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Posts Tagged ‘David Johanson’

That Pearl Jam song “Jeremy” ends with Eddie Vedder going, “arararrRRRrRRRrrAAaaaaRRRR.”

I think that’s cool, get it out Eddie, get all those demons out.

I am listening to a 90s playlist on my iTunes right now… can you tell?

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Last night, I watched a documentary on Arthur “Killer” Kane of the New York Dolls. (on the CBC of all places!)  I didn’t really know too much about the tragic story of the group.  In the early 70s, the band a wee bit before curve of popular culture.  They started a style of rock and roll that would dominate punk and 80s glam metal right into the 90s.  But the band disintegrated before they could cash in on any of the success.  They had a series of Spinal Tap-esque tragedies with members dying and eventually went their separate ways.  The front man, David Johansen actually saw some success in the 80s as a joke act.  Remember that song “Hot Hot Hot?”  Yeah, the former front man of The New York Dolls.

um yeah… that dude invented punk rock in 1973!  And the crazy ghost cab driver from the Bill Murray classic Scrooged?  yup you can guess it, David Johansen.

But the documentary, “New York Doll,” is not about David Johansen… it is about Arthur Kane.  The New York Dolls called it a band in the mid 70s and Kane tried to keep something going.  He bounced between coasts and eventually settled in LA.  One day he got completely blasted and attacked his wife!  He tore all her clothes off her and she ran away.  Kane thought the the best way to head her off at the pass was to jump out a third story window.  And as he says in the documentary, “In AA, they call that hitting rock bottom.”

Kane’s wife left him and he found god… well the Mormon version of God.  He then would live most of his life in relative obscurity working in the Family History center for the Latter Day Saints, fixing copiers (the scene that brought the LOLz was when he talked about how hard it is to pick up Mormons).  He rode the bus, he lived off welfare, his bass guitars were in the pawn shop.

Then in 2004, Morrissey (who was a huge fan in 1970, heading up the groups UK fan club and everything) called him up and said, “hey get the band back together… I got a show in London for you.)

The Mormons gave him a few hundred bucks to get his bass outta the pawn shop and a plane ticket to New York.  There he would meet up with the two surviving members of the group Sylvain Sylvain and Johansen.

Kane has a hard time with Johansen because he has many unresolved feelings about the break up of the Dolls and Johansen’s later commercial success while he lived in poverty.  The boys manage to reconcile their difference, rehearse and have an excellent show.  Kane is exuberant and plans to tour with the New York Dolls.

The documentary ends sadly when Kane gets leukemia and suddenly dies.

Serious downer to an excellent story, yet also uplifting.  Kane discovers religion which brings him a measure of peace and he did get that final shot at the prize to end his life on an up.

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Go with yourself.

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