I had the pleasure of reviewing the original unearthed Sleazy glam rock n rollers many years ago after these tapes had been unearthed and dusted down from the bowels of some DC studio. Sure there is a healthy mid to late ’70s Stones going on but these cats did a great line in sleazy Rock and roll not a million miles from the Lords and Hanoi as well as a few another top tier Punk n Rollers.

I’ll confess to not playing this CD for a while and when this cropped up with bonus songs I gave it another spin and wondered why the hell I’ve not pulled this out from time to time to go for a spin. Songs like ‘True Romance’ were a match for early Dogs D’Amour and the Lords meets Hanoi jonesing on the Mid to late ’70s Stones still sounds exciting.

The Factory burned like a roman candle, then disappeared into the night. The Washington D.C. opened for Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Public Image, Ltd. and Johnny Thunders, in the late ’80s and gained a lot of fans.

Led by Vance Bockis it was Unfortunate that outside influences got the best of them and The Factory broke up in 1992 without formally releasing anything more than a track on a compilation LP. Until this that is. To be fair ‘Ecstacy’ is perfect Lords meets Hanoi from that James jangle crossed with the saxophone its a great tune.

Growing up in DC, Acetate Records president Rick Ballard was a fan of the band and he held on to their demo for the last 20 years. He recently found the band online and immediately contacted them to discuss a release – the master tapes were located, cleaned up and mastered.

‘That Girl That I Want’ is a belter.  Pure sleazy Punk n roll with some top horn honking over a great Thunders like rolling riff.  The band gets a little funky on ‘Love To Dance’ which could have easily fallen off The Second Lords Album But the band really excels when they cut loose and just strut their stuff.  The last two tracks being excellent cases to ram home my point especially ‘Six Feet Down’ with its dirty riff but it ain’t over quite yet as the bonus material that’s been unearthed is a trio of live tracks kicking off with a belting take on the Dolls classic ‘Chatterbox’ when a band gets it they just get it and effortlessly sizzle. ‘Sweet Jane’ is the perfect LES anthem for these DC rockers to pour into the speakers and a jolly fine job they do of it as well. Then to wind it all up they throw in a live rendition of their own ‘Misfortunate Son’ wrapping up a really awesome thirteen.  If any of the bands I’ve mentioned in the same company as The Factory then you should down tools and clock in and give this long lost band a new lease of life and this really impressive record a second chance.  You know what to do kids…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Buy it!

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As my learned colleague, Craggy waxed lyrically when he reviewed ‘Honked’ the first of these Anniversary albums from Diamond Dogs, I went on a journey down the Rock and ROll highway and played every Diamond Dogs album released and the overriding thought I had was –  Damn this band was smoking hot when they got in that groove.

They were honking on the whole Faces early ’70s Stones vibe and they were killing it every time and the most important thing was they had the tunes to go with the swagger and if those five albums were my gift to the world I’d be so proud of my band and the songs we’d created. Its quite some collection and as the band aged like a good wine they changed taste but remained true to their roots and sound.

On reflection, it seems like yesterday the band were rolling into my small village and pitching up their amps in a restaurant at the rear of my local boozer on a Sunday night after having a show in the City cancelled they then proceeded to Rock the socks off the locals with a wonderful and impressive set. These sets are pressed on vinyl as well as CD and contain a plethora of bonus tracks (singles B Sides) to wrap up the tunes from that period in a perfect set.

As Your Greens Turn Brown: After the keys introduce the listener with a bit of ‘Bloodshot’ before kicking up a shitstorm in the shape of the fantastic no holds barred ‘Goodbye, Miss Jill’ even now it makes me smile a five-mile smile when the band kicks in and the harmonica starts honkin’.

