new york dolls / heartbreakers / johnny thunders

...the dolls in 1975 were an interesting proposition when put into perspective with present day rocking circumstances of retro touring going on for a fix of pensionable stock in the future days when dwindling reserves are all that's on the horizon for ancient rockers...back in the day we see the dolls managed by one malcolm mclaren, dressing them in red patent leather, hoping to bait the liberal hippies and right wing patriots into some media outrage, maybe he can whip up some communist fervour and fever in the recession struck we see the dolls repeating the then unknown future by recycling their past glories as dorian grays mirror stays young and reflects outward the desired image, in this case the dolls in pursuit of significance in a climate of recline, an enforced reclination that threatens the very fabric of the empire...the dolls imagine themselves as young urban early rolling stones as seen through the eyes of mott the hoople in a back alley drug haze, wrapped in their red leather bad boy outfits they strut their heroin delusions on a high wire, a vaudaville act in teetering platform shoes come to save rock'n'roll from pretentious dullards and simpering teenage pop stodge, to give the noise back to the streets where it has always the time this was recorded in early 75 they'd lived the low rent / high life with adulation from underground skanks and impressionable teenage fodder, high flyers who just could not escape the gutter (real or imagined) that they had supposedly come from, the dolls here are a cover band of their own past material, recycling for future use keeping the trash floating on the surface with the scuffs and scrape of sidewalk living thrown to the acid burnouts of a post glitter world...the dolls give life to the theatricality of pose, the group are posuers in their own dream, onlookers at the window of their own selves as they regenerate into new skin, alluring and dangerous red devils making trouble in society, rabble or rebellion is the question that is posed as the mid seventies swallow up another hot rocking combo... we're privileged to have access to an early gig from these NYC gutter chemists which sees the whole of this set list as a virtual greatest hits already, proving these cats had it in the bag right from the getgo...even if they had given up the rocking and stayed in the pharmaceutical business full time this would be a perfect snapshot of mid 70's urban basement scuzzball rhythm noise...perfect for those times when some HOTCHA rocking action is called for... seemed at the time that going to see a johnny thunders show was getting to be rather ghoulish, would he last out the show, would the skag he'd shot up earlier prove to be the ultimate rush, the ride to oblivion as mere spectacle for any layabouts who could be bothered to check out said show...this disk to an ultra conservative (though recorded in japan in 1988 shows the good news that johnny gets through the gig in one piece, giving out with some swaggering rock'n'rollundoubtedly appreciative) audience, their respectful quietness seems to give johnny an uneasy feeling but he's a trouper so the show must and will go on...starting out with the rocking surf explosion known as 'pipeline' lets thunders get the show moving in fine and traditional fashion, the twang of the surf gives the audience the metaphorical rush they need to get in the zone with johnny, to maybe go on that one last ride...well now, that last rush has to be postponed at this juncture as johnny shows fine mettle on this outing in the east, he goes through the motions with some aplomb, it's more than could sometimes have been expected, johnny holds his end of the bargain up, he will entertain the crowd with some rocking and some moody blues, urban junkie style, a lazy righteous slow grind sleaze from NYC gutters of desire and lost hope...there's some surprising jazz moves with some of the interplay between guitars / drums in momentary trance jams that happen more than once, this could be down to chemical enhancement of artistic worth or a juxtaposition of involuntary movement from spazz junkies, either way its an excellent find of ability keeping the thunders name in the press for at least another week...its on some of the late eighties dates that show johnny as urban street musician, the wondering minstrel ever on the watch for a new connection, a chance to be heard and more importantly for johnny to way to get that nirvanic rocker feel that he always surmised was the state keef richard existed in, a blissed out awareness of mortality, this was the quest at that time, a hard line troubadour who paid the price for adulation by working himself into a self perpetuating circle of a 'jones for jones sake', to cop the rock was payment for being allowed on stage, these are the vibrations that come from this disk and others that document the times of a modern blues man struck down by circumstance of being able to buy what maybe was not enough, that the eventual outcome is being 'born to lose'...

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