Forget whatever your '80s metalhead friends say about the merits of Poison and Mötley Crüe — New York Dolls are the most important and influential band on this triple-header summer tour. The band, formed in 1971, pre-dates the formation of Poison by 12 years, and the Crüe by 10 years — hell, the Dolls are three years older than even the godfathers of punk, The Ramones. The Dolls were wearing makeup, teasing their hair, and playing glam-punk garage rock long before the terms "hair metal" or "glam metal" even existed. Their influence, both musically and visually, extends to everybody from Blondie to KISS to The Smiths. They were one of few bands whose various members spawned a slew of notable acts, including The Heartbreakers (with Dolls Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan), WASP (featuring Blackie Lawless, who replaced Thunders), and Buster Poindexter (the alter ego of NYD singer David Johansen). The New York Dolls have seen the deaths of many members (including Thunders, Nolan, original bassist Arthur Kane, and original drummer Billy Murcia). Of the original lineup, only Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain remain. But they've got some seasoned players on tour with them — Earl Slick (who's worked with David Bowie and John Lennon) will be on guitar, while former Joan Jett and The Blackhearts bassist Kenny Aaronson holds down the low end. If you've ever kicked yourself for missing a band live before they broke up or a pivotal member died, then do yourself a favor and catch the New York Dolls while you can. —
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