Feb. 3rd, 2009

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The Heartbreakers (Nothing to do with Tom Petty). See, this is a band I can sink my teeth into.

So, picture it. The New York Dolls are over with, Johansen goes solo, more likely than not taking Syl with him. Our two resident junkies and glamour faces, Thunders and Nolan, decide they're going to start a band. A Danny Fields rumor has it that they were going to CALL themselves The Junkies. Can anyone else imagine the scene at customs at Narita? Johnny wouldn't have been Big In Japan then, ya think?


Johnny and Jerry put together a band. At first, it also included Richard Hell, from Television and the Voidoids. Hell figured that the lyrical content would get beyond "teenage lust". Apparently, that never happened. Hell moves on to form the Voidoids, and our heroin addled musical heroes move on. Thunders and Dee Dee Ramone compose what it probably my favorite paean to opiates on god's green (minus the eponymous ditty by the Velvets) earth, Chinese Rocks. Apparently, high quality asian heroin looks like agglutinated kitty litter. Got that image? Maybe I'm not adventurous with my pharmaceutical journeys (hint: it tops out with a weird evening involving tequila, Robert Earl Keen, and DayQuil), but this does not seem like the best way to disarrange my senses.

ANYWAY (dear god the digressions they hurt my soul).

Chinese Rocks. I mean...I spent the entire afternoon whistling the riff.


And Jerry is rock solid on drums.

This is an absolute, no doubt, classic of punk rock. And when I say that, I mean the first generation, where none of the bands sounded alike. I love a lot of that music, but I have to say that diversity takes a dive when you feel like you can sell a ton of records doing what The Clash or the Pistols did.

The sad part? Well, besides the Too Much Junkie Business...They made a full length LP. The LP sounded...well, like it was recorded inside a container. On a ship. Bound for Bora Bora. Filled with bora borans. It might have done well, had it sounded like it did when it was remixed. Fact is, 1977-8 comes and goes, the Heartbreakers never really "broke" anywhere (although Johnny was big in Japan), and both of our heroes die in the early 90's. Proving yet again that not everyone is Keith Richards.


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