15 July 2022
John Anthony Genzale was born 70 years ago today in Queens, New York. His mother was of Italian descent, and his father was of Italian, Russian-Jewish, and German-Jewish ancestry.
Before he joined (1971) the New York Dolls, the coolest glam and glitter gang in rock ‘n roll history, he had a couple bands of his own. He was a fanatic fan of Keith Richards. He copied his guitar style and his poses, while his sister styled his hair like Keef.
After 2 albums Johnny left to jump on the punk train and
formed The Heartbreakers with Richard Hell, who left soon.
Eventually, he started a solo career. He assembled a cast of ’70s punk and rock stars – Chrissie Hynde, Phil Lynott, Peter Perrett, Steve Marriott, and Pistols Paul Cook, and Steve Jones, among others – for his debut solo LP So Alone, released in 1978.
His masterstroke single You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
was/is certainly his most memorable achievement.
After years of drug abuse, the rock guitar hero collapsed and died in 1991. R.I.P.
Three great Thunders moments
– NEW YORK DOLLS –
– THE HEARTBREAKERS –
– SOLO –
JOHNNY THUNDERS: Bio – Discography