The New York Dolls, along with Iggy Pop and The Stooges are considered to be the inventing forces behind the music that became known as “Punk” rock.
The Dolls came on the scene from New York City in 1972 and literally and figuratively blew the city away. Dressing up like women and belting out raw, sweaty, pulsating blues licks, it might have seemed to many that this group of five men came from the planet Mars.
They quickly became incandescent the city, and were by far and away the toughest ticket in town. Led by singer David Johansen and guitarist Johnny Thunders, the Dolls are and where a one in a billion type band. They directly spawned bands like the Ramones and the Clash, along with today’s punk derivations The Strokes and The White Stripes. A young Steven Morrissey of The Smiths fame credits the Dolls with getting him interested in becoming a musician, and indeed he started the UK New York Dolls fan club in 1974. Over the past two years, he has been instrumental in getting the Dolls to reunite after thirty years apart. Unfortunately, only two of the original five are still alive.
You see, this was a true mother fucking rock and roll band–Thunders and Billy Mure both died of heroin overdoses, and tragically bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane died suddenly two years ago of undiagnosed leukemia. But don’t let that get you down, Johansen still is the quintessential frontman and original guitarist Sylvain. Sylvain will still blow out your ears.
I do not think I am exaggerating by saying one of their shows will be the monumental rock concert to witness. Three hundred years from now, when music historians are writing about rock and roll, punk music will be a very important chapter of that history. Punk and The Dolls were spawned in the filthy, bankrupt, rat infested, no mans land that was New York City in the early 70’s in order to save Rock and Roll from itself. This Wednesday we witnessed history, the rock and roll equivalent of watching Van Gogh paint.
Little Stevenâ€™s Underground Garage Tour this summer, they roll into Irving Plaza in mid tour. The Supersuckers, going on right before the Dolls were great, I must check them out again
Some photos to be added later. Or Try Brian Romero’s here