Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rockin' Your Thursday Away, New York Dolls, "Looking For a Kiss"

Finally, this year, after decades, "Looking For a Kiss" bumped "Personality Crisis" from first place as my favorite song on the New York Dolls' self-titled first album.

The sound is a little tinny in the video, but the performance is great.

A few months ago, I chased down the lyrics of the song with the idea of doing it in a family hootenanny with my kids, and realized, for the first time, that it's the tale of a guy explaining his preference for nookie over smack. I'd never caught the "When everyone goes to your house, they shoot up in your room" part. The song will make for a nice wholesome family evening.

Singer David Johansen, who shares a birthday with two other great rockers, Elvis Presley and David Bowie, just turned 59 last month. He has what may be my favorite rock and roll quote, when he said of the Dolls:

"We like to look 16 and bored shitless."


Cheer34 said...

is that the singers real hair or a wig....when was this? the 70's?

Anonymous said...

Man, I've got to start listening to lyrics more closely. I had no idea.

Erik Donald France said...

Such a great wild and crazy album, "Frankenstein" and "Vietnamese Baby" -- man, how cool can you get?

Johnny Yen said...

It could be either, really, but I think it's real. It was probably 1974. They were considered "Glam" at the time, but are now considered early punk.

Tell me about it. I've begun to realize in the last few years, as I listen a little closer to songs I've loved for years, that I misheard, or just didn't listen too closely to the lyrics. Case in point, the Spinners' "I'll Be Around," a sad song of a love affair ending. I always thought that the opening line was "This is our fourth in a row." I thought fourth horrible argument in a row. One day, I heard it with headphones on and realized the lyrics were "This is our fork in the row." Missed that one by a mile.

Isn't that first album (their only one for many years until they recorded another one a few years ago) marvelous? Not a dog on the record.

Johnny Yen said...

Typo-- "This is our fork in the road."

Dale said...

Hilarious, the kids'll love it. :-)

mikejaz said...

Waaallll, they're a little of both, since if you hop into the wayyyyyyybackkkkk machine and head for 1972, you'd find that there wasn't any sort of thing like glam, punk, or even good ol' rock n was sort of a progressive rock desert back then. And then the Dolls, looking 16, bored shitless, and just a little fucked up, stagger out with their simple song structures, no artistic pretensions and a completely out of this world -rageous look, into the dim consciousness that was/is Amerika. Amerika, of course, didn't like them one bit.

If you're into the Dolls, and the entire NY punk scene of the 70s, I highly suggest reading "Please Kill Me" by Legs McNeil (of Punk magazine fame) and Gillian McCain. They did a Studs Terkel thing with all the major players in the scene from the end of the Warhol days through punk's necessary self-destruction in the early 80s, and what you get is first person testimony by those who were there when it happened. Considering most of them were smack addicts, it's amazing they remember much at all!