New York Dolls
Live at the Fillmore East
4 out of 5 Stars
I’m not going to try to be one of those people who claims to have loved the New York Dolls since the 1970s. I did not, in fact, listen to them on vinyl in my middle school years. But I was truly excited when they reformed, mostly (to be really honest) because of the awesome documentary New York Doll, which chronicles the life of the band, but in particular, bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane.
That being said, though, anyone who is unsure of their staying power more than 30 years after they broke up only need listen to the opening minutes of “Babylon” on this new live release.
Yeah, there’s been some line-up changes since 1974, but the band hasn’t lost one beat of its over-the-top glam rock-mixed-with-punk spark.
David Johansen may look four-bazillion years old, but his voice is just as good as it was nearly 40 years ago when the way-before-their-time band first exploded on the scene. And don’t think for a second that after all those years and a few hardcore addictions and recoveries later, his attitude has suffered one iota. Johansen makes Mick Jagger look like he’s on Quaaludes, after smoking a joint and shooting a giant heap of smack.
Founding guitarist Sylvain Sylvain is equally exuberant and the three semi-“new” guys fill the shoes of the departed Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan and Kane in fine form.