The record ebbs and flows superbly with the highs being particularly high and when the band gets going man they sounded authentic and passionate.  The lulls when they’d kickback. Their blend of Hammond and Rock and Roll overdrive mixed with a few horns stabs here and there is timeless. Let the good times roll on the ballsy ‘Hardhitter’ and then they can drop a few gears as they venture off into Small Faces territory via ‘Singing With The Alleycats’ it’s easy to see how these guys got gigs with Punk rockers like the Damned or Rockers like The Cult and Nazareth when you hear the raw ‘Bite Off’ with its too fast to live riff and with that variety in mind you pick up the flavour of just how talented a songwriter Sulo is and he lives these songs and wears them on his sleeve you can’t bluff Rock and Roll this good which is why he attracted the likes of Darrel Bath and Steve Klasson into the fold.

 

The band were comfortable letting go and cutting loose as they were doing the jig is up country-tinged ‘Anywhere Tonight’ as they were doing the whole Thin Lizzy duel guitar kick-off that had songs like ‘Boogie For Tanja’ being so effortlessly good. Then when they needed to turn down the lights they could glide into ‘Yesterdays Nymph’ in one fell swoop. When Sulo took the mood down he has a wonderful tone on his voice and as far as taking on the Brits doing the whole R&B thing there’s no contest Diamond Dogs were more consistent than a lot of their contemporaries churning out albums of exceptionally high quality and this bad boy is right up there with the best of them and when your B Sides are as good as your A-Sides you know you’re onto something.

Fifteen songs of exceptional quality its like they once said Too much is never enough! Bring on the next one and I’ll get me filled up on more trips down memory lane and promise myself to play these records more often they deserve it and so do you – Buy it!

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Buy Diamond Dogs Here

Author: Dom Daley

35th Anniversary 3CD Box Set featuring a remixed version with extra tracks, the live version, the original album plus a 36-page booklet and the reinstated ‘Tie Me Up’

Coming September 11th – FULL TRACKLISTING and PRE-ORDER HERE
The 1985 studio album – ‘Resurrected’ – revamped with two new tracks plus six bonus outtakes, all remixed by The Vibrators’ Pat Collier.
Disc 2 is ‘Que Sera Sera – live in Europe’ – 18 mostly unreleased recordings, 1984-85.
Disc 3 is the original album mix and related single tracks.
Packaged in a clam-shell box with a 36-page booklet featuring new notes by Johnny’s biographer Nina Antonia, plus lyrics and unseen photos

In 1985 Johnny Thunders went into the studio in London, to record his third and final solo album. He gathered friends Mike Monroe, Patti Palladin, John Perry, Wilko Johnson, Henri-Paul Tortosa, Nasty Suicide, JC Carroll, Stiv Bators, Glen Matlock and others, and the resulting album was christened ‘Que Sera, Sera’.

It wasn’t all plain sailing – with Johnny it rarely was. Johnny had spent the previous two years in relative stability. He’d been gigging around the world, and between tours he was filming in France. Life was a series of nice apartments and hotels shared with his constant companions – his girlfriend Susanne and his manager Christopher.

Now circumstances meant he had neither. Without a new release, touring slowed, and his high-maintenance lifestyle led him to seek friend favours for somewhere to live. The major labels that Christopher hoped would provide financial support hadn’t materialised.

In a row with Susanne, she complained that Johnny had never written a song for her. Johnny obliged, and along with new songs from his live set, he recorded I Only Wrote This Song for You. Before the album was finished, as soon as he had a rough monitor mix of the song, he flew to Sweden to attempt a reconciliation.

Those remaining at the studio were left to put the pieces together. Patti Palladin oversaw the mixing with the engineer, and found there wasn’t really enough for an album. Patti added Tie Me Up from the b-side of her Crawfish project, and Blame It On Mom was found from an earlier session. The title-track was actually an afterthought; recorded as a single 16 months later.

The album was well-received, and it got Johnny touring again, but there was always a sense that it could have been better, and that the guitar was restrained – in ’85 many artists were seeking mainstream crossover. Two tracks had been left off – Jerry Nolan’s Countdown Love song was unused as he hadn’t yet recorded it; and Talk About You, a lengthy blues workout that didn’t seem to fit.

With those two tracks in mind as bonus tracks for a reissue, Pat Collier, former Vibrators’ guitarist, was asked to mix them. When the results came through, it became obvious that Pat should remix the whole album using today’s technology and viewpoint.

