Johnny Thunders
Musician, Songwriter
Johnny Thunders
Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale, Jr., was an American rock and roll/punk rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. He came to prominence in the early '70s as a member of the New York Dolls. He later played with Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist.
Biography
Johnny Thunders's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Johnny Thunders from around the web
Wham, Bam, Thank You, Glam! The 10 Greatest Glam Guitar Solos - Gibson
Google News - over 5 years
In keeping with the band's glam-punk ethos, the New York Dolls' Johnny Thunders mostly eschewed lengthy solos in favor of memorable riffs. But this ferocious ditty from the band's debut album showcased Thunders' talent for getting the most out of his
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Video: St. Vincent: "Cruel" - Pitchfork Media
Google News - over 5 years
In real life, Hell performed three Tim Buckley songs at the 1991 tribute concert: Buckley's "Moulin Rouge" and "Jungle Fire", and Johnny Thunders' "Chinese Rocks". If Bello ends up performing in the film, it'll be...interesting to see how he handles
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Anthrax Bassist Frank Bello To Play Punk Legend Richard Hell In 'Greetings ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Well the Televsion and Voidoids member performed two Buckley songs at the tribute concert—“Moulin Rouge” and “Jungle Fire”—and closed with “I'm Livin' On (Chinese Rocks)” dedicating the tune to both Buckley and Johnny Thunders who passed away a week
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Simon Price: There's no going back to the Old Grey Twilight Zone - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
The New York Dolls, super-camp street trash teetering around on high heels in lipstick and Empire State hairdos, had just ripped through a proto-punk stormer called Jet Boy, with twin frontmen David Johansen and Johnny Thunders, looking respectively
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Monkey Business: The Top 10 Rock Songs About Primates - Gibson
Google News - over 5 years
Bob Dylan seems to have been influenced by Berry's rapid-fire delivery in “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and the New York Doll's guitarist Johnny Thunders strummed his Gibson Les Paul in a dark satirical reworking of Berry's tune he titled “Too Much
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Readers' reviews: Bad gigs and Super 8 - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
notangry: "Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, late 70s, Cheltenham Town Hall. Johnny could hardly stand up, apparently unable to find the strings on his guitar, or the microphone." On the film side of Film&Music, most heat was generated by Peter
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Social Distortion's Mike Ness Loves 'Tearing Down' Punk Stereotypes -- New Video - Spinner
Google News - over 5 years
"Basically it comes down to Hank Williams, Rolling Stones, the Ramones and Johnny Thunders," Ness says about his influences. "But you could always push it a little farther, or dig a little deeper." Social Distortion's latest album, 'Hard Times and
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The Future of Classic Rock - San Diego Reader
Google News - over 5 years
... at Soda Bar with Rafter's dance-pop-for-ginger-balls...border punx Barrio Tiger turn up at Eleven with Dead Engines and Toothless George...punk and hip-hop punch it out at a Tower Bar bout between Johnny Thunders trib Chinese Rocks and trip-hop tag
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A Bad Girl With a Touch of Genius
NYTimes - over 5 years
''IT'S hard to look that cheap and pull it off,'' John Waters said admiringly of Amy Winehouse, some days after the English singer was found dead in her London bed. He was right. It takes a kind of genius. And genius was something Amy Winehouse possessed in abundance; the ill-starred singer, some suggested, had more gifts than she knew how to use.
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Dolls, Crüe and Poison form glam-metal alliance - The News Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Sure, David Johansen, Johnny Thunders and the rest of the band weren't reinventing the wheel with their blend of blues, glam and Stooges-esque pre-punk. And they didn't invent the whole idea of dressing up -- surely they all took notes when David Bowie
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City Slang: Cult Hero Hiawatha Bailey talks Blind Pig - Detroit Metro Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
We played with the Ramones, Joan Jett, Oingo Boingo, the Dead Boys, Johnny Thunders, and we've toured and recorded, and onward through the fog. Were you watching all of these great front men and thinking that you could do it? Well yeah
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It Became Part of My Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy - Brooklyn Rail
Google News - over 5 years
He stared at me and began doing some small Johnny Thunders–style jumps in the air. I began mimicking him, not sure what he was getting at. In retrospect, I guess I should have figured it out, but at the time, I could not imagine he wanted me to befoul
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Mickey, Fungi Girls, Pure X, Grooms, The Wake, Weekend, pow wow! & more in ... - Brooklyn Vegan
Google News - over 5 years
It's a sleazy vision of excess that is part The Sweet, part Johnny Thunders, part Schlitz malt liquor and three bags of glitter dumped on top. It's hook-filled debauched fun. Check out "For You" at the top of this post for a taste
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Jonathan Wilson (No 1056) - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
... that quintessential early-70s countercultural milieu with jam sessions at his compound featuring various members of the Jayhawks, Wilco, the Black Crowes, the Heartbreakers (the Tom Petty one, not the Johnny Thunders one), and Jakob Dylan
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Clem Burke to be Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Music - The Morton Report
Google News - over 5 years
... with the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Jett, Iggy Pop, Brian Wilson, the Ramones, Pete Townshend, and Johnny Thunders, but for his groundbreaking work on the physical demands of drumming and how that can promote physical and psychological well-being
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Soundboard: June 30-July 6 - Chicago Reader
Google News - over 5 years
He even finds a fresh take on Johnny Thunders's "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory," which has become a perennial cover in the trite-punk circuit. —Brian Costello The Strange Boys headline. 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, $8. PAUL CARY & THE SMALL
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Monday Buzz: Week of June 27 - Journal and Courier
Google News - almost 6 years
Guitarist Johnny Thunders died suspiciously in 1991 and bassist Arthur Kane succumbed to leukemia in 2004. Drummers Billy Murcia and Jerry Nolan died in 1972 and 1992, respectively. The New York Dolls playing in Indiana is a rare occurrence
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Johnny Thunders
    THIRTIES
  • 1991
    Age 38
    Many rumors surround Thunders' death at the St. Peter House in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 23, 1991.
