The New York Dolls
avid Johansen (vocals), Johnny Thunders (Real Name: John Genzale; guitar/vocals; who replaced original member Rick Rivets that left to form the Brats soon after), Arthur Kane (bass) and Jerry Nolan (drums; who replaced Billy Murcia who had died in his bath on 6 November 1972 - not of a drug overdose as was widely believed) and Sylvain Sylvain (Real Name: Sil Mizrahi; guitar/vocals; replaced Jack Rivits) were the founding line-up for influential punk act New York Dolls. After signing to 'Mercury' in 1973, they immediately began work on an eponymous debut with Todd Rundgren at the production desk that was ultimately released later that same year.
The New York Dolls and their debut album was a successful proto-Punk knock off of visceral Rock N' Roll in the style of MC5 or Pretty Things. Rolling Stones was another obvious reference point with Johansen a near twin for Mick Jagger while in heavy make-up or audio styles, while Thunder was a glam-Rock Keith Richards. The 'Dolls glitter filled transvestite attire also borrowed heavily from 1966 Rolling Stones taking it to an almost cartoonish appearance. What they lacked in musical skill they gained in attitude with tracks like Personality Crisis and Trash. But the band was unhappy with the production and the album's lack of sales and so Shangri-La's producer George Morton worked with them for the release of Too Much Too Soon (1974). The band was still linked up with the wrong production and the resulting sound left the music press unimpressed.
The bad press further pushed the band's demise, a demise that came fast. But as the decision was being made, Sex Pistols buddy Malcolm McLaren stepped in with a last-ditch effort to save the act by revamping their image and failed. Thunders left first in 1975 to form The Heartbrakers (and subsequently died of a drug overdose on 23rd April 1991), while Sylvain and Johansen sacked Kane before folding it up themselves. Johansen went onto a solo career to record several albums with Staten Island Boys' Thomas Trask (guitar), Johnny Rao (guitar), Buzz Verno (ex-Cherry Vanilla; bass), Franki La Rocka (ex-Cheery Vanilla; drums) titled David Johansen (1978), In Style (1979), Here Comes The Night (1979) and Live It Up (1982) to return in 1985 with Sweet Revenge under the revised line-up of Joe Delia (keyboards), David Neilson (guitar), Brett Cartwright (bass) and Dennis McDermott (drums), not to mention his 1988 solo set of Buster Poindexter & His Banshees Of Blue with Buster Poindexter (1988).
Despite their short existence the New York Dolls proved to be a hugely influential act, especially with the Glam metal bands of the 1980s.