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Encyclopedia > Johnny Thunders
Johnny Thunders
Johnny Thunders live c. 1980
Johnny Thunders live c. 1980
Background information
Birth name John Anthony Genzale, Jr
Born 1952-07-15
New York City, NY, USA
Died April 23, 1991 (aged 38)
New Orleans, LA, USA
Genre(s) Rock and Roll, Proto punk, Glam rock, Punk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter
Instrument(s) Guitar, Vocals
Years active 1971–1991
Associated
acts
New York Dolls, The Heartbreakers

Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale, Jr (July 15, 1952 - April 23, 1991), was a rock and roll guitarist and singer, first with the New York Dolls, the proto-punk glam rockers of the early 1970s. During the late '70s, he was a familiar figure on the New York punk scene, both with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. His screeching, penetrating guitar sound is distinctive and highly influential in punk rock music. Thunders tangled with the demons of fame along with alcohol and drug addiction. photo by Einar Einarsson Kvaran Johnny Thunders File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... This article is about the state. ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Protopunk is a term used to describe a number of performers who were important precursors of punk rock, or who have been cited by early punk rockers as influential. ... Glam rock (also known as glitter rock), is a style of rock and pop music, which initially surfaced in the post-hippie early 1970s. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... “Instrumentalist” redirects here. ... A songwriter is someone who writes the lyrics to songs, the musical composition or melody to songs, or both. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ... For the self-titled debut album, visit New York Dolls (album) The New York Dolls are a rock band formed in New York City in 1971. ... The Heartbreakers was a punk rock group formed in New York in May 1975 by Johnny Thunders (vocals/guitar) and Jerry Nolan (drums) who had just quit the New York Dolls and Richard Hell (vocals/bass) who was forced out of Television, the band he had founded with Tom Verlaine... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... For the self-titled debut album, visit New York Dolls (album) The New York Dolls are a rock band formed in New York City in 1971. ... The acronym LAMP (or L.A.M.P.) refers to a set of free software programs commonly used together to run dynamic Web sites or servers: Linux, the operating system; Apache, the Web server; MySQL, the database management system (or database server); Perl, PHP, Python, and/or Primate (mod mono... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... The Heartbreakers was a punk rock group formed in New York in May 1975 by Johnny Thunders (vocals/guitar) and Jerry Nolan (drums) who had just quit the New York Dolls and Richard Hell (vocals/bass) who was forced out of Television, the band he had founded with Tom Verlaine... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ...

Contents

Biography

John Genzale was born July 15, 1952, and grew up in Jackson Heights, NY. He was of second generation Italian descent. As a youngster he played baseball but could not join the Little League as it required the presence of the youth's father. Under the name "Johnny Volume", Genzale began performing music at Quintano High School with "Johnny and the Jaywalkers." is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the sport. ...


In 1968 he started going to the Fillmore East on weekends and later a West Village bar on Bleecker Street, Nobodys. He got a job as a salesclerk at Da Nazz leather shop on Bleecker. It was on Bleecker Street that he met future Dolls Arthur Kane and Billy Murcia. He joined their band, "Actress", which eventually became the New York Dolls when David and Syl joined in 1971.


At this time John Genzale renamed himself Johnny Thunders, after a comic book of the same name.


They recorded two critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums, The New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon. The band was managed, for a short time, by Malcolm McLaren and was an inspiration for the Sex Pistols. Malcolm McLaren (born Malcolm Robert Andrew Edwards, 22 January 1946, in London) is an English impresario, musician and self-publicist who is best known as being the manager of the punk rock band Sex Pistols. ... Sex Pistols are an iconic and highly influential English punk rock band, formed in London in 1975. ...


The Dolls broke up. Their early recordings are still in print today and continue to influence young bands with their trash/glam/punk attitude.


Post-New York Dolls

He formed The Heartbreakers with Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan, ex-Demons guitarist Walter Lure and Television bassist Richard Hell, who left soon after to form Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Hell was replaced by Billy Rath. The Heartbreakers was a punk rock group formed in New York in May 1975 by Johnny Thunders (vocals/guitar) and Jerry Nolan (drums) who had just quit the New York Dolls and Richard Hell (vocals/bass) who was forced out of Television, the band he had founded with Tom Verlaine... Jerry Nolan (May 7, 1946 – January 14, 1992) was a U.S. rock and roll drummer, who played with The New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers. ... Richard Hell (born October 2, 1949) is the stage name of Richard Meyers, an American singer, songwriter, bass guitarist and writer. ... The Voidoids, also known as Richard Hell and the Voidoids, were a New York City punk rock band of the late 1970s, fronted by Richard Hell, a former member of Television. ...