    More Details Hide Details He apparently died of drug-related causes, but it has been speculated that it was the result of foul play. According to the autobiography Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones, Dee Dee Ramone took a call in New York City the next day from Stevie Klasson, Johnny's rhythm guitar player. "They told me that Johnny had gotten mixed up with some bastards... who ripped him off for his methadone supply. They had given him LSD and then murdered him. He had gotten a pretty large supply of methadone in England, so he could travel and stay away from those creeps - the drug dealers, Thunders imitators, and losers like that." Singer Willy DeVille, who lived next door to the hotel in which Thunders died, described his death this way: I don't know how the word got out that I lived next door, but all of a sudden the phone started ringing and ringing. Rolling Stone was calling, the Village Voice called, his family called, and then his guitar player called. I felt bad for all of them. It was a tragic end, and I mean, he went out in a blaze of glory, ha ha ha, so I thought I might as well make it look real good, you know, out of respect, so I just told everybody that when Johnny died he was laying down on the floor with his guitar in his hands.
  • 1988
    Age 35
    From August 1988 until his death in April 1991, Thunders performed with a band known as The Oddballs, with Jamie Heath (saxophone), Alison Gordy (vocals), Chris Musto (drums), Stevie Klasson (guitar) and Jill Wisoff (bass).
    More Details Hide Details From April–May 1990, Johnny performed an acoustic tour of the UK and Ireland joining up occasionally with John, Sam & Peter of The Golden Horde, whom he had met and played with previously in 1984 at the TV Club, and were concurrently on tour (of the UK & Ireland) at that time also, for full-band electric performances and TV appearances. May 8, 1990, recording sessions in London for a joint EP-single cover version with The Golden Horde of "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies, and original material, had to be cancelled when Johnny experienced "health problems" following his performances in Wakefield, UK while on tour. Bootleg live recordings, although very poor in quality, do exist. His final recording was a version of "Born To Lose," with German punk rock band Die Toten Hosen, recorded 36 hours before his death in New Orleans.
  • 1985
    Age 32
    In 1985, Thunders released Que Sera Sera, a collection of new songs with his then band The Black Cats, and Crawfish, a duet with former Snatch vocalist, Patti Palladin.
    More Details Hide Details Three years later he again teamed up with Patti Palladin to release "Copy Cats", a covers album. The album, produced by Patti, featured a wide assortment of musicians to recreate the 50's and 60's sound of the originals, including Alex Balanescu on violin, Bob Andrews on piano, The Only Ones John Perry and others on guitar, and a horn section.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1979
    Age 26
    In late 1979 Thunders moved to Detroit with his wife Julie and began performing in a band called Gang War.
    More Details Hide Details Other members included John Morgan, Ron Cooke, Philippe Marcade and former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer. They recorded several demos and performed live several times before disbanding. Zodiac Records released an EP of their demos in 1987. In 1990 they also released an LP titled Gang War, which was credited to Thunders and Kramer. Bootlegs of their demos and live performances remain in circulation. During the early 1980s, Thunders re-formed The Heartbreakers for various tours; the group recorded their final album, Live at the Lyceum in 1984. The concert was also filmed and released as a video and later a DVD titled Dead Or Alive.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1970
    Age 17
    In London, after the Isle of Wight Festival, the following summer, his girlfriend Janis fell sick and they flew home. Back in NYC from the UK, toward the end of 1970, he started hanging out at Nobodys, a club also on Bleecker Street in the West Village.
    More Details Hide Details It was near there that he met future Dolls Arthur Kane and Rick Rivets. He joined their band "Actress" which later, after firing Rivets and adding David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain and Billy Murcia, became the New York Dolls. At this time he changed his name to "Johnny Thunders", inspired by a comic book hero. Dolls bass guitarist Arthur Kane later wrote about Thunders's guitar sound, as he described arriving outside the rehearsal studio where they were meeting to jam together for the first time: "I heard someone playing a guitar riff that I myself didn't know how to play. It was raunchy, nasty, rough, raw, and untamed. I thought it was truly inspired " Adding, "His sound was rich and fat and beautiful, like a voice." The New York Dolls were signed to Mercury Records, with the help of A & R man Paul Nelson. Thunders recorded two albums with the band, New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon. They were managed by Marty Thau, and booked by Leber & Krebs. Subsequently they worked with Malcolm McLaren for several months, later becoming a prototype for the Sex Pistols.
  • 1969
    Age 16
    He and his girlfriend, Janis Cafasso, went to see the Stones at Madison Square Garden in November 1969, and they appear in the Maysles' film, Gimme Shelter.
    More Details Hide Details
    In late 1969 he got a job as a sales clerk at D'Naz leather shop, on Bleecker Street in the West Village, and started trying to put a band together.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1968
    Age 15
    In 1968 he began going to the Fillmore East and Bethesda Fountain in Central Park on weekends.
    More Details Hide Details His older sister, Mariann, started styling his hair like Keith Richards.
  • 1967
    Age 14
    His first musical performance was in the winter of 1967 with The Reign.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly thereafter, he played with "Johnny and the Jaywalkers," under the name Johnny Volume, at Quintano's School for Young Professionals, around the corner from Carnegie Hall, on 56th Street near 7th Avenue.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1952
    Born
    Born on July 15, 1952.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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