Thursday, July 15, 2004

PUNKOBIT: Arthur Kane, New York Dolls bassist, died on Tuesday. The fifty-five year old died in an LA hospital from complications relating to leukemia.

Born in the Bronx in 1951, Kane had been trying to form a band under the New York Dolls title for some time with his friend Johnny Thunders, but it was his chance meeting with David Johansen at the movies (aptly, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls) which provided the group with the vocalist it needed to gel. They were tempted to England in 1972 by The Faces, but the trip was to be ill-fated when Doll Billy Murcia died in still shady circumstances. The resultant publicity wasn't all bad - it created a buzz about the band which would see them signing a deal with Mercury Records. A debut album produced by Todd Rundgren resulted in the sort of dogs breakfast such a mismatch would suggest, but still sold over 100,000 copies. The next album, Too Much Too Soon, was also a flop, and the band parted from their label. It was at this point that Malcolm 'I invented punk' McLaren stepped in as manager, a move which was to prove a disaster. Disheartened, the band started to fracture and collapse - Kane disappearing with short-term Doll Blackie Lawless.

Kane's biggest contribution to the band's music was the track Private World. although David Johansen has since suggested Kane didn't really deserve his co-writer credit for the song.

Nicknamed 'Killer', besides his bass work for the Dolls themselves he'd put together his own band - named, imaginatively enough, The Killer Kane Band, and also worked with The Idols and the Corpse Grinders.

The original line-up (or the surviving members thereof) recently reunited and played Morrissey's Meltdown earlier in the month. They'd been added to the bill for Reading and Leeds, ironically as last-minute replacements for The Vines. Current reports say the Dolls still intend to honour the dates.


ashkenazi said...

Johansen went out of his way to credit Kane with Private World at the first of the Meltdown performances, called him his guru and kissed him full on the mouth. Arthur wasn't in much of a state to do anything about that or much else, it later took two stagemonkeys quite a while to remove his coat. R.I.P. Arthur, you were, as Morissey (almost) sang, The Fourth Of The Gang To Die.

dewlover said...

No surprise "he went out of his way" to give credit to Artie...David has been doing that when introducing that song since long before the reunion...

If you ask me, whoever wrote the above apparently doesn't know Diddley!!

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