The New York Dolls at Max’s Kansas City, 8/27/73

On October 17, 2011 by Will Hermes

So Love Goes To Buildings On Fire is out in 3 weeks. Woo-hoo! You can pre-order it by clicking one of the links in the righthand column.

The New York Dolls inspired virtually every New York rock musician I interviewed; they even impressed Bruce Springsteen, though he was a bit puzzled by their fashion sense. In fact, the book opens on the Dolls’ big New Year’s Eve show (with the Modern Lovers) at the Mercer Arts Center on January 1, 1973.

Their debut album had been released in July, and this song—the band’s greatest moment—had been released as a single on the day this video was shot by Bob Gruen, in late August, ’73.

“Get this,” a mincing, half-naked David Johnasen declares onstage, “We’re gonna be on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand!”

That’s Peter Jordan, their roadie, playing bass. Arthur “Killer” Kane had wound up in the hospital earlier that evening when his girlfriend Connie nearly cut off his thumb with a kitchen knife during a rather nasty lovers’ quarrel.

It’d been an eventful day.

The next morning, the band would fly to LA for a series of promo gigs. There, Johnny Thunders would meet his hero Iggy Pop, and try heroin for the very first time. He liked it a lot.

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