THE KINKS star Ray Davies told hospital publicists in New Orleans, Louisiana to lie about the severity of his injuries following a shooting incident in 2004, in a bid to thwart the local press.

Reporters and photographers gathered outside Charity Hospital, where he was taken after he was shot in the leg by a robber, prompting publicists to ask the rocker what he wanted them to say.

He recalls, "There I was, 12 hours after being shot, on all these respirators and things and I said, 'Tell them it was a flesh wound and I checked out and flew back to England.'"

That was the story that ran in the international media, but Davies admits the truth was much worse.

He explains, "The reality was that I stayed in the hospital for a few weeks, and I had two quite serious operations.

"My leg actually broke. They led me to the bathroom, and that's when it snapped."