CL Interview: David Johansen of the New York Dolls (with video)

Rock history is rife with bands whose legendary status is all out of proportion with the amount of tangible success they had in their heyday.

New York Dolls @ State Theatre, Tues., July 9. $25.

There is no better example of this trope than the New York Dolls. They are revered as proto-punks, early players on the lower Manhattan scene that produced The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads et al. Their look fell somewhere between androgynous and full-out drag, and for that they are credited as a major influence on glam-metal.

The Dolls released only two albums during their initial run: 1973’s self-titled LP and the following year’s Too Much Too Soon. Both were critical darlings and commercial stiffs. The band broke up in ’75.

The original Dolls were plagued by abject drug abuse — the late guitarist Johnny Thunders was a classic junkie — and dysfunction, but, according to frontman David Johansen, the main reason the Dolls packed it in was that they were broke and hungry.

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About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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