Friday, June 05, 2009

Once a New York Doll, Always a New York Doll

I finally saw Greg Whiteley's documentary, "New York Doll" last night and was moved to tears. It's the bio of Arthur "Killer" Kane, bassist for the NY Dolls, who I knew NOTHING about before seeing the film. Perhaps the film has that much more impact due to my ignorance. As gentle giant Arthur's story unfolded, I was completely compelled throughout.

The NY Dolls were one of those bands that everyone knows about but not every knows a lot about the details. The film compacts 30 years of rock history (and obscurity) into a tight, entertaining, emotionally fitful and satisfying arc. How Arthur went from fame and potential fortune at the beginning of his adulthood, and how all his desires were thwarted and how he eventually came to experience that moment again, much later in his life, after years of poverty, addiction and redemption, is legendary stuff.

Plus there's entertaining interviews with Mormons throughout. I loved it. Let's have a New York Dolls moment, shall we, in honor of Arthur Kane.

"New York Doll" trailer

Personality Crisis - 1973

Jet Boy - The Dolls on The Old Grey Whistle Test show in '73. According to the film, this performance on the usually staid prog-rock/classic rock format blew everyone's minds, including young Morrissey, future members of the Clash, Sex Pistols, etc., etc. Unfortunately for the Dolls, they were so ahead of their time ('73!) and had so many tragedies to contend with, including the death of their 21-year-old drummer shortly after this performance, that their instant rock icon status brought none of the material success that it promises.

Looking for a Kiss



michelle robinson said...

Love the NY dolls, In my teenage years i was listening to them one day and my Mom freaked out, said she couldn't listen to them. I guess as the story goes, on the way to the hospital, minutes from having me, my Father turned on the radio and NY dolls were playing. She now associates the sound with labor pains. Ouch. Besides she wasn't into the whole glam thing. Could you imagine a world were you turn on the radio and great music like the NY dolls would just be playing on the radio. LIke that. The 70's kicked ass.

Lisa Mc said...

I love how her memory of your entry into the world was tied to the NY Dolls. Good for you.