NEW YORK DOLLS - "Hard Pill To Swallow"
by Martin Popoff

"The press never really understood the NEW YORK DOLLS," reflects guitarist Syl Sylvain, backstage at a rate Dolls tour date, June 11 in Toronto. "So if we go there, the reason why we never sold records is that we were such a hard pill to swallow. All of the other bands were easy pills to swallow. Like other bands were putting on makeup - let's say, the ones we were being compared to. They never did anything more. Even the words that they were saying, their intellect in their conversation and in the songs, was so infantile. It was written to entertain three-year-olds. I mean, we really took you to the danger zone. Our music was ahead of its time."

Truer words there never were, as the New York Dolls, along with the STOOGES and MC5, laid the groundwork for punk back in the early '70s, through two earth-shattering seminal proto-glam hard rock punk a' roll albums called New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon.

"He said first of all, 'Don't say anything shit about me. Don't say any shit about me, Sylvain,' says Syl, waving an admonishing finger, when asked how he had managed to patch things up with shouty vocalist and legendary hothead David Johansen. "You know, we never really had to patch up much. I knew sooner or later that something was going to happen, especially given the popularity of the Dolls, year after year. I think we could have done this in 1976. And we broke up in 1975 (laughs)."

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