New York Dolls

The New York Dolls were an American hard-rock/glam band that released a self-titled album (produced by Todd Rundgren) on Mercury in 1973, followed by Too Much Too Soon in 1974. Fan favorites include the band originals “Personality Crisis,” “Trash,” “Puss ‘N’ Boots,” and their cover of the Gamble/Huff song “(There’s Gonna Be a) Showdown,” originally performed by Philly soulsters Archie Bell & The Drells.

The Dolls were notorious for their mix of campy attire and cocky stage antics, later adapted by the LA pop-metal scene. Musically, they formed a missing link between the fractious primalism of The Stooges and the frenetic abandon of the later punk movement. A thriving Lower East Side scene (Television, Blondie, The Shirts, Talking Heads, Richard Hell & the Voidoids) emerged in their wake.

Toward the end of their initial run, the Dolls were managed by English haberdasher Malcolm McLaren, who subsequently svengalied The Sex Pistols. Frontman David Johansen launched a solo career and later adopted the lounge-salsa alter-ego Buster Poindexter. Guitarist Johnny Thunders fronted The Heartbreakers (not to be confused with Tom Petty’s band), which toured the UK in 1976 with the Pistols, The Clash, and The Damned on the ill-fated Anarchy Tour.

In 2004, surviving members Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, and Arthur Kane regrouped for live shows. After Kane’s passing, the resurrected Dolls released three new albums between 2006 and 2011.

Members: David Johansen (vocals, harmonica, gong), Johnny Thunders (guitar, vocals, 1971-75), Arthur Kane (bass, 1971-75, 2004), Billy Murcia (drums, 1971-72), Rick Rivets (guitar, 1971), Sylvain Sylvain (guitar, piano, vocals, 1971-2011), Jerry Nolan (drums, percussion, 1972-75), Peter Jordan (bass, 1975-76), Chris Robison (keyboards, 1975), Tony Machine (drums, 1975-76), Bobby Blaine (keyboards, 1976), Steve Conte (guitar, 2004-10)

Discography:

  • New York Dolls (1973)
  • Too Much Too Soon (1974)
  • Red Patent Leather (1984)
  • Lipstick Killers: The Mercer Street Sessions (1981)
  • One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006)
  • Cause I Sez So (2009)
  • Dancing Backward in High Heels (2011)

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