In a 1990 interview with Stay Thirsty Media, Dave Davies revealed the inspirations for "Strangers," which is one of hardcore Kinks' fans' favorite songs, though it's somewhat lesser-known among general audiences because it was never released as a single.
Davies explained that the initial idea came from Hank Williams' "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive," which inspired the "Strangers" line, "If I live too long, I'm afraid I'll die." Davies found the line funny. The song got more serious, though, and eventually came to be about Davies' old school friend George Harris.
"We were dear friends," Davies said. "Actually, George and I were going to start a band, but he got too heavily into drugs and it kind of pulled us apart. The drug thing was like a three-way affair. He died of a methamphetamine overdose. They found him departed... he was young. I always felt it was going to be me and him. I didn't think at that age that it was going to be me and Ray. So I really kind of wrote it to him; 'Strangers on this road we are on, we are not two we are one.' It was like, what might of been if he hadn't died so tragically."
"Strangers" and "Rats" are the two Lola vs. Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part 1 songs written by Dave Davies.
"Strangers" is used in Wes Anderson's 2007 film, The Darjelling Limited. The movie also has the Kinks' "This Time Tomorrow" and "Powerman," both of which are also on the Lola album.