Saturday, 13 February 2010

New York Dolls: Lonely Planet Boy (album track)

American Glam part 3
The New York Dolls formed in 1971, and over the next three years they became the premiere American glam rock band. Musically they are based in the "dirty rock of the Rolling Stones, girl-group pop, the Stooges and Bowie glam".

The band's proto-punk sound signposted much of what was to come in the punk rock era; their visual style influenced the look of many new wave and 80s era glam metal groups, and they began the local New York scene that later spawned the Ramones, Blondie, Television and Talking Heads.

Initially, the group was composed of singer David Johansen, guitarists Johnny Thunders and Rick Rivets (who was replaced by Sylvain Sylvain after a few months), bass guitarist Arthur "Killer" Kane and drummer Billy Murcia. The original line-up's first performance was on Christmas Eve 1971 at a homeless shelter, the Endicott Hotel.

Late in 1972, the New York Dolls embarked on their first tour of England. During the tour, drummer Murcia died after mixing drugs and alcohol. He was replaced by Jerry Nolan. After Nolan joined the band, the Dolls finally secured a record contract with Mercury Records.

Todd Rundgren whose sophisticated pop seemed at odds with the band's crash-and-burn rock & roll produced the band's eponymous debut, which appeared in the summer of 1973. The record received overwhelmingly positive reviews, but it didn't stir the interest of the general public; the album peaked at # 116 on the U.S. charts.

The band's follow-up, Too Much Too Soon, was produced by the legendary girl group producer George "Shadow" Morton. The album was another commercial failure, only reaching # 167 upon its early summer 1974 release.
The band are another American glam act championed by Morrissey. A Jobriath compilation put together by the ex Smiths vocalist was called ‘Lonely Planet Boy’ after the New York Dolls song.

In 2004 the band reformed with three of their original members, two of whom, David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain, continue on today and have released two records of new material. The original bassist, Arthur Kane died shortly after their first reunion concert.