In the multi-track tapes a few outtakes were discovered, and last year the ‘Resurrected’ version was released as a Record Store Day double-vinyl with 5 bonus live tracks. After interruptions, the CD version was reappraised and expanded to a three-disc box set. The original album is included, reinstating Tie Me Up and the old, familiar mixes. Three live gigs were uncovered, and they became the live version of the album as a bonus CD.

Johnny Thunders’ biographer, Nina Antonia, has written new notes with interviews for the 36-page booklet. It also includes lyrics and unseen photos from the recording sessions, the cover session and from one of the featured live gigs.

Tracks:
DISC 1: Resurrected: Alone In A Crowd, Countdown Love, Blame It On Mom, Talk About You, M.I.A., Little Bit Of Whore, Short Lives, I Only Wrote This Song For You, Cool Operator, Billy Boy, Endless Party, Que Sera Sera. Extras: Copy Cat, Blame It On Mom (outtake),Taking You Up Avenue D, Short Lives (outtake), I Only Wrote This Song For You (outtake), Cool Operator (first version).
DISC 2: Live in Europe: Geneva: Blame It On Mom, M.I.A., Cool Operator, Personality Crisis, Countdown Love, Little Bit of Whore, Amsterdam: Short Lives, So Alone, Sad Vacation, Too Much Junkie Business, Little Bit of Whore, Born To Lose, Chinese Rocks, Lyon: Countdown Love, Just Another Girl, Talk About You, Alone In A Crowd, It’s Alright (Blame It On Mom). (74 mins)
DISC 3: The original album: Short Lives, M.I.A., I Only Wrote This Song For You, Little Bit of Whore, Cool Operator, Blame It On Mom, Tie Me Up, Alone In A Crowd, Billy Boy, Endless Party. Extras: Cool Operator (Black Cat mix), Short Lives (Heavenly ver.), Short Lives (Johnny’s remix), Que Sera Sera

Nailing that quintessential NooYawk rock and roll sound but doing it in the Czech Republic is some feat but New York Junk nailed it.  It’s fair to say these cats are vets of the scene and been in the thick of the Bowery scene since its inception back in the ’70s and survived to tell the tail.  Getting Tarbeach Records to release the record of seven tunes recorded in the Czech Republic at the tail end of 2019 and mixed pre-pandemic these seven tunes are coming out on red vinyl.

It’s a simple formula.  Guitar, Bass and Drums and play from the heart, make it Rock and Roll – sing about what you see and believe in yourself then everything else is gravy.  You either have “it” or you don’t.  We know whos fakin’ it and who isn’t and on this evidence, you can take the people out of Noo Yawk but you can’t take the Noo Yawk outta the people.

New York Junk have released three previous records starting with ‘Passion of the 10th St Blues’ (2008), ‘Doing Time in New York City’ (2014), and ‘7 Train’ (2018). Their sound is somewhere between Thunders and The Stones with a bit of Lou Reed creeping in on some of the melodies but there are some real gems in here. I love side two from the more aggressive ‘Scared’ with a cool thump on the floor toms and strained vocals it’s fragile yet looking for trouble great opening tune to side two. The albums best track ‘Passion’ with its rather splendid Thunders dripping guitar solo the songs got a tonne of passion and it shines through.  They’re not reinventing the wheel here they’re just writing great tunes and relying on what’s pouring out of their hearts and spilling into the grooves of the record. Let’s stay with side two and the title track which is a repetitive riff that’s moving slowly and gently, for the most part, meandering through the cracks of the recording towards the solo sure it’s like a VU moment in time but that’s always going to be cool.

Anyway, Let’s continue as we flip flop back to side one and the opening blast of the ‘Gutter Angels’.  Like a poem to the Lower East Side leaning on the Voidoids or something Lou Reed might have penned. ‘She Don’t Care’ could have been borrowed from Walter Lure whilst ‘Walk My Dog’ is some Thunders homage and fairly standard. Closing off side one is ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ which sounds like we’ve just been dropped off in the early ’70s after finding out this time capsule is captained by Sylvain Sylvain and the cabin crew consists of Johansen and Killer Kane. Pure nostalgia done with care and a big smile – whats not to like?

