Sylvain Sylvain, co-founder and guitarist of the legendary early 1970s New York Dolls proto-punk band, died Wednesday after battling cancer, according to a post on social media by his wife. He was 69 years old.
“As most of you know, Sylvain has been battling cancer for the past 2.5 years. Although she fought him bravely, she died of this disease yesterday. As we mourn his loss, we know that he is finally calm and painless. “Turn on his music, light a candle, say a prayer,” said his wife, Wanda O’Keeley Mizrahi.
The Dolls had a huge influence on punk rock on both sides of the Atlantic.
Emerging from the clubs in the Lower East Side of New York, the New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and Sylvain Sylvain, David Johansen, Billy Murcia and Arthur Kane adopted an androgynous look.
“We thought this should be your look if you were in a rock band,” he told Kerrang! In 2000 the leader of the band, David Johansen.
Their huge influence can be heard in the Ramones, who followed them just two years later, as well as the Sex Pistols and the entire punk movement. While weakened by drug addiction, controversy, and generally unruly behavior, it is believed that rock ‘n’ roll from 1975 onwards would not be what it is without the New York Dolls.
Born Sylvain Mizrahi in Cairo, Egypt on Valentine’s Day in 1951, Sylvain Sylvain also lived in France before moving to New York with his family. He became friends with the first Dolls drummer Billy Murcia in high school and played in bands with him as a teenager. The two worked in clothing stores and in the fashion industry and in a business opposite a doll repair shop called the New York Doll Hospital, which led to the name of their future group. The two separated for a while before meeting again in the band “Actress with Thunders” and meeting the bassist Arthur Kane. With the addition of Johansen, the band evolved into the New York Dolls.
Deliberately provocative with a wardrobe from cheap lingerie stores in the Lower East Side of New York – with Sylvain and Murcia specializing in fashion – the Dolls have made sense since their inception in 1971.
They were invited to open a Rod Stewart concert in Britain in 1972 and then the band suffered its first major shock when Murcia died in a drug-related accident during the trip. Jerry Nolan joined the group and they signed to Mercury Records with composer Paul Nelson.
With songs such as “Personality Crisis”, “Trash” and “Looking for a Kiss” and producer Todd Rudgrad with whom the band broke up although he later admitted that he did a great job, the New York Dolls album is considered monumental and exciting. However, at that time there was no unanimity, as evidenced by the fact that the New York Dolls were voted by the readers of Creem magazine the Best Newcomer and Worst Newcomer Band.
Sylvain contributed guitar, piano and vocals to the Dolls’ first two albums, the 1973 New York Dolls and the 1974 Too Much Too Soon.
After the band disbanded, Sylvain released his self-titled album in 1979. He recorded several albums as a solo artist until the late 1990s. When the New York Dolls reunited, Sylvain appeared on their last albums One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006), Cause I Sez So (2009) and Dancing Backward in High Heels (2011).
In 2019, Sylvain Sylvain was diagnosed with cancer and many of his friends, including the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, took part in a fundraising campaign for his treatment.
Patti Smith band guitarist and rock journalist Lenny Kay rushed to pay tribute as soon as the news of his death became known, according to Variety.
“Shel loved rock and roll. His joy on stage, his bright smile as he played his guitar, revealed the sense of wonder he must have felt at the age of 10, migrating from Cairo with his family in 1961, when the ship anchored in “New York Harbor and saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time,” Kay wrote.
With the death of Sylvain Sylvain, David Johansen is the only living member of the original New York Dolls.
Source: Zougla.gr by www.zougla.gr.
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