Tuesday, July 22, 2008

lost valley (of the dolls)

whiplash records EP200,
naugatuck, connecticut.
arthur 'killer' kane: self prescribing living statue, 'mister kool'.

From Wiki:

"Arthur Harold Kane Jr, was born in The Bronx, New York to Erna and Harold Kane. His mother died when he was a young man and his difficult relationship with his father went downhill. He graduated from Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, New York. He first played bass in the band Actress along the other original New York Dolls: Johnny Thunders, Rick Rivets and Billy Murcia, but not David Johansen."

After the gig was up for the New York Dolls, bass player Arthur Kane went on to join up with Blackie Lawless, who had briefly stood in for Johnny Thunders during the Dolls' addled Forida tour in 1975. Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the band and founded The Heartbreakers with Richard Hell in the wake of his acrimonious split with Television.

Arthur settled on the name Killer Kane for his splinter project. Hardly inspired, but by this time he was understandably desperate to see his name in lights. His days of playing second fiddle were no more.

The bid for parity with those other Dolls who went on to achieve a degree of success was short lived if not hopelessly stillborn.

Disillusioned, Kane soon quit New York entirely and relocated to LA, but sunny California was as cruel if maybe a little warmer. While he survived Thunders and Nolan long enough to stage a reunion with David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain in 2004, he succumbed to leukemia just two hours after being admitted to an LA emergency room with suspected fatigue in July of the same year.

The ranks of dead dolls lie swollen with entropy.

With thanks to Phil Milstein for the pic and vinyl rip.

KILLER KANE BAND: MR. COOL from "Mr. Cool" EP (Whiplash) 1976 (US)



Your driver said...

the film, New York Doll, about Kane, is great.

ib said...

I haven't seen this at all - or even heard of it - but i just looked it up, and hooray! Thank god for the documentary...

I'm jaded with all those biopics doing the rounds, currently.

Thanks for the tip, Jon. I like Morrissey too, who I see features in this film. He was a big New York Dolls fan.

Your driver said...

Snobby me, it was the first think I ever liked about Morrissey. I'm so generous about letting rock stars redeem themselves. I found a whole bunch of used DVD's about music, not in the same store, and not at the same time, so I'm not sure how I lucked into them. New York Doll was the best of the bunch; a kind hearted and generous portrait of a troubled artist.

ib said...

Morrissey took a lot of stick for his infatuation with the New York Dolls, I remember. In the era of Joy Division - a band I greatly admire, incidentally - people were falling over themselves with that whole Christopher Isherwood Berlin affair.

"While people were running about with copies of 'Mein Kampf' in their overcoat pockets..." - and I believe this is more or less a direct quote from Tony Wilson - "Morrissey could be glimpsed standing at a bus stop with a paperback Sven Hassel hanging out his back pocket."

This was obviously intended as a put down but worked quite inversely.
Morrissey loved the dirty fun of the Dolls without the bogus intellectualizing of his contemporaries and all their literary affectations.

Your driver said...

Indiana and the UK were, and are, very different places, but, long ago, I once went to a club wearing a suit, black on black, suit tie etc, with black trench coat pockets stuffed with French and Russian existentialist novels and a pack of Gauloise. I was, of course, wearing a beret. I was making fun of certain art school types in my circle. The only people I knew who were interested in the Isherwood Berlin stuff were Trotskyists.

ib said...

In 1979/80 if you'd turned up at club dressed like that, you'd have had a long procession of trilby wearers eager to swap your Gauloise for a cocktail cigarette from a monogrammed case. And not all of them would have been art students, believe me.

Actually, I went through a brief phase when I smoked Gauloise myself. Kind of like smoking a shredded bicycle tyre, if I remember correctly.

Have you ever seen that footage of Johnny Thunders trying to procure a pack of Lucky Strike in a tobacconist's in Paris ? It's kind of funny, and not in the way intended.

Mike said...

I will second or third the comments about New York Doll. It is one of those "rock" documentaries where the human story transcends the music story. Morrissey definitely made Kane's final wish come become a reality and Syl comes across as nothing less than an ass.
One to watch again and again and again.

ib said...

Thanks for the observation regards Syl Sylvain, Mike. He always appeared the idiot of the bunch. And not in any Iggy sense of the word.

I definitely need to ferret out a copy of "Doll" some time soon.