Category Archives: NEW YORK DOLLS


NEW YORK DOLLS A Hard Night’s Day (1973/2000)

A Hard Night’s Day(2000)
Excellent 1973 Studio Performance

There are plenty of Dolls demos, boots and rarities around. Most of them suck. This is one of the best. Recorded in March 1973, A Hard Night’s Day features the original recording band – David Johansen, Johnny Thunders, Sylvain Sylvain, Arthur Kane & Jerry Nolan, live in the studio on 21 demos – a live gig, really – filled with chatter, raw, barely bar-worthy chops and a smattering of trashy 50s rock ‘n roll, taped just prior to The Dolls’ Todd Rundgren-produced debut. Live, sans production technique, just as The Dolls were meant to be heard. Even in the studio they managed to stir up shit, as you can only imagine from the off-mic altercation Johansen referees at the beginning of “Pills.” This is the 2000 Norton Records version, but these tapes have been released under a few different titles and labels. There’s more Dolls & Dolls-related stuff in the archives, including From Paris With Love (L.U.V.) (HERE), Live At The Fillmore East-December 28 & 29, 2007 and The Return Of The New York Dolls – Live From Royal Festival Hall, 2004 (both HERE), DAVID JOHANSEN Live It Up (HERE), JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS L.A.M.F. The Lost ’77 Mixes (HERE), Hurt Me (HERE), Stations Of The Cross & I Only Wrote This Song For You: A Tribute To Johnny Thunders (both HERE). Find A Hard Night’s Day at Amazon, HERE.

Seven Day Weekend
Who Are The Mystery Girls?
(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown
Back In The USA
Looking For A Kiss
Jet Boy
It’s Too Late
Bad Detective
Lonely Planet Boy
Subway Train
Private World
Human Being
Don’t Start Me Talkin
Give Her A Great Big Kiss
Vietnamese Baby
Bad Girl
Personality Crisis



LiveLive (1978/1993)
Post-Dolls Fresh

I was a proud owner of The David Johansen Group’s original promo-only Live LP. Recorded at The Bottom Line, July 21, 1978, it was expanded 15 years later for this CD release. What’s cool about these recordings is that even while Johansen was attempting to move past his past, into greener, more commercial territory, his signature pre-punk/50s glam, bash & pop persona was still fully intact live. You can take the Doll out of the trash, but you can’t take the trash out of the Doll, or some such horseshit. The set list is Dolls-intensive, with some gloriously messy soul sides, “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “Reach Out.” It doesn’t hurt that ex-mates Johnny Thunders and Syl Sylvain show up, too. This is a good one. Loud, raucous & fun. There’s more Dolls & Dolls-related stuff in the archives, including A Hard Night’s Day (outstanding 1973 studio performance, HERE), From Paris With Love (L.U.V.) (HERE), Live At The Fillmore East-December 28 & 29, 2007 and The Return Of The New York Dolls – Live From Royal Festival Hall, 2004 (both HERE), DAVID JOHANSEN Live It Up (HERE), JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS L.A.M.F. The Lost ’77 Mixes (HERE), Hurt Me (HERE), Stations Of The Cross & I Only Wrote This Song For You: A Tribute To Johnny Thunders (both HERE). Find Live at Amazon, HERE.

Cool Metro
Looking For A Kiss
Not That Much
Funky But Chic
Build Me Up Buttercup
I’m A Lover
I Found A Love
Reach Out (I’ll Be There)
The Girl Don’t Come
Lonely Tenement
Personality Crisis
It’s A Heartache
Personality Crisis (End Of)
Love Child


JOHNNY THUNDERS Stations Of The Cross (1982/1990) & VARIOUS ARTISTS I Only Wrote This Song For You: A Tribute To Johnny Thunders (1995)

JOHNNY THUNDERS Stations Of The Cross (1982/1990)
V/A I Only Wrote This Song For You: A Tribute To Johnny Thunders (1995)
Two Ways To Remember A Proud Junkie Punk

