The Detroit Post
Sunday, 16 May, 2021

Amazon New York Doll Collection

Ava Flores
• Tuesday, 17 November, 2020
• 7 min read

You know, sometimes you come into the studio and start playing something just to see if your arms still move,” says David Johansen, his ravaged baritone rumbling and scraping down the telephone line. His tone is so confidential that I want to say, yes, I do know how that happens, as if I too had spent four decades kicking around the back alleys of rock 'n' roll, as if I too were a NewYorkDoll.

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A lot of people in rock would like to be one of the New York Dolls these days, or at least to have a share in the veneration that has somehow accrued to this influential, long-dormant, now resurgent band. Widely ignored during what should have been their heyday in the early seventies, the Dolls, who were punk and glam before either had caught on in North America, have returned as everybody's favorite overlooked band from the past.

This time, after a well-publicized reunion show in 2004 (engineered by Morris), they scarcely had to ask for a record contract, or for the concert dates that have kept them busy pretty much ever since. Johansen, who had a brief burst of club success in the eighties as lounge lizard Buster Pondexter, scrabbled in obscurity for too long to be chary about this late-blooming interest in his rock career.

The prevailing tone in Johansen's lyrics is introspective and philosophical, as he muses about karma, authenticity and the damages inflicted by life on the living. “Hate how the myth of separation / really cast a spell on me,” he sings in Making Rain, in one line evoking both the Buddha and Screaming' Jay Hawkins.

The Dolls travelled to Hawaii to make the record with Todd Lindgren, who produced their debut album in 1973. “We were on this lava flow, with palm trees, and this nice house overlooking the ocean,” Johansen says.

Several songs were worked up from sketches Johansen had recorded to his computer in QuickTime (“I didn't even use a real microphone”), and others came about spontaneously, including a ska version of the Dolls' signature tune, Trash. “Somebody started playing that song, and we all kind of joined in, and Todd taped it all, and when we listened to it, we thought, 'Yeah, let's keep that',” he says.

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As for Buster Pondexter, “He's doing an extensive stay at the Betty Ford clinic,” says Johansen. “I recently did, for lack of a better word, a classical piece for the arts council in my hometown rd quo; he says.

Simply remove the carrier to use the stroller in regular position for another adventuring option. New York DollsBackground informationOrigin New York City, United StatesGenresHard rock, proto-punk, glam rock Years active1971–1977, 2004–present Labels Mercury, Roadrunner, ATC, 429 Members David Johansen Sylvain Sylvain Brian DelaneyClaton Pitchers members Johnny Thunders Arthur Kane Billy Murcia Rick Rivets Jerry Nolan Peter Jordan Black Lawless Chris Robinson Tony Machine Bobby Blaine Steve Contrary PowellSami Mafia Brian Quinn Frank InfanteJason Hill Jason SutterAaron Lee Tasman John Cone Kenny AaronsonEarl Slick The New York Dolls are an American hard rock band formed in New York City in 1971.

According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music (1995), the New York Dolls predated the punk and glam metal movements, and were “one of the most influential rock bands of the last 20 years”. They influenced rock groups such as the Sex Pistols, Kiss, the Ram ones, Guns N' Roses, the Damned, and The Smiths, whose front man Morris organized a reunion show for the New York Dolls' surviving members in 2004.

When Sylvain left the band to spend a few months in London, Thunders and Murcia went their separate ways. When Thunders decided that he no longer wanted to be the frontman, David Johansen joined the band.

After getting a manager and attracting some music industry interest, the New York Dolls got a break when Rod Stewart invited them to open for him at a London concert. They selected Nolan, and after US Mercury Records A&R man Paul Nelson signed them, they began sessions for their debut album.

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The Dolls also toured Europe, and, while appearing on UK television, host Bob Harris of the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test derided the group as mock rock,” comparing them unfavorably to the Rolling Stones. The Dolls did a 5-concert tour of NewYork's five boroughs, supported by Television, which included Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell.

It was originally a bootleg album that was later remixed by Sylvain, with former manager Marty That credited as executive producer. The period immediately following this was documented on the album Tokyo Dolls Live (Fan Club/ New Rose), from a show in Japan in August 1975, in which Johansen, Sylvain and Jordan were joined by keyboardist Chris Robinson and drummer Tony Machine.

The material is similar to that on Red Patent Leather, but notable for a radically re-arranged “Frankenstein” and a cover of Big Joe Turner's “Flip Flop Fly.” Soon after their return to New York, the Dolls played at the Beacon Theater, on New Year's Eve, 1975, which met with great critical acclaim.

Johansen, Sylvain and company continued on as the New York Dolls for a few years, with the band rounded out by Jordan, Machine and Robinson. The group played its final shows in 1977, after which Johansen began a solo career and Sylvain formed The Criminals, a popular band at BGB.

Sylvain formed his own band, The Criminals, then cut a solo album for RCA, while also working with Johansen. His band for that record consisted of Brian Keats on drums, Dave Vanian's Phantom Chords, Speediejohn Calculi (who had played with the Fuzz tones), and Olivier Le Baron on lead guitar.

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Guest appearances by Frank Infant of Blondie and Delwood Andrews of Generation X were also included on the record. The reunion led to a live LP and DVD on Morris's Attack label, and a film, NewYorkDoll.

However, future plans for the Dolls were affected when the news came of Arthur Kane's death on July 13, 2004, from leukemia. In October 2006, the band embarked on a UK tour, with Sylvain taking time while in Glasgow to speak to John Bride of STV.

In April 2007, the band played in Australia and New Zealand, appearing at the V Festival with Pixies, Pet Shop Boys, Gnarls Barkley, Beck, Jarvis Cocker and Phoenix. On September 22, 2007, New York Dolls were removed from the current artists section of Roadrunner Records' website, signifying the group's split with the label.

The band played at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas on March 21, 2009, and a show at London's 100 Club on May 14, 2009, supported by Spizzenergi. On March 18, 2010, the band announced another two concert dates at the Yoko club in Camden, London and the Academy in Dublin on April 20.

The album, Dancing Backward in High Heels, featuring new guitarist Frank Infant (formerly of Blondie) was released on March 15, 2011. On March 1, 2011, it was announced the New York Dolls would be the opening act for a summer tour featuring Motley True and Poison.


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