With Thunders leading the band, the Heartbreakers toured America and Britain, releasing one official album, L.A.M.F., in 1977. L.A.M.F. is a punk classic that documents the important bridge between the U.S. and U.K punk scenes. The group relocated to the UK, where their popularity was significantly greater than it was in the U.S., particularly among punk bands. L.A.M.F. was the only studio album of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, which included such musicians as Walter Lure, Billy Rath, and Thunders New York Dolls bandmate Jerry Nolan. ...


In late 1979 Thunders began performing in a band called Gang War. 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, with Zodiac Records releasing an EP in 1987. Bootlegs of their demos and live performances are circulating; One semi-official live/studio vinyl only LP was released on Zodiac in 1990, credited to Thunders and Kramer and titled Gang War, it is easily available from specialist retailers. MC5 (short for Motor City Five) was a hard rock band formed in Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1964 and active until 1972. ... Wayne Kramer is the guitarist for MC5. ... Zodiac Records has been the name of at least four different record labels. ...


Thunders recorded a number of solo albums beginning with So Alone in 1978. The album was laid down in drug-laden sessions. It featured guests such as Phil Lynott, Chryssie Hynde, Steve Marriott, Paul Cook, Steve Jones, Walter Lure, Billy Rath, and Peter Perrett of The Only Ones. The core of the band on the album included Thunders, Lynott, Cook, and Jones. After its release, Thunders and Sex Pistols ex-bassist Sid Vicious played in the Living Dead for a short time. The CD version of the album contains four bonus tracks, including the single "Dead or Alive," one of Thunders' finest post-Dolls moments. So Alone is a 1978 album by Johnny Thunders, former guitarist for the New York Dolls. ... Philip Parris Lynott (August 20, 1949–January 4, 1986) was an Irish singer, instrumentalist and songwriter, who first came to prominence as a member of Thin Lizzy. ... Lead singer of The Pretenders ... Steve Marriott (30 January 1947 in Upton, East London, – 20 April 1991 in Arkesden, Essex. ... Paul Cook, born on July 20, 1956, is an English drummer and former member of the Sex Pistols. ... Stephen Phillip Jones (b. ... Peter Perrett was the frontman, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for the late 1970s British band The Only Ones. ... The Only Ones are an influential English rock and roll band. ... Sex Pistols are an iconic and highly influential English punk rock band, formed in London in 1975. ... For the professional wrestler, see Sid Eudy. ...


During the early 1980s, Thunders re-formed The Heartbreakers for various tours; the group recorded their final album in 1984.


In 1985, he released Que Sera Sera, a collection of new songs that showed he could still perform convincingly. Three years later he recorded an album of rock and R&B covers with vocalist Patti Palladin, Copy Cats. Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ...


Thunders kept performing and recording until his death in 1991, but problems with heroin addiction kept his output and songwriting sporadic during the 1980s. These bands would be formed ad hoc using Jerry Nolan as a mainstay. As Jerry was playing in the London Cowboys Barry Jones, Glen Matlock and Alan D'Alvarez would often feature. Heroin or diamorphine (INN) (colloquially referred to as junk, babania, horse, golden brown, smack, black tar, big H, lady H, dope, skag, juice, diesel, etc. ... The London Cowboys is a punk band formed by Punk renegades Steve Dior and Barry Jones, formerly of The Idols in the 1980s. ...


His final recording was a cover of "Born to Lose" with German punk rock band Die Toten Hosen, recorded 36 hours before his death. Andreas Frege (Campino) Andreas Meurer (Andi) Andreas von Holst (Kuddel) Kuddel and Andi Die Toten Hosen is a German punk band from Düsseldorf. ...


Death

Many rumors surround Thunders' death at the St. Peter House in New Orleans, Louisiana in April 1991. 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 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."[1] New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Dee Dee Ramone, 1979 Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Glenn Colvin) (September 18, 1951 - June 5, 2002) was a German American songwriter and bassist, best remembered as a founding member of punk rock band The Ramones. ... This article is about the state. ...


What is known for certain is that Johnny's room (no. 37) was ransacked and most of his possessions were missing (passport, makeup, clothes). Rigor mortis had set in with his body positioned in an unnatural state, described by eyewitnesses as "like a pretzel," underneath a coffee table. Friends and acquaintances acknowledge he had not been using heroin for some time, relying on his methadone prescriptions. The police did not open a criminal investigation. This article is about the sign of death. ...


Singer Willy DeVille, who lived next door to the hotel in which Thunders died, described his death this way: Willy DeVille on his 2001 album Horse of a Different Color Willy DeVille, singer and songwriter, was born William Borsay in Stamford, Connecticut on August 25, 1950. ...

