Dan Kandel, IHEG's man on the street, waxes glamorous about the New York Dolls.
It was 1972 when they hit, Lou Reed started wearing eyeliner & had incorporated faux “street” images like shooting heroin into his show, while the Dolls’ guitarist Johnny Thunders was falling off the stage & actually shooting junk in public view-just to get thru an evening’s set.
They dressed like Trannies with hairdo’s that not even the Glam crowd wanted to imitate & consumed every drug that
Pre-Ramones & Pre-Pistols by 1974 the Dolls created the very template, that their then manager, Malcolm McClaren, would take back to the UK & recycle to sell the Sex Pistols a few years later ( not withstanding the guitar that jumpstarted that band – as McClaren stole Dolls’ Syl Sylvain’s white Les Paul guitar & passed it on to Pistol Steve Jones.) “ I was trying to do with the Sex Pistols what I had failed (to do) with the New York Dolls” Malcolm has frequently stated.
Singer David Johansen is often overshadowed by the deified junkie Johnny Thunders by most music critics & David’s re-invention of himself as (alter-ego “lounge” crooner) Buster Pointdexter in the 80’s didn’t exactly help. While the Heartbreakers & other post-dolls project’s are hailed as Punk masterpieces it seems that Johansen was always sold short. One need only hear the full length version of “The David Johansen Group Live”(1978) to realize what great performer & vocal stylist of his caliber could do in a group not mired down by drugs ( or ALOT less drugs at least)!
That is precisely what makes this opportunity to see the current New York Dolls line-up, with surviving members Johansen & Sylvain, such a rare treat & WHERE they should be seen!! not in a concert venue. In a Bar!! & in range of having David’s malevolent Jaggeresque lips landing spittle on your new Chuck Taylor’s during “Looking for Kiss”. See ya there! I’ll be in the pit… Get tickets here.
New York Dolls 6/25 @ Pearl Street