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New York Dolls Return

March 16th, 2011


New York Dolls formed late in 1971, combining glam rock, New Wave, early Stones and punk, before anyone even knew what it was. They got an early break when Rod Stewart asked them to open one of his shows. And the band soon put out two influential albums: a self-titled debut in 1973 and Too Much Too Soon the following year. The second one proved to be foreboding as the quintet experienced several deaths and lineup changes before ultimately disbanding. And if this tale had ended with their legacy leading to the formation of bands like Blondie, the Ramones and Talking Heads, that would have been enough. But the story continues in 2004, when Morrisey put together a show with the band’s three surviving members, singer David Johansen (whom you may know as Buster Poindexter), guitarist Sylvain Sylvain and bassist Arthur Kane. Sadly, Kane died just 22 days after their reunion, but this is rock and roll, and the show must go on. So Johansen and Sylvain again gathered new bandmates, put out three new discs—the most recent of which, Dancing Backward in High Heels, just came out—and hit the road, which brings New York Dolls (above, in behind-the-scenes footage) to The Bowery Ballroom tonight and tomorrow.