Here are a couple of off-the-shelf irregulars that just might fit your portly collection. The various artists tribute, I Only Wrote This Song For You, includes most of the New York Dolls (David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, Arthur Kane), ex-bandmates (Walter Lure), like-minded types (The Ramones, Wayne Kramer), strange bedfellows (The Screwballs: Wayne County & Glen Matlock) and one genuine surprise (Los Lobos). It’s not all punk, in fact, the ex-Dolls are the most sentimental of the bunch here, but there are some interesting interpretations that Thunders fans may enjoy (that guy from Hanoi Rocks has two solid covers). Stations Of The Cross, a September 30, 1982 Johnny Thunders live show, is a whole different memory to wrap your arms around. Thunders is proudly still using and is a chatterbox about it throughout the show, dedicating songs to Sid Vicious and King Henry, among others. In fact, a latter re-issue of this disc would remove a lot of Thunders’ tongue wagging. You might notice there are a few “dub” versions included. Veteran listeners know that that only means someone couldn’t be bothered to make it to the mic for that particular song. That’s ok, it’s all good. Above all, despite its flaws, Stations Of The Cross (HERE, at Amazon), released in different editions over the years (the pic above is this version), is probably a pretty good representation of what it was actually like to stand in front of a breathing Johnny Thunders, circa 1982. For better and worse, of course. I Only Wrote This Song For You (HERE, at Amazon) fell out of print, but was reissued in 2004 with a new running order and two added tracks from Marc Almond and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. There’s more Thunders in the archives; L.A.M.F. The Lost ’77 Mixes (HERE) and JT’s largely acoustic album, Hurt Me (HERE).

Pipeline (2:36)
In Cold Blood
Just Another Girl (4:19)
Too Much Junkie Business (2:58)
Sad Vacation (4:07)
Who Needs Girls?
Do You Love Me? (3:05)
So Alone (6:17)
Seven Day Weekend (3:38)
Chinese Rocks (2:56)
Reentry Interlude (1:55)
Voodoo Dub (1:54)
Surfer Jam (2:05)
Just Because I’m White (4:55)
One Mind (Dub) (2:57)
Little London Boys (2:26)
Stepping Stone (1:55)
I Don’t Mind Mr. Kowalski (1:25)
Creature from E.T. Rap (3:50)
Rather Be with the Boys (2:17)
Wipeout (2:18)

PATTI PALLADIN Leave Me Alone (Chatterbox)
MICHAEL MONROE Disappointed In You (3:57)
ARTHUR “KILLER” KANE In Cold Blood (Not In Vain) (3:24)
WAYNE KRAMER Children Are People Too (5:05)
DAVID JOHANSEN Some Hearts (4:09)
SYLVAIN SYLVAIN Society Makes Me Sad (5:04)
ALISON GORDIE Just Another Girl (4:19)
FILTY LUCRE Can’t Kick (3:36)
WILLIE DEVILLE You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory (3:43)
THE RAMONES I Love You (2:22)
MICHAEL MONROE So Alone (6:08)
LOS LOBOS Alone In A Crowd (2:57)
THE SCREWBALLS Help The Homeless (7:49)


NEW YORK DOLLS Live At The Fillmore East – December 28 & 29, 2007 (2008)

Live At The Fillmore East -December 28 & 29, 2007 (2008)
Legit Release From The Two York Dolls

An obscure official release, but a bizarre and excellent one that fans won’t want to bypass. First, this CD was originally sold only through the group’s fan club and at live gigs, and the “Fillmore East” in question is actually New York’s Irving Plaza. Why someone renamed that venue with a historic moniker is anybody’s guess, but it’s probably alright since the New York Dolls in question have been pared down by time to just David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain… so what’s in a name? But, even if you consider yourself a purist, those niggling factoids still won’t inhibit your enjoyment factor, since this lovingly sloppy live CD captures the pure essence and spirit of the New York Dolls, regardless of the auxiliary players. The disc is a short, 10-song affair with just two tunes from the reconstituted band’s 2006 return album, One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This. And it’s markedly better than their other official live album, 2004’s The Return Of The New York Dolls (below), making it the band’s best live product (unless you’re married to one of their many boots, old or new). Even odder is that you can get this CD new at Amazon for $4.50 (HERE), while used ones are as little as $2. A nice price for an act with questionable motives selling what might be considered their best work on the down low. Plenty more Dolls HERE in the archives.