All in all a really enjoyable seven tracks from New York Junk and for anyone who hankers for a slice of that time when giants walked the earth and strutted their stuff. Check it out if you’re smart enough and start ‘Dreamin’.

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Is this Power Pop?

A question that is often all caps shouted across screens by keyboard warriors defending their record collection decisions.

Power Pop. A holy grail whose contents are loudly proclaimed obvious (depending who ya ask) and essential.  Apparently sacred (yet neverendingly argued) since the storied days of Peter Case losing his Nerves to then lace up his Plimsouls. Somehow important yet almost impossible to achieve… one wrong move, a drink too far, a chord eschewing a jangle and you’re “just rock n roll”.

Or so it seems…

The Speedways. The members languidly lean on the bars of darkened London pubs or float like spectres in corners of Some Weird Sin and Garageland gigs. Striped shirts and leather jackets. Dirty street-tamed Chucks and scuffed Thunders boots carry them from one late night heartache to another.

They are true believers who take their turn on stage with hearts outshining the Cheap Trick badges.

Heart.

How do you capture it? How do you?

This album is a stellar example of doing just that. It is the emotion, the essence of love (lost and yearned for) that makes special songs, damn the torpedoes and neat classifications.

This is their second full-length album and the growth since ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is apparent right off the opening track. ‘This Ain’t A Radio Sound’ opens with a playful ‘80’s Cars ‘Heartbeat City’ keyboard that is somehow right at home alongside the dirty street jangle of Mauro Venegas’ guitars. Then Matthew Julian saunters in, his vocals accomplishing a feat in common with that of my favourite singers. It is instantly recognisable. Equal parts world-weary and up to the fight. Like how Phil Lynott would somehow whisper your thoughts back to you. At once like a friend and someone you wish you had the nerve to approach. A very rare and special dichotomy that gains trust from the listener. People will say you’re born with that. I can see here that you can earn it.

‘The Day I Call You Mine’ shakes off the skinny tie and gets tough. And sweet. The rhythm section of Kris Hood and Adrian Alfonso are like a modern day Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke of The Smiths. Taking the gorgeous songcraft and walking it home like schoolyard best friend bodyguards. In fact, every melody and arpeggiated chord on this long-player is kept safe in their scrappy hands.

“Daydreaming’ opens with razor-sharp back alley chords and a streetwise snarl that has me all of a sudden thinking, “Is this ROCK N ROLL???”

Speaking of that… ‘Your Brown Eyes Look So Blue’ comes dangerously close to sounding like a forgotten outtake from the soundtrack to “Grease”. High School dancing itself right to the edge of the parking lot of kitsch to puke, but teetering there and miraculously feeling much better, thank you! It was a close one boys, but then again, some imminent peril makes albums and nights out exciting.

The track order on this album has a great arch to it. The way it builds to a cinematic centrepiece starting from the dreamy fade into focus intro of ‘This Is About A Girl Who Loves The Sun’. It builds wonderfully into widescreen guitar pop. The song takes you off the dusty and noisy summer city streets and into the cinema to catch your breath and “to stop taking it out on yourself” as Matthew reminds you in the lyrics.

The exuberance of ‘Number Seven’ kicks the cinema doors wide open and the sunlight comes streaming through. We’re in The Speedways’ neighbourhood now, and there’s a place they know that’s perfect for an afternoon drink. Matthew puts his arm around you on the walk and lets ya know that you’ll get by… it doesn’t matter who believes you.

Another standout track is the band next door sound of ‘Empty Pages’. Effortlessly cool and just the right riff for just the right lyrics (“On Halloween I couldn’t hide”… who hasn’t felt that way? Vulnerable and surrounded by Pound Shop devils and clowns) The song is the sound of hanging out. Pure and simple.

The whole set does an excellent job of establishing a recognisable sound while crossing gang lines into territories that may feel like defection. The early Petty and almost ‘50s stomp intro of ‘Had Enough This Time’ giving way to a sun shower of cascading guitar shimmer and a riff that steps right off a beach to join in? Really? It works. Really well.

