Glamming It Up

David Johansen dresses up the New York Dolls one more time.

What did you think of the film that was released about him?

I thought it was beautiful. He was a beautiful cat.

After his death, did anyone think this put an end to the New York Dolls once and for all? And if not, why did you decide to continue?

I think because we had gigs booked or something.

Something as simple as that?

Yeah. [Neo-Dolls bandmate] Sami [Yaffa] wanted to do it, and he's a great guy. So once we got going with Sami, it was pretty rockin'.

Do you consider the lineup now to be the New York Dolls? Or is this something entirely different that just happens to be called the New York Dolls?

Well, obviously it's something different. There are different people [laughs].

What parts are connected to the past, beyond you and Syl? Or is that the main connection?

Without me and Syl, I think it would be hard to do it. I guess it would be like some of those doo-wop bands that go out. But we've got a really good rock and roll band, and they call us the New York Dolls, so it all seems to work out.

How did you hook up with Roadrunner Records, and what was the genesis of the new recording?

We went down to Austin to that SXSW festival, and somebody came backstage and asked if we wanted to make a record. That's essentially where that was at.

Did you have new music at that point?

We had a couple of songs.

How long did it take for you to come up with the rest of them?

We said, "Well, let's make a record," and we were still playing. And they would call up and say, "I hope you guys are making songs." And we'd say, "Oh yeah, we're making songs." And then at some point, they said, "You're going in the studio in six weeks." And at that point, we thought, We better really get some songs. We kind of went into a loft somewhere and woodshedded and wrote 20 songs or something. And all these songs that we'll perhaps record for the next 20 years or so are already there. They just haven't come out yet, but they're all in our heads. They percolate, and then they come out.

It's as if they're waiting for you?

Yeah, the next batch is already waiting. I know how it works.

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