Babylon (3:48)
Trash (3:33)
Jet Boy (6:49)
Personality Crisis (5:06)
Rainbow Store (3:37)
Looking For A Kiss (3:52)
Puss N’ Boots (3:05)
Dance Like A Monkey (4:46)
Pills (4:03)
Lonely Planet Boy (6:28)

The Return Of The New York Dolls – Live From Royal Festival Hall, 2004 (2004)
While we’re here, here’s the 2004 version of the NYDolls, with original bassist, Arthur “Killer” Kane (just prior to his passing). This was recorded after a series of reunion rehearsals for the UK’s Meltdown Festival, before the new configuration had road-tested their ancient chops. It’s an admirable representation and, along with Live At The Fillmore East, equals the original band’s two LP output of the 70s. The DVD’s @ Amazon, HERE.

Looking For A Kiss (3:38)
Puss N’ Boots (3:17)
Subway Train (5:12)
Bad Girl (4:09)
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory/Lonely Planet Boy (5:52)
Private World (4:04)
Vietnamese Baby (3:55)
Dialogue (2:25)
Frankenstein (6:42)
Babylon (4:16)
Dialogue (2:08)
Trash (3:35)
Jet Boy (7:39)
Personality Crisis (8:24)
Human Being (7:21)


Comments Bonuses (Peter Case, Harry Nilsson, Richard Thompson, The New York Dolls, Sweet Thursday, Squeeze)

Here are some releases that have slipped into the comments of a number of posts over the years, so a majority of readers may have missed most of these. We’re going to post a number of these this month, many without commentary, just to get them out there. Some were donated by readers, whom I’ve promptly forgotten, so thanks to the usual suspects.

Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti (1985)

The original band’s 1985 reunion album.

Big Beng (4:03)
By Your Side (4:24)
King George Street (3:48)
I Learnt How To Pray (4:24)
Last Time Forever (5:40)
No Place Like Home (4:27)
Heartbreaking World (5:07)
Hits Of The Year (3:00)
Break My Heart (4:33)
I Won’t Ever Go Drinking Again (4:36)
Love’s A Four Letter Word (3:40) – Bonus Track
The Fortnight Saga (2:42) – Bonus Track

Dream Attic – The Demos (2010)

Disc two of RT’s 2010 release, featuring acoustic “demo” versions of the music on disc one. Demos isn’t the term to use when Thompson plays acoustic, however. This could have been released as a stand-alone disc and even seasoned listeners would have believed it was a labored studio album.

The Money Shuffle (4:18)
Among The Gorse, Among The Grey (3:45)
Haul Me Up (3:25)
Burning Man (4:23)
Here Comes Geordie (3:13)
Demons In Her Dancing Shoes (4:30)
Crimescene (6:03)
Big Sun Falling In The River (5:00)
Stumble On (5:54)
Sidney Wells (3:50)
A Brother Slips Away (4:42)
Bad Again (4:03)
If Love Whispers Your Name (4:06)

The Man With The Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar (1989)

Charlie James (3:07)
Put Down The Gun (3:41)
Entella Hotel (4:59)
Travellin’ Light (4:11)
Poor Old Tom (3:58)
Old Part Of Town (4:10)
Rise And Shine (4:21)
Two Angels (4:33)
This Town’s A Riot (4:19)
Hidden Love (3:06)

From Paris With Love (L.U.V.) (2001)

Live, semi-legit release (recorded in 1974), featuring Johansen, Thunders, Sylvain, Kane & Nolan. The quality is a bit lacking, but not bad.

Introduction (0:59)
Personality Crisis (3:49)
Bad Girl (3:10)
Looking For A Kiss (3:47)
Give Her A Great Big Kiss (5:12)
Stranded In The Jungle (4:52)
Pills (3:30)
Vietnamese Baby (4:38)
Trash (3:55)
Chatterbox (3:38)
Puss N’ Boots (5:46)
Hoochie Coochie Man (5:22)
Jet Boy (6:34)

Sweet Thursday (1969)

That weird, 60’s sub-super group with Jon Mark, Nicky Hopkins, Alun Davies, Harvey Burns & Brian Odgers. The tunes are mostly dominated by Mark, however, and if you know Mark… you know he’s one morose motherfucker. I liked him a lot back in the day… before introducing colors besides black to my teenage wardrobe. Hopkins is always worthy of study.