The album closer, the rather magnificently titled ‘In A World Without Love It’s Hard To Stay Young’, is a perfect bookend. A pocket symphony of guitars that shine like the afternoon sun reflected off a Camaro’s dashboard. Its harmonies sonically answer Julian’s proclamation, “I thought I was the only one to feel this way, until…” with the easy embrace of a close pal.

No. You’re not the only one who does, Matthew. You just have a timeless way of expressing it. Your band is right there with you bringing these songs into brilliant focus as well.

Pretty happy that a band like this exists, making albums to this calibre.

It sounds awfully good with a cold one or a double too!

OH! Power Pop?

I ain’t getting’ into that! Whaddya think, I’m crazy?

 

Buy Beluga Records Here / Speedways Bandcamp Vinyl Here

Author: Rich Ragany

As we enter week god knows what of this Lockdown we thought we’d go through the gears and begin with this wonderful rendition of ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ from the awesome Chuck Prophet.

Always messing with your head Hank Von Hell is back in the room with ‘Disco’ and here’s the official video

The Kopek Millionaires – So Alone (Bandcamp Self Release) Gotta love Johny Skullknuckles when he drops a single without fanfare I always think to myself – what a tune! and being a massive fan of Soho Roses and knowing Mr Skull Knuckles this was always going to be a bit of a banger and so it would prove to be.  If you haven’t got a clue who or what I’m chundering on about then this is a great time to educate your ears and marvel in a bit of punk rock n roll before it was even a thing.  Mixing up the make up of Hanoi Rocks n the Dolls and drinking special brew with the Buzzcocks Soho Roses were a couple of singles and an album then crash and burn in a blaze of glory one last night in the Astoria never to be seen or heard of again.  Let Johny and his Kopek Millionaires remind us all of their splendour with this trashy take on their classic ‘So Alone’.  Enough waffle from me just clck the link and head over to bandcamp for a blast done exceedingly well.

Bandcamp track Here

Johny Skullknuckles – ‘A Face Made For Radio’ (Self Release) If one release wasn’t enough Johny turns in his second offering. ‘A Face Made For Radio’ is four tracks of snotty power-pop-punk rock n roll (and breathe) ‘Turn My Day Into Night’ is a rapid couple of jabs followed by a wild haymaker and if it connects then whamo! you’re done.  Its snotty ragged punk rock with melody and a hook. Then he follows it up with something a little punkier ‘Cheap Night Out’ is the sound of a cheap night out great guitar licks around a banging backbeat.

‘Overattached’ is a ’70s agony aunt dedicated to kinda song.  Like The Boys meets Buzzcocks with a punchy bass run it’s my pick of the four. then to wrap it up there’s the trashy ‘Cool Christine’ and whilst she might be cool shes not as cool as the tune about her.  Keep on Rockin’ Skullknuckles we need more trashy punk n roll in the world and this will tide us over nicely.  pick up a copy here

Chuck Prophet – ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ (Yep Roc Records) With a distinguished career in one of the 80s best alt-rock bands Green On Red and a solo career since that’s produced dozens of great songs why would this latest single from Chuck not be on our radar? with his sultry late-night vocals and amazing guitar skills, Prophet sees the first release in two years and is about to hit the road  ‘High As Johnny Thunders’ is a mellow laid back affair led by acoustic guitar and strings its a beautiful number and anything singing about the Dolls and Thunders gets a huge thumbs up from me especially when its this good.

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Calva Louise – ‘Interlude For The Borderline Unsettled’(Ditto Music) an EP featuring Five tracks that are really three-track because Calva goes old school and does a clean and non clean mix as well as a remix of the lead track ‘Belicoso’ sees the band deliver some of their CyberPunk racket on the public. With a heady mix of dance and breakbeats its a confusing sound it’s not quite the prodigy but the spirit is there.  ‘Sleeper’ is more pop noise if there’s such a genre (there is now) this manchester three-piece are causing a stir on mainstream radio stations with a Radio 1 jock hailing their sound as ‘Face Melting’ so not too shabby praise. the band mix it up further with ‘Adelante’ channelling their inner Depeche Mode with a decent slice of electronica. Facebook