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. I made that up. When he came out of the St. Peter's Guest House, rigor mortis had set in to such an extent that his body was in a U shape. When you're laying on the floor in a fetal position, doubled over - well, when the body bag came out, it was in a U. It was pretty awful.[2]

An autopsy was conducted by the New Orleans coroner, but served only to compound the mysteries. According to Thunders' biographer Nina Antonia as posted on the Jungle Records web site, the level of drugs found in his system was not fatal.[1] And according to the book "Rock Bottom: Dark Moments in Music Babylon" by Pamela Des Barres who interviewed Thunders' sister Marion, the autopsy confirmed evidence of advanced leukemia, which would explain the decline in Thunders' appearance in the final year of his life. [2] This also sheds light on the interview in Lech Kowalski's documentary "Born To Lose: The Last Rock and Roll Movie", where Thunders' sister Mary-Ann's husband says, "Only Johnny knew how sick he really was." Nina Antonia is a rock-punk era music journalist and author who lives in London England. ... Jungle Records is a British-based record label formed in 1982, specializing in classic punk rock & post punk releases. ... Pamela Des Barres aka Miss Pamela (born Pamela Ann Miller on September 9, 1948) is a former rock and roll groupie, author, and magazine writer. ... Lech Kowalski is an American film director of Polish origins. ...


In a 1994 Melody Maker interview Thunders' manager Mick Webster described the efforts of his family, "We keep asking the New Orleans police to re-investigate, but they haven’t been particularly friendly. They seemed to think that this was just another junkie who had wandered into town and died. They simply weren’t interested." Marion claims that the original police report is largely missing and Webster further explains that the Coroner who conducted the autopsy was fired for falsifying a report in another case. Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was (until its closure) the worlds oldest weekly music newspaper. ... Look up junkie, junky in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Thunders was survived by his ex-wife Julie and four children, sons John Genzale, Vito Genzale, Dino Genzale, and daughter Jamie Genzale.[3] His oldest son Vito is serving a prison sentence in the Auburn Correctional Facility in New York for drug dealing, having completed a previous sentence in Attica.[4]. Auburn Correctional Facility is a New York State correctional facility located in Auburn, New York. ... The Attica Correctional Facility is one of the best known prisons in the United States, second possibly to Alcatraz. ...


Discography

New York Dolls

For the self-titled debut album, visit New York Dolls (album) The New York Dolls are a rock band formed in New York City in 1971. ... The New York Dolls is a album released in 1973 (see 1973 in music) by the American rock band New York Dolls. ... Too Much Too Soon is a 1974 album by New York Dolls. ... Lipstick Killers - The Mercer Street Sessions 1972 is a 1981 album by the New York Dolls. ... Red Patent Leather is a 1984 album by the New York Dolls. ...

The Heartbreakers

The Heartbreakers was a punk rock group formed in New York in May 1975 by Johnny Thunders (vocals/guitar) and Jerry Nolan (drums) who had just quit the New York Dolls and Richard Hell (vocals/bass) who was forced out of Television, the band he had founded with Tom Verlaine... L.A.M.F. was the only studio album of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, which included such musicians as Walter Lure, Billy Rath, and Thunders New York Dolls bandmate Jerry Nolan. ... Live at Maxs Kansas City is a live album by Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers. ...

Johnny Thunders

  • So Alone - (1978)
  • D.T.K. - Live at the Speakeasy - (1982)
  • In Cold Blood - French 45 R.P.M. 12" E.P. - (1983)
  • Hurt Me - (1984)
  • Que Sera, Sera - (1985)
  • Copy Cats (with Patti Palladin) - (1988, reissued 2007)
  • Jet Boy - The Anthology - (2004)

So Alone is a 1978 album by Johnny Thunders, former guitarist for the New York Dolls. ...

Trivia

  • "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" and a live cover version of "Pipeline" have been used in the closing credits of The Sopranos. The former also featured prominently in Martin Scorsese's 1999 film Bringing Out The Dead.
  • "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory", the song title was taken from a line from the television sitcom, The Honeymooners, starring Jackie Gleason. He spoke it to his TV wife, Alice.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... A motorcycle (or motorbike) is a two-wheeled vehicle powered by an engine. ... Raymond Douglas Davies, CBE (born June 21, 1944 at Fortis Green, London) is an influential English rock musician, best known as lead singer-songwriter for The Kinks - one of the most influential, prolific and long-lived British Invasion bands - which he led with his younger brother, Dave. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Kinks were an English rock group formed in 1963 by lead singer-songwriter Ray Davies, his brother, lead guitarist and vocalist Dave Davies, and bassist Pete Quaife. ... The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society is a pop-rock album released by the English music group The Kinks on November 22, 1968. ... This article is about the television series. ... Martin Marcantonio Luciano Scorsese (IPA: AmE: ; Ita: []) (b. ... Bringing Out the Dead is a film released in 1999. ...

