The Ramones woke me up from the jazzy funk I was in. I wanted more. I wanted to know what they listened to. I wanted to hear more New York bands. With the help of Nipo the freak, and his even freakier buddy, Jimi Lalumia, I discovered The New York Dolls. (I mean freak in the most loving and respectable way)
If I had to pick a band that inspired the NYC scene, it would have to be The Dolls. The quintessential glam-rock-punk band of the 70’s, led by the “Mick Jaggeresque” David Johannsen.
The New York Dolls debut album is pissy, vulgar, angry, sexy and all the things that make rock n roll fun. With the searing guitars of Johnny Thunders & Sylvan Sylvan, Arthur “Killer” Kane on Bass and Jerry Nolan on drums, produced by Todd Rundgren. Now I had a hate-hate relationship with Todd Rundgren, but grew to respect him as a producer.
“Personality Crisis” opens this album in true glam punk style and you can’t help but fall in love with David Jo. “Looking For a Kiss”, “Lonely Planet Boy, ” Jet Boy” are all highlights. Basically, there is not a bad song on this album.
It’s required listening for anyone wanting to find out where the New York punk sound originated from.
The Dolls second album was spotty and once Johnny Thunders left, they lost the edge. Johnny Thunders was one of the first punk casualties. Sadly, his talent could not keep up with his heroin addiction. His solo album “So Alone” is classic NY punk, and his work with The Heartbreakers (not Tom Petty’s band) was brilliant.
David Jo went on to a solo career that is eclectic as it is weird. Loved his first solo album. But, I could never understand his sidestep into Buster Poindexter.
Lately he has done some blues stuff that is worth listening to. A true artist.
Sylvan Sylvan went on to form a band called The Criminals and they released one single. He also had a solo album. I met Sylvan once and he signed the album, along with the single of The Criminals I had. He was thrilled I had it. He actually said “Oh, so you are the one that bought it”