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New York Dolls

New York Dolls bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

New York Dolls

New York Dolls photo 2006

New York Dolls Biography

The legendary Glam-Rock band New York Dolls started in 1971 in New York City, New York USA, with an initial line-up of David Johansen on vocals, Johnny Thunders and Rick Rivets on guitars, Arthur 'Killer' Kane on bass and Billy Murcia on drums.

Rivets was soon replaced by Sylvain Sylvain and the group quickly made an impact on the local music scene as well as spreading their name internationally, with relentless touring. Sadly, their original drummer, Billy Murcia, died from an overdose in London in late 1972 after one too many night of excess leaving Jerry Nolan to step behind the kit.
Their eponymous debut came out on Mercury Records in 1973 to warm critical response but lukewarm sales, in fact it only reached #116 on the U.S. Pop Albums chart.

A year later the group released "Too Much Too Soon", which again failed to make a splash enjoying a brief Pop Albums chart entry and Mercury dropped them from its roster.

Before they finally imploded, the Dolls were managed by Malcolm McLaren and the band established an enduring cult following with an undeniable influence on the burgeoning Punk-Rock movement.

In 1975 Johnny Thunders went on to form a new band with Jerry Nolan, two years later David Johansen entered the recording studio with his support group, which included Sylvain Sylvain, to cut his self-titled solo debut; Sylvain also released a solo album, an eponymous affair, in 1980.

Johnny Thunders died in New Orleans on April 23, 1991 due to a drug overdose; Jerry Nolan developed bacterial meningitis, which led to a fatal stroke in January of 1992; Nolan's last show was a special Thunders tribute show in New York featuring members of the Dolls.

In his role as creative director of the 2004's Meltdown Festival, the president of a British New York Dolls fan club, Morrissey, has convinced legendary New York Dolls into reforming for a one-off gig. David Johansen, Syl Sylvain and Arthur Kane were joined by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Gary Powell; that summer, bassist Arthur Kane died of leukemia, a month later after the show.

In July 2006, the Glam-Punk pioneers resurfaced with their first album in more than three decades: "One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This"; members for the recording sessions were Johansen, Sylvain, Steve Conte on guitar, Sami Yaffa on bass and Brian Delaney on drums. Prefaced by the infectious single "Dance Like A Monkey", the CD peaked at #8 on the Top Independent Albums chart and reached #129 on The Billboard 200.

The quintet issued "Cause I Sez So" in May 2009; the album, produced by Todd Rundgren, debuted at #159 on The Billboard Top 200 chart led by the title-track, one of the year's 100 XR fave song.

New York Dolls' next album, the oh-so-appropriately titled "Dancing Backward In High Heels", was released in March 2011. Recorded in Newcastle, U.K. and produced by Jason Hill of Louis XIV who also played bass on it, the band's fifth studio effort and the first to feature guitarist Frank Infante, formerly of Blondie, debuted at #37 on the U.S. Top Independent Albums chart.


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New York Dolls pictures:

  • New York Dolls band 1973 New York Dolls band 1973
    The Dolls in 1973
  • New York Dolls mid 70s New York Dolls mid 70s
    clockwise from bottom left: Jerry Nolan, Johnny Thunders, Sylvain Sylvain, Arthur Kane and David Johansen