 

The Young Gods – You Gave Me A Name (BUONASERA Productions Sàrl) Available on all digital platforms the Young Gods have been pushing the limits of sound for more than thirty years. They began as pioneers of industrial punk who flirted with surreal cabaret, and as sonic wizards they moved on to shamanize electro/techno music, all the while forging their own unique sound. Some genres for you to explore right there.  this release is a trippy slice of experimental rock it comes with a remix of ‘Tear Up The Red Sky’  by Gaspar Narby. Check it out, space cadets.

Jay Allen & the Archcriminals – ‘Beautiful Chaos EP’  (Rum Bar Records) The fact that Jay Allen is truly Neil Diamond’s Cousin isn’t something you hear every day and who are we to argue? but there is where any comparisons might begin and end as Jay rocks with a roots ragged slice of rock and roll maybe had they had Cous Neil singing the BVs that would really have been something. Its a rock solid single is ‘Beautiful Chaos’ and the fact its part of the Rum Bar stable is good enough for me to want to give it a play and some.  The second track ‘Big Lie’ is from the same ragged rock n roll that bands Like The Replacements fell outta.  Just check em out on their Bandcamp page you might just surprise yourself – Bandcamp

Belladonna – ‘Astronomer Of Life’ (Belladonna Records) The video of Astronomer Of Life is synced to a scene of a pre-existing movie, the last scene of the Russian director Andrej Tarkovsky 70s movie Stalker. It is a one-take-only video, but it has an overwhelming starkness, otherworld-ness and emotional power.  That’s what the press release said me I’d say its an acoustic atmospheric number that doesn’t particularly go anywhere and is just kinda’ there. A band for a late-night chill out I’d imagine and maybe not what a singles club is looking for at this time.  but we’ll let you be the judge of that

 

 

Beat City Tubeworks – ‘Rat Race’ (The Sign)  You wanted the best you got the best Beat City Tubeworks channel their inner Kiss meets Imperial State Electric and come up with ‘Rat Race’. Action rockers everywhere will wet their dirty denim when they get down n dirty with ‘Rat Race’ Jönköping Sweden birthed these rockers and they’ve sped along ever since.  you know the drill by now it’s 70s Rock mixed with some dirty attitude and this is taken from their soon to be released album ‘I Just Cannot Believe It’s The Incredible…’ which originally came out in 2016 but the Sign Records are rebirthing the beast so check em out. Facebook

Lazybones – Trash Talk (Say Something Records) “That moment when you know you’re about to say something you’ll regret, when you’re right on the edge and you just can’t stop it,” vocalist Candi Underwood explains. this thumping track has boundless energy as the song is driven by that wild fuzzed guitar and the big vocals that spit the lyrics all over the track.

It’s fresh and commercial enough to have wide-reaching appeal and no surprise that Radio has been playing this track Facebook

Cabinet Of Millionaires – ‘Stop The Coup’ (Chocolate Fireguard Records) Politically charged electronica much like Chumbawumba of yesteryear.  Cobbled together speeches fro the likes of Corbyn and Jones reciting some of Johnson’s lies and foul-mouthed diatribes that seem to pass the general population by without even a raised eyebrow.  Many people say you shouldn’t mix politics with music but we say bollocks to that if it needs saying then say it and Cabinet of Millionaires pull no punches as they say it as it is. With three mixes coming out early December to coincide with the election this should soundtrack everyone old enough to vote as they enter the room to put their cross on the ballot paper.  No more austerity and Tory rule We’ll have some of that! Bandcamp

 

The 1865 – ‘John Browns Gat’ (Mass Appeal) NYC residents kick up a storm with their groove-heavy track.  Taken from their forthcoming album ‘Don’t Tread On We’ there’s a tonne of attitude and punk happening here but it’s mixed with something altogether different siting Husker Du and Rage against the machine as influences will probably tell you nothing about where they’re coming from. Maybe not as hard-hitting as some of the other songs on the album its a brief glimpse into what they are about and Honeychild Coleman has a captivating vocal style. Check out ‘Get Out’ for a mash-up of styles in a very listenable sound. The 1865 have something to say so we suggest you listen up!

