Monday, April 03, 2006

New York Dolls Club Tour


Tonight in Los Angeles, David Johansen and Syl Sylvain will front a tight band and perform their New York Dolls show for what's sure to be a crazed and appreciative crowd at Spaceland. Tonight concludes a brief tour of small clubs. They played CBGB and some other small venues. Can you imagine the level of rock hysteria?

I saw the reunited New York Dolls play about 18 months ago in New York, in a stadium, and they were amazing... tighter as musicians in 2004 than they were in 1974...perhaps because they had professional touring and studio musicians filling in for all the members who have passed on. David Johansen is a performer of the highest order and he can still howl that beginning of "Personality Crisis" like a young man despite his gravelly cigarette voice.

I have mixed feelings about the reunion, because even though its Dolls songs and its David and Syl....there's no Johnny, Arthur, Jerry... its not EXACTLY the Dolls.

Johnny Thunders

Guitarist Steve Conti does a great job with this touring version of the Dolls, but to me Johnny Thunders is an irreplacable gem despite all his excesses, self-destructive behavior and the "can you lend me $50" refrain that anyone who knew him heard over and over again. How could you do better than his no holds barred trashy thrash?

Arthur Kane, lovingly remembered in documentary film form, was some interesting big cool anchor. Playing bass now is Sami Yaffa, late of Finland's Hanoi Rocks and the frontman of his own crazy gypsy music band, Mad Juana. I couldn't think of anyone better suited to play in the Dolls than Sami. After all, Hanoi Rocks owed the Dolls a debt so large. And Sami - I know you check in here.... Hello! I promised Jimmy I'd pick up after your gypsy ass at his crash pad... but I was joking! We still have to take that picture of you with kopeks!

I'm still undecided about going... But I assure those of you who are going to Spaceland tonight, if you've never seen the dynamic duo of Johansen and Sylvain, you are in for a big treat.

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