It’s hard to state just how big an effect New York Dolls had on me. I’d known punk and garage and raw Stooges mess but New York Dolls blew that all open.
What the fuck was this? How the hell did I miss it? How had I got to late teens without hearing this beautifully shambolic glam trash? And what was I going to do with it after? I devoured just as much as I could, and then I started getting more interesting.
New York Dolls said I could be theatric. They told me to messup with gender. Off the back of that intro I chased down connections, worked on up to The Cramps and back to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and my franken-frontman was born. And so began my wildest 6 years so far, all from a love of those Dolls.
Sylvain might not have been star of the show, and Thunders is always a hero, but Sylvain was my biggest living connection to the band that kicked me in the ass. I met him years later at a solo show in Nottingham that was shamefully under-attended. He must have played in that room to less than 20 people and I lapped up every second.
Strangely babyfaced, charming, crude, rebellious, light witted, I might have lost all my cool. Call it a Personality Crisis. But he signed my record and I spat out that story and gave him an album of mine.
That’s Sylvain in the middle with me on the left and some very good friends bunched around us (and that’s Dick Venom & the Terrortones in his hand). Take it easy Sylvain, all my thanks for the mess, I’ll still be listening for decades.