New York Dolls

Taking the garage blues and androgynous sexuality of the Rolling Stones and perverting it with the pulsating raw energy of Iggy and the Stooges and MC5, New York Dolls became the prototype punk band. Full of cross-dressing flamboyance, outsider rebellion and pulse-racing anarchic spirit, their place in rock'n'roll history is well-established, despite only releasing two albums. Frontman David Johansen, bassist Arthur Kane, guitarists Rick Rivets and Johnny Thunders, and drummer Billy Murcia first started playing together in 1971, and they built a loyal following in their hometown, New York City. In 1972 Syl Sylvain replaced Rivets and after Murica overdosed he was replaced by Jerry Nolan. That line-up recorded their self-titled 1973 debut LP which featured such underground anthems as “Personality Crisis”. It failed to catch on with the public at large, and neither did 1974’s Too Much Too Soon, losing them their record contract. They were managed briefly at that point by a pre-Sex Pistols Malcolm McLaren, but by 1977 the band split. Guitarist Johnny Thunders went on to become a punk icon with his band The Heartbreakers, while front man David Johansen pursued a solo career. Johnny Thunders died in 1991. The band reunited in 2004 when Morrissey (formerly head of the band's UK fan club) asked them to play at the Meltdown Festival. Kane passed away a few weeks later, but the group went on to release the albums One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This (2006) and Cause I Sez So (2009). Johansen and Sylvain officially announced the end of the group after Dancing Backwards In High Heels (2011). Sylvain passed away on January 13, 2021.

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Stations Featuring New York Dolls

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