HOW WE TOOK ON THE NEW YORK DOLLS
'This one's for Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers," I yelled at the gaping youth. "And we're a lot better than they are!" It was May, 1977. Someone had booked the drugged and desperate remnants of the New York Dolls to play at a teacher-training college in, of all places, Winchester. "The most immaculate combo on the planet", as Julie Burchill, high priestess of punk journalism, described them, were in the sleepy cathedral town where I was a student.The frontline of Western popular culture had moved to where I was, and it was incumbent upon me, as the singer in the band opening the show, to upstage these cool incomers. It says something for the atmosphere of the time that this seemed not an adolescent publicity stunt, but politically, artistically, morally and musically necessary.
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We travelled up from Winchester in an old GPO van Nick drove, Sandy and Kevin R. bagged the seats and Mark and I were crammed in the back amongst all the gear. We played here ten months after the Clash's New Years Day Roxy launch.