Musical tributes

Thunders has had numerous bands' paying tribute or mentioning him in their songs, while he was alive and after his death.

  • The Clash mentioned Thunders in the lyric from their song "City Of The Dead," singing "'Don't you know where to cop?'/That's what New York Johnny said/'You should get to know your town/Just like I know mine.'"
  • Then-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan wrote the song "So Fine", which was dedicated to Thunders. The song appears on the album Use Your Illusion II. Also, in 1993, McKagan covered his song, "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" on Guns N' Roses' cover album, "The Spaghetti Incident?".
  • Willy DeVille wrote a song called "Chemical Warfare" which appeared on his 1992 album "Backstreets of Desire". "Chemical Warfare" was dedicated to Johnny Thunders with whom DeVille shared a long time friendship. DeVille was first to arrive at the hotel the day of Johnny's death.
  • At their reunion shows, the New York Dolls have been performing "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory", with member Sylvain Sylvain singing the lead vocal and sometimes changing the title lyric to "I can't put my arms around you, Johnny."
  • On the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds double album, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, Johnny Thunders is mentioned in the song "There She Goes my Beautiful World".
  • The Replacements included a song about Johnny Thunders, "Johnny's Gonna Die", on their first album.
  • Alex Chilton in his song "Bangkok" sings the lines "I'm not living on Chinese rocks, I'm in Bangkok." A small tribute and allusion to Johnny Thunders.
  • Die Toten Hosen paid tribute to Johnny Thunders by including the line "So lange Johnny Thunders lebt, so lang bleib ich ein Punk" ("As long as Johnny Thunders lives I'll stay a punk") in their song "Wort zum Sonntag". After his death Die Toten Hosen changed the lyrics to "Hey, Johnny kannst du uns grad' seh'n, wir vergessen dich nicht - wir werden überall von dir erzählen damit dein Name ewig weiterlebt."(" Hey, Johnny can you see us right now, we won't forget you - we'll tell everywhere about you for your name 'll live on eternally.")
  • The Murder City Devils named a song "Johnny Thunders" on their album 'Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts".
  • Iggy Pop wrote a tribute song for Johnny entitled 'Look Away' on the album 'Naughty Little Doggie'. It also involves his love affair with Sable Starr.
  • "Everything I Wanted" by Australian band Wallspace features the line "Don't you wish you had a name like Johnny Thunder".
  • Vic Godard & the Subway Sect had a single titled "Johnny Thunders" which was released in September 1992 by Rough Trade records.
  • Slaughter & the Dogs had a track titled "Johnny T" allegedly about Thunders which was the b-side to their single "Dame to Blame."

This article is about the English rock band. ... Super Black Market Clash, is a compilation album released by The Clash in 1994 that contains b-sides and rare tracks not available on other albums. ... Duff McKagan (born Michael Andrew McKagan on February 5, 1964) is an American musician and bassist, who is best known for his thirteen-year tenure in the hard rock band Guns N Roses. ... For other uses, see Use Your Illusion (disambiguation). ... The Spaghetti Incident? is the fifth album by hard rock band Guns N Roses, recorded by the early 90s line up, consisting cover versions, mainly of punk and glam songs of the late 70s and early 80s, with the exception of the albums first track, a cover of The... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is a successful rock band with international personnel. ... The Dogs DAmour were a British rock band formed in 1983. ... ...More Unchartered Heights of Disgrace is rock band The Dogs DAmours sixth studio album, it was released in the year 1993 following the bands reformation. ... For other uses, see The Replacements (disambiguation). ... Alex Chilton, circa 1999 Photo: Aimeé Toledano Alex Chilton (born William Alexander Chilton, on December 28, 1950, in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American songwriter, guitarist, singer and producer best known for his work with the pop-music bands the Box Tops and Big Star. ... Andreas Frege (Campino) Andreas Meurer (Andi) Andreas von Holst (Kuddel) Kuddel and Andi Die Toten Hosen is a German punk band from Düsseldorf. ... Murder City Devils was a rock-n-roll band active between 1996 and 2001. ... Naughty Little Doggie is a 1995 album by Iggy Pop. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Ronnie Spector (born Veronica Yvette Bennett, 10 August 1943, in New York City) was the lead singer of the girl group The Ronettes, and is known as the original bad girl of rock and roll. From a very young age, she took to singing and her large, close family encouraged... Nikki Sudden (July 19, 1956 – March 26, 2006) born Adrian Nicholas Godfrey in London, was a prolific British singer-songwriter and guitarist. ... Atom Rhumba is a Basque band formed in Bilbao in 1996. ...

References

  1. ^ Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones, pages 232-3)
  2. ^ From Please Kill Me by Legs, a documentary by McNeil and Gillian McCain. Quoted at Fuller Up Dead Musician Directory: Heroin.

External links


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