Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

(New) New York Dolls


Often credited with creating punk rock, despite this exaggeration The New York Dolls importance in the post 1976 musical fall out should not be under estimated. Even if they had not been managed by the appentice Malcolm McLaren at the end of their short career they had already stamped their mark on the NY scene kickstarting the CBGBs associated bands such as the Ramones and Blondie that were to influence their UK cousins and so start the ball rolling. Musically there was nothing revolutionary about the band, though they did come up good songs up their sleeves such as 'Personality Crisis', it was much more a case of attitude, that all important teenage finger at everyone and everything. Their dress sense was pure outrage at the time, remember this was the early seventies even Bowie had an album cover pulled during this period because he was wearing a dress but never had we seen anything as trashy as the NYD's. Of course everyone one knows (don't they?) that the Dolls burnt themselves out long before achieving their full potential, just the stuff legends are made from. Having recorded two albums their self titled debut and the prophetic 'Too Much To Soon' the band were to stagger to a halt after Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit in 1975. Despite the lack of commercial success they had made important friends not only amongst critics but also fellow artists in the making. It was one of these fans Morrissey who persuaded the remaining members (Thunders died in 1991 followed by Nolan the next year) to get back together in 2004 to play the London Meltdown Festival. The gig was well received by fans and critics alike and it looked as if a more permanent reunion could be on the cards but a few weeks after the gig Arthur Kane, the original bassist was to be diagnosed with leukemia and passed away only a mater of hours later. Now I would think that any reasonable band would take the hint call it a day, but no David Johansen and Syl Sylvain have kept at it and have recorded the Dolls third album over 30 years after the second was unleashed. Entitled 'One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This' and set to be released by Roadrunner on July 24, I must say that by the evidence presented on the track 'Dance Like A Monkey' I would much rather they hadn't of bothered as to me it is a very pale imitation of their former glory, still judge for yourself. I guess the band will be telling journalists that it is exactly what Johnny, Jerry, Arthur and original drummer Billy Murcia would have wanted though I think were Thunders to be still with us he would be playing in a White Stripes style band. Not wishing to leave you with a bad sound in your ears here is Johnny Thunders greatest solo moment 'You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory' and I think the song title sums up nicely my feelings.

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