Johnny Thunders

Johnny Thunders

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Birthday: Jul 15, 1952

Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

As the guitarist for the massively influential New York Dolls and later, The Heartbreakers, Johnny Thunders had a large hand in laying the groundwork for punk. Born John Anthony Genzale in Queens, New York on July 15, 1952, he played in several New York City bands in the '60s before joining Actress in 1970. By 1971 Actress had become the New York Dolls, and the combination of their decadent, gender-bending image, trash/sleaze aesthetic, and raw-boned rock 'n' roll eventually made them local heroes in what was then a largely moribund downtown rock scene. The two albums they released in 1973-4 made little commercial headway at the time but would become a huge inspiration to punk and come to be regarded as milestones. Thunders quit the Dolls in 1975 and formed The Heartbreakers, along with fellow ex-Doll Jerry Nolan on drums, erstwhile Television bassist Richard Hell, and guitarist Walter Lure. Their lone album, 1977's L.A.M.F, was a key LP of the early New York punk scene. By 1978 the band had fallen apart, and that year Thunders recorded his debut solo album So Alone in England, with an all-star cast including Chrissie Hynde, Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott, The Sex Pistols' Paul Cook, and The Small Faces' Steve Marriott, among others. Though it didn't make a huge impact at the time, the track "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" would come to be considered a classic. He subsequently reunited The Heartbreakers for a while, before returning to his solo career with 1983's In Cold Blood, co-produced by Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller. Thunders would record several more solo albums in the '80s, but his career was complicated by the drug addiction that had plagued him since his New York Dolls days. He died in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 3, 1991; his death is generally attributed to drugs but the actual cause remains in question.

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet 83% Looking for Johnny Original Music - 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Johnny Thunders - Who's Been Talking Unknown (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet 75% The Blank Generation Unknown (Character) - 1976

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