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How the New York Dolls inspired Twisted Sister’s creation

Twisted Sister and New York Dolls album


How the New York Dolls inspired Twisted Sister’s creation

Back in the early 70s, Glam Rock exploded in the United Kingdom with artists like David Bowie, T. Rex, The Sweet and more. The look and sound inspired other groups all over the world and in the United States, in 1971, New York Dolls was formed. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1973 and had hits like “Personality Crisis” and “Trash”.


They were really important for the American Glam Rock scene and inspired countless musicians who were interested in that particular music genre. One of them was the Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French. However, as he said in an interview with Chris & Sandy in 2022 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), he thought that the Dolls were really terrible playing live.

How the New York Dolls inspired Twisted Sister’s creation

“Twisted Sister was a creation in my attempt to improve the New York Dolls who existed and were awful. I used to go see them all the time and I knew them. I would come home every night going: ‘God, that’s the worst band, they look amazing but they’re just absolutely awful’. Now, there is a lot of romanticism around the Dolls and I understand that some people wanted to deify them.”

“However, I will say for the record, that there’s no deifying a crappy band. They were a terrible group who happened to look really good and had a really great attitude. They had a good punky kind of attitude before Punk was Punk. But David Johnasen, the lead singer, said they sucked and I’m not gonna argue with the lead singer.”

He continued:

“In fact, I’ve seen them so many times I can’t begin to tell you. But they reformed about 10 years ago and they played a set at John Varvatos (Where CBGB was). It was all studio musicians with David and guess what? They were really good because they had guys who could play. (…) So I saw the Dolls and said: there’s a niche of a band that looks liek that but it can play. I was transforming myself from a Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers band fan to a glitter guy. It all happened in one month but the whole scene changed in one month,” Jay Jay French said.

New York Dolls classic line-up had David Johansen (Vocals), Artur “Killer” Kane (Bass), Jerry Nolan (Drums), Sylvain Sylvain (Guitar) and Johnny Thunders (Guitar). Their debut album was produced by the legendary Todd