All posts tagged: New York Dolls

johnny-thunders

DVD REVIEW: “Looking For Johnny – The Legend of Johnny Thunders”

As unusual as it is to think of a hardcore heroin addict as a “legend”, that word is truly applicable to the one and only Johnny Thunders, guitarist with The New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers.  Thunders is a myth, a ghost, a story, a hero, a villain and a tragic superstar who never made it big but was and, 23 years after his death, still is larger than life.  Looking For Johnny – The Legend of Johnny Thunders helps shed a broader light on that still-beloved myth. This documentary traces Thunders’ (John Genzale) early years in Queens, New York; his pain of growing up without a father and being bitten by the rock & roll bug after being a skilled baseball player as a teen.  His joining up with the band that became the New York Dolls sealed his reputation; upon their split in 1975, his forming the Heartbreakers with ex-Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan sealed his legend.  There are many testimonials and recollections by friends such as the Dolls’ Syl Sylvain; Walter Lure of …

pnk

Punk: A Braindump

You know the rest of the Twenty-Teens will be a hard slog when even the quality of our rebellion is mediocre. Look at the so-called “rebels” in today’s pop culture and what you really see are an endless stream of media frenemies, declaring their disdain for any number of departments while alternately being the exemplars of the same. In every sense, they ridicule the “cool kids” while concurrently emulating them…all “beef” and no balls, some might say. Not that this is such a new occurrence — human beings in general have gotten their “hate on” mostly out of envy, acted out as a duplication of the subject of note, not a departure from it. In terms of being content providers, previous generations at least tried to do it with some style. Their raised middle fingers weren’t crossed. Their anger wasn’t supposed to be empowerment, it was supposed to be anger. In the 1970s, in both the U.S. and the U.K. there was plenty to be angry about. Over there, the very real sense of class …

Lo-Fi Mojo: New York Dolls

In the short history of ’70s-era punk rock, and the longer, larger arc of rock music in general, the New York Dolls were the crucial link between the Rolling Stones, the MC5 and the Stooges and the Ramones, Sex Pistols and all that came after. Fusing a raw, unschooled approach to bare-bones rock & roll with flamboyant style (makeup and ladies clothing and accessories weren’t exactly de rigeur in 1972, and true glam rock came later), outsider lyrical themes and imagery and a musical penchant for earlier rock forms (’50s R&B, girl groups, etc.), the Dolls’ artistic influence far outreached their commercial success. Originally released in 1981 on a cassette-only (!) release courtesy of ROIR – aka, Reach Out International Records, purveyors of fine punk and new wave and more for about 30 years now – and available on CD for almost 10 years now, Lipstick Killers: Mercer Street Sessions, 1972 captured the original New York Dolls at almost the very beginning of their storied and historic career, four months in. It’s also one of …