Bandcamp

 

 

 

John Anthony Genzale would have been 67 today.  Who knows what really happened at St. Peter House New Orleans I guess we’ll never ever know.  What we do know is the former New York Doll and leader of the Heartbreakers was a unique legend who influenced so many and continues to touch the lives of so many through his music HEre at RPM Online we will never forget Johnny Thunders – Happy Birthday Johnny Wherever you might be cheers!

Arthur Harold Kane Jr.  Born February 3, 1949  was best known as the bass guitarist for the Legendry New York Dolls. Kane was an integral part of the band until he was kicked out in 1975., Following the departure of Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan.

In 2004, Kane rejoined the surviving Dolls (Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain) to rehearse and play a reunion concert in London, which was the subject of the 2005 documentary New York Doll.

After leaving the Dolls Kane collaborated with Blackie Lawless in Killer Kane, which resulted in the single “Mr. Cool.” Lawless was an old friend from New York City and had replaced Johnny Thunders during the ill-fated Florida tour in 1975.

After the Dolls, Kane was involved in several bands that included: playing bass in the band formed by Sid Vicious, The Idols (with Jerry Nolan), and The Corpse Grinders (with Rick Rivets); and joining Johnny Thunders on a few tours in the 1980s.

In the early 2000s, Kane met filmmaker Greg Whiteley through his work with the Latter-day Saints, and the two became friends. Whiteley commented that all Kane ever talked about was how he wished that he could somehow get the Dolls back together.  The idea of doing a film on Kane’s life followed. Coincidentally, in 2004 Morrissey a high-profile fan of the Dolls—offered Kane an opportunity to perform a reunion show with the surviving Dolls (David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain) at the Royal Festival Hall in London as part of his Meltdown Festival.

 

When Kane called Whiteley to ask for a ride to the pawn shop to retrieve his bass guitar, Whiteley asked if he could bring along a camera. From there Whiteley filmed Kane’s experiences preparing for the reunion, rehearsing with the Dolls in New York, and reconciling with Johansen, culminating in two sold-out shows in London; which for Kane was all a fulfillment of a nearly thirty-year dream. Whiteley’s footage resulted in the 2005 Sundance featured documentary, New York Doll.

On July 13, 2004, just 22 days after the reunion concert, Kane thought that he had caught the flu in London and checked himself into a Los Angeles hospital, complaining of fatigue. He was quickly diagnosed with leukemia and died within two hours. He was 55 years old. Johansen described Kane as “nonjudgmental, bawdy and holy.”

In 2009 Kane’s autobiography was published entitled, I, Doll: Life and Death with the New York Dolls, with the foreword and epilogue written by Barbara Kane.

Kane met Barbara when he was with the Dolls, and they were married in 1977. Although they were separated for many years, their divorce never became finalized. She was interviewed for the New York Doll documentary, portions of which are interspersed within the film’s narrative.

In 2005 the documentary, New York Dolls: All Dolled Up, was released on DVD. The directors, rock photographer Bob Gruen, and his then-wife, Nadya Beck, owned an early video camera and shot many hours of footage of the Dolls in the early 1970s. Edited down to 95 minutes, the black and white film shows the Dolls in different locales, such as backstage or at an airport, and documents several of the Doll’s live performances in New York City and California. Kane appears in some of the footage wearing a plaster cast on his left arm. This was the result of his volatile girlfriend Connie attempting to cut off his thumb so that he would be unable to play bass anymore. In his autobiography, fellow bass player and Dolls fan Dee Dee Ramone mentioned Kane when discussing Connie, whom he himself later dated. Dee Dee and Connie’s similarly violent and tumultuous relationship would inspire the 1977 Ramones song “Glad to See You Go”. Kane passed away on this day in 2004.  If you’ve never seen the Documentary then go see it its funny, enlightening, sad yet uplifting.  Arthur Killer Kane RPM salutes you.  One of the good guys Gone but not Forgotten.