Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

New York Dolls

A pivotal album in the development of both glam and punk rock, New York Dolls (1973), the self titled debut by the outrageous cross dressing rockers from the Big Apple, served as absolute proof that, musically speaking, less could certainly be more.

In an era when musicians were becoming more and more accomplished and songs were growing complex and sometimes interminably long, the New York Dolls distilled rock ‘n roll to the essence of rhythm, attitude, and basics.

The critics loved them, but the masses didn’t catch on, probably more due to their visual look than their wildly energetic and edgy sonic attack.

With such future classics as Personality Crisis, Trash, Jet Boy, Looking For A Kiss, Pills (a Bo Diddley cover filtered through a sleazy New York sensibility), and Viatnamese Baby, the Dolls influenced so many legendary acts in their wake.

Everyone from Kiss to the Ramones and The Sex Pistols owed a debt to the path that David Johansen, Johnny Thunders, Sylvain Sylvain, Arthur “Killer” Kane, and Jerry Nolan forged as the gloriously decadent New York Dolls.

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