02 December 2006

Personality Crisis

Kathy and I saw the New York Dolls Wednesday night, and … daaaaaaaamn … they put on a great show. Thrilling, really. I’d never seen the Dolls before (their last show here was in 1981, opening for Pat Benatar), and I’m so glad I went. The Northwest Doppelganger saw them in her neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and told me it was a must show, so I squealed when Kathy told me she had two tickets.

The concert was a double treat for me because I rarely get to see Kathy, and she’s one of my favorite people. Just damn cool. She spent some formative years in Manhattan (others in London and Paris, lucky girl), and has some great stories of those days. But those are Kathy’s stories to tell, not mine. However, I’m impressed by them, so you can be impressed via moi.

The show was part of Little Steven’s Underground Garage Tour. Four bands performed before the Dolls hit the stage. The Chesterfield Kings were great … The Charms were okay … Supersucker super sucked (they try too hard to be party boys; gets boring) … and we missed the first band.

Kathy and I got close to the stage, about six or seven deep from the stage. And thank God we did. David Johansen strutted and commanded the stage in full rocker glory — black leggings, tons of sparkly baubles, a vision in glam. But, damn, he’s frighteningly tiny; I want to feed him lots of grits and biscuits. He knows how to work a stage, though, and that’s why I was there. Sylvain Sylvain lives in Atlanta these days, which was news to me. He was adorable on stage, talking about how he loves his hometown (which is funny to hear in that Noo Yawk accent). Johansen and Sylvain are still the height of cool.

Yeah, so they’re missing Johnny Thunders and Arthur “Killer” Kane. I sneered about this tour — and the new album, which I plan to pick up after I get out of the office today (yes, it’s Saturday; it’s been that kind of week, kids) — but they did a good job replacing those irreplaceables on this tour.

Sleep deprivation prevents me from remembering the entire setlist, but we heard “Pills” and “Trash” and “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.” They closed the night with “Personality Crisis”:

We’re off to Johansen’s left.

This was a crowd pleasing to those of us who love watching crowds. One of the most interesting mixes I’ve seen in a long time. You had rockabillies and punks, former fratboys on a night out from the ‘burbs, rednecks and scenesters, folks who enjoyed the Dolls the first go-round and kids who were born years after that glorious moment in time. Our fave was the tall guy in a suit, leopard fez, and spats. Some folks around us tried to get a mosh going, but they ended up just crashing into each other.

God, I love live music …

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At 12/02/2006 06:14:00 PM, Blogger Old Lady said...

Yes, the music surrounds and gets absorbed through and through. When it stops it's like being sucked dry.

At 12/02/2006 09:07:00 PM, Blogger Bubs said...

Cool. I never got to see the Dolls. I did see David Johansen once when he opened for Devo at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit and a tophat, and at the time I thought he was doing a bad Mick Jagger impersonation. Oh well.

At 12/02/2006 09:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - so much fun to see it again courtesy of YouTube!!! They sounded so damn good - a nice mix of old songs and new. I've been smiling for days... They're still the greatest! You're the best person to go to a concert with 'cause you're so into music. Love ya -Kathy

At 12/02/2006 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Ah Trash! It's one of my favourties and Personality Crisis as well...Great night for you Beth, music and your good pal, poifect!

I can't remember, did you see the doc New York Doll about Arthur Killer Kane? It was Mormonlicious.

At 12/03/2006 02:09:00 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Awesome live performance. It really looks like they've still got it. You're right though, Johansen looks damn skinny.

At 12/03/2006 05:21:00 PM, Blogger Allison said...

Beth, I just wanted to say thanks for your comment.

Glad you enjoyed the show!

At 12/04/2006 02:31:00 AM, Blogger barista brat said...

is it sad that i still see him as buster poindexter singing "hot! hot! hot!"

At 12/04/2006 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

OLD LADY: That's it exactly!

BUBS: Kathy and I talked about his Mick Jagger similarities -- all the way down to his being too skinny and it showing in his face.

KATHY: We need to get out and see shows more often.

DALE: I keep forgetting to pick up that documentary. Everyone I know who's seen it has raved.

BEN: It was a great show. I felt 19 again.

ALLISON: I understand your emotional rollercoaster you're currently experiencing, so no need to thank.

BRAT: It is sad, young one.

At 12/04/2006 08:39:00 PM, Anonymous Glassmeow said...

Dale, The film is amazing! I want to buy it, but will wait for the Japanese edition (I think that's the one) 'cause Robyn's song will be on that version...

If anyone knows otherwise, please say something!

Beth, now I AM officially kicking myself for missing the Dolls in Portland. Damn!

At 12/05/2006 09:39:00 AM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

Never have gotten a chance to see David Johansen or the Dolls. I remember the summer of '82, when I lived in Champaign, Illinois, trying furiously to win tickets on the school radio station for a show he did at Champaign's legendary Mabel's club. Obviously I didn't win.

BTW, his first solo album was one of the best albums ever. "Funky But Chic" and "Frenchette" are desert-island songs.

At 12/05/2006 09:39:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

Beth, thanks for sharing. They look like they were having a great time. Maybe I'll get a chance to see them next time around.

As you know, I'm a live music junky as well. I always have to have a show to look forward to or I get the shakes. Glad you had a great time.

At 6/01/2007 01:36:00 PM, Blogger Dan said...

You saw the NY DOLLS?? No! You can't! Not fair!! I LOVE their new album. You know, the one that followed their 2nd studio album from, oh ... I don't know ... THIRTY YEARS AGO.

I am so envious. :(

But I saw R.E.M. in the 80s. Yes, live, in small clubs. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!


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