Dealer (6:07)
Jenny (3:51)
Laughed at Him (5:17)
Cobwebs (3:26)
Rescue Me (3:45)
Molly (3:11)
Sweet Francesca (4:01)
Side of the Road (4:54)
Gilbert Street (10:22)

Punch Drunk Nilsson (2011)

Not an actual release, but a clever mix of the Nilsson-inspired Punch Drunk Love soundtrack orchestrations, fused with some of Harry Nilsson’s more somber isolation numbers – most in quieter, more intimate demo form instead of well-worn LP versions. Is a pleasurable listen that is just as much young(er) pop great Jon Brion as it is Nilsson (though Brion plays Nilsson throughout). Offbeat, yet easily jig-sawed liked it was all pre-designed. I’m so jaded I know all this material already, but woven together it offers both the structure of Nilsson’s The Point! and the themed-loneliness of Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours or Only The Lonely. The casual fan, familiar with just the hits & some albums, will be treated to Nilsson’s less celebrated, but most essential appeal – his melodic simplicity in orchestral form, alongside the beauty of original tunes like “The Moonbeam Song, “One” and “Life Line.”

Punchy Tack Piano (1:05)
Miss Butter’s Lament (2:17)
Barry States His Case (1:39)
Little Cowboy (0:45)
Punch-Drunk (0:55)
He Needs Me (3:30)
One (3:04)
Overture (1:34)
He Really Needs Me (2:12)
Petit Chateau (1:36)
The Moonbeam Song (1:38)
Blossoms & Blood (1:24)
I’ll Never Leave You (4:23)
Punchy Tack Piano (Reprise) (1:10)
Life Line (2:30)
Barry’s Harmonium (0:17)
Somewhere (1:48)
One Is The Loneliest Number (2:27)
Punch-Drunk Melody (1:42)
Think About Your Troubles (2:41)
Petit Point (1:31)
Remember (3:44)


DAVID JOHANSEN Live It Up (1982)

Live It Up (1982)
Prime Johansen

Fun live set from New York Doll, David Johansen. This was Johansen’s first official live album, in or out of the Dolls, not counting his 1978 promo only LP, Live – which would eventually become “official” in 1993. Like that album, this one is heavy on 60s cover material (“Build Me Up Buttercup,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” DJ’s Animals medley) mixed with some Dolls chestnuts and a few highlights from Johansen’s solo career, which included three solo studio albums by this time. The set list hadn’t changed all that much since ’78, but the non-stop road work of the previous few years paid off in a tightly honed and highly energetic set. I doubt Johansen’s vocals have ever sounded any better than during this era. Look in the archives to find the ’78 promo. Amazon.

We Gotta Get Outta This Place/Don’t Bring Me Down/It’s My Life (4:26)
Frenchette (4:55)
Reach Out I’ll Be There (3:26)
Is This What I Get For Loving You (3:15)
Donna  (4:20)
Build Me Up Buttercup (2:41)
Melody (3:05)
Funky But Chic (3:53)
Bohemian Love Pad (2:56)
Stranded In The Jungle (3:48)
Personality Crisis (5:03)



Hurt Me (1984)
The Ex-Dolls’ Acoustic Album

A Johnny Thunders acoustic album? To be accurate, some of this material can easily be categorized as “demos,” of some sort. And, there’s plenty of older, recognizable compositions, from the Dolls’ “Lonely Planet Boy” to Thunders’ own, “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory.” But, JT must have been in some kind of “an acoustic phase” when he made these recordings in France in Oct/Nov 1983, as he also tackles two Dylan songs (albeit, one for just 20 seconds), along with the classic, “Eve Of Destruction.” One fun cover is the obscure Keith Richards co-write with manager Andrew Loog Oldham, “I’d Much Rather Be With The Boys” – a tune given to one of The Loog’s stable of unsuccessful acts (and which subsequently appeared on the Stones’ odds & sods album, Metamorphosis). Of course, “acoustic” isn’t the way most remember Johnny Thunders, so the end result is that this album is more a curio than a necessity (which means… it’s best savored by Johnny junkies). This French import also includes 5 bonus tracks, the “studio” side of the 1982 full band album, In Cold Blood – which, according to the liner notes, was produced by the great Jimmy Miller. Which must mean there are two Jimmy Millers, right? Regardless, the additional tracks help to end this reissue in a way we know Thunders best, loud and sloppy. We’ve got some more JT in the archives (HERE) and, if you’re interested, Nuzz Prowling Wolf has a bunch of live Thunders boots (HERE). Amazon’s got variations of this release, most without the bonus tracks (HERE).

Sad Vacation (2:16) (Thunders)
Eve of Destruction
(1:20) (Sloan)
Too Much Too Soon (1:06) (Thunders/Sylvain)
Joey Joey (2:12) (Dylan)
I’m A Boy I’m A Girl (2:24) (Thunders)
Go Back To Go (1:13) (Thunders)
I Like To Play Games (1:59) (Thunders)
Hurt Me (3:12) (Thunders/Hell)
Illegitimate Son Of Segovia (3:00) (Thunders)
It Ain’t Me Babe (0:20) (Dylan)
Diary Of A Lover (2:48) (Thunders)
I’d Rather Be With The Boys (1:56) (Richards/Oldham)
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory (2:52) (Thunders)
She’s So Untouchable (2:29) (Thunders)
Ask Me No Questions (2:04) (Thunders)
She’s So Strange (1:40) (Thunders)
Lonely Planet Boy (1:37) (Johansen)
MIA (1:37) (Thunders)
Cosa Nostra (1:18) (Thunders)
In Cold Blood (2:27) (Thunders)
Just Another Girl (3:57) (Thunders)
Green Onions (5:07) (Jones/Cropper/Jackson/Steinberg)
Diary Of A Lover (3:10) (Thunders)
Look In My Eyes (1:57) (Thunders)




L.A.M.F. The Lost ’77 Mixes (1995)
2CDs, Fresher Mixes & Outtakes

The original was a glorious, muddy mess. But, it captured the punk asethetic so well that there are those that may not even want it without the murky mix. Thunders himself tried to clean it up in 1984 with a reissue, L.A.M.F. Revisited, but that one didn’t take. This 2CD version, with a generous disc of outtakes and demos finally gets it right. The ex-New York Doll and his Heartbreakers epitomized the exploding anti-genre, as sort of a punk Blind Faith, once including Richard Hell, Ex-Doll Arthur Kane & Walter Lure. This debut (plus) contains two classics, “Born To Lose (Born Too Loose)” and “Chinese Rocks,” and the expanded extras, all recorded live in the studio, also include a take of “Too Much Junkie Business.” It’s amazing to hear what Johnny & the boys actually sounded like. Listen to an outtake version of “Born To Lose,” below. Amazon.

L.A.M.F. – The Lost ’77 Mixes
Born Too Loose (3:04)
Baby Talk (2:22)
All By Myself (2:50)
I Wanna Be Loved (2:40)
It’s Not Enough (4:09)
Chinese Rocks (2:55)
Get Off The Phone (2:01)
Pirate Love (3:57)
One Track Mind (2:33)
I Love You (2:22)
Goin’ Steady (2:43)
Let Go (2:25)
Can’t Keep My Eyes On You (3:45)
Do You Love Me? (2:16)

L.A.M.F. – Demos, Outtakes And Alternative Mixes
Born To Lose (3:03)
Chinese Rocks (2:44)
Let Go (3:18)
Goin’ Steady (Instrumental) (3:16)
Baby Talk (Instrumental) (2:45)
Pirate Love (Instrumental) (3:45)
Born To Lose (Instrumental) (4:19)
Chinese Rocks (Instrumental) (5:45)
Do You Love Me? (2:28)
Can’t Keep My Eyes On You (3:42)
Get Off The Phone (2:02)
All By Myself (2:54)
It’s Not Enough (4:18)
One Track Mind (2:35)
Too Much Junkie Business (2:22)
London Boys (2:28)