can say you played with a pop singer."
Dense with lyrics describing the pretentious gentleman born to good fortune, Ray Davies says this was the first "word-oriented" song he wrote.
According to Jay Ferguson, composer of The Office (US) theme song, this was the placeholder theme for the show before he got the job.
John Lennon's lead guitar work on Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" proved to be his final creative act. It was upon their return home after completing laying down the track that Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman.