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I saw the reunion version of The Dolls around 2006. Great show. Syl was on fire and looked so happy. Great memory. Fuck cancer.

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Hey, where'd ya get that beat?

Sylvain, he was a great foil for Thunders both musically and personality wise. They had great banter on stage.

I'm sad.

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I never saw the New York Dolls, but boy oh boy, were they ever an influence on me, in ways I didn't understand, until maybe right now. I HAD to have their albums, but only a few years after they came out (they didn't make a splash in the Midwest until punk really took off). The NYD brief reign over the New York City punk scene only occurred because of their outrageous gender-bending fashion. It had nothing to do with their instrumental chops or really even their songs.  It had to do with their in-your-face flaunting of traditional music and band roles, as well as their flaunting of traditional gender roles. That, and they did indeed have a few catchy, cheeky songs.  Glam was really taking off, and you had to be even more outrageous to be noticed. The Dolls did that, in spades.

Their early brush with fame also coincided with my college years, which were 1974-1978. At that time, I was also a budding rocker, and a closeted homosexual. I had friends that were playing in rock bands. I was going down to the Red Lion Inn in Champaign, IL every chance I got between my studies, and they hosted bands every night. I purchased my first two guitars, both of which I still have: a Yamaha acoustic and a Fender tele. My sexuality wouldn't take hold until years later, for all the obvious societal reasons, and for other reasons that aren't so obvious and I won't go into here. The Dolls, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Freddie Mercury, Joan Jett and a host of other pioneers of that genre spoke to me, and still do.

The Dolls came and went quickly, but their influence did not. I still have their albums in a box upstairs. I have a love of electric guitars and LOUD, sloppy music. And I like to put on a wig or a boa or a top hat occasionally. 

During pandemic life, the 4-3-2-1 Club music scene has ground to a halt. For those that are unaware, the 4-3-2-1 Club music scene mostly consists of me playing music with my various bands and friends in my basement. Over the years, the decor of my basement, the 4-3-2-1 Club, has morphed into a glam club. Many people that I've met on this board have played at my house. I am forever grateful that they (YOU) would make the trip to Minneapolis.

I took this picture about 3 weeks ago. My newish neighbor, who is half my age, is a budding guitar player. Prior to last year, and meeting me, he hasn't played much electric guitar. He's shopping for one now, and I'm letting him borrow my guitars, one by one, to learn about what makes electric sound. We're talking about body styles, tone woods, pickups, and of course, why I have a million Hamers.  But as you can see by this photo, style is equally important to sound. Pictured above the lower bout of the Newport, you'll see Sylvain Sylvain, where he has a semi-permanent place on the 4-3-2-1 Club poster/guitar board. I don't know where I got the poster of The New York Dolls from their 2006 reunion (I may have taken it from the wall of First Avenue, or one of my friends gave it to me?), but there it is. If you look around the poster board, you'll see lots of the other gender-bending NYD and glam rock influences. 

RIP Syl. Perhaps you weren't the most outrageous Doll, but you made a difference.

MonacoEliteGT-Newport.jpg

Edited by BruceM
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47 minutes ago, murkat said:

Too Much, Too Soon.     Always gets played. So Rockn. Godspeed Syl

Shadow Morton produced, more in the lines of the girl group era he was famous for. Totally looser than the premiere. I love how the album ends with sax, on human being.

Good Gawd, get me outta here!

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If you have not seen this, it's a must see. It looks so innocent now. But then they were considered a dangerous band. Priceless fotage. 

 

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Syl was a friend. I used to work on his guitars when he lived in Atlanta. He was a very sweet man, and loved to talk about the early days of The Dolls.

He was crushed that Arthur died before he could see the reunion tour they had put together to completion.  I'm so glad I had him sign this for me to

hang in my store. RIP SYL...

IMG_1503 (3).jpg

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8 minutes ago, Kerry Marchman said:

Syl was a friend. I used to work on his guitars when he lived in Atlanta. He was a very sweet man, and loved to talk about the early days of The Dolls.

He was crushed that Arthur died before he could see the reunion tour they had put together to completion.  I'm so glad I had him sign this for me to

hang in my store. RIP SYL...

 

There is a documentary on Kane too. Very much worth watching, if you are into the Dolls and the scene they represented.
 

 

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I was late to the Dolls party...In the 70s they weren’t on my radar until Joe Perry hipped me to them in an interview. Thunders was a huge influence on Perry.

I love the first album and a live album called Viva Le Trash. I love the guitar sounds..,nothing fancy just cranked guitars into sweating amps. 

Edited by Jakeboy
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52 minutes ago, Jakeboy said:

I was late to the Dolls party...In the 70s they weren’t on my radar until Joe Perry hipped me to them in an interview.

I love the first album and a live album called Viva Le Trash. I love the guitar sounds..,nothing fancy just cranked guitars into sweating amps. 

In the mid 70s I was six. We loved KISS. And we heard stories about the crazy Dolls. The record cover for their first album was just for real, compared to KISS more McDonald like approach - which hit us right where it was supposed too. And the stories we heard about the Dolls.... That they took turns shitting on the floor in a super market, and other weird stuff. They were just to much and to wild for us. I don't think I even heard their music until I was a teenager and saw Buster Pointexter on some tv-show (and thought he was just about the coolest dude...).

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17 hours ago, 79Sunburst said:

It pisses me off how blatantly Paul Stanley ripped off Johnny Thunder's stage persona. 

But it wasn't even close, Johnny was that raw/rare exception in the fact he was real and Kiss is fronted by two pancake makeup accountants who have that motto "KIss and Sell". 

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Paul was a young guy caught up in rock and roll.  Johnny Thunders was that guy putting on a rock and roll show for people like Paul.  Watch Steve Marriott.  Paul got some moves from him, too. 

Instead of complaining, think about Paul taking that Johnny Thunders image to a higher level of acceptance. 

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19 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

Paul was a young guy caught up in rock and roll.  Johnny Thunders was that guy putting on a rock and roll show for people like Paul.  Watch Steve Marriott.  Paul got some moves from him, too. 

Instead of complaining, think about Paul taking that Johnny Thunders image to a higher level of acceptance. 

Yes, it was a scene. Everyone stole from everyone. But look at it this way, KISS has led many rock fans to discover The New York Dolls later on. Probaly more interest in the Dolls over the years thanks to KISS makin' it big time.

It's like saying Billy Idol sold out punk. Well, perhaps he did. But he was still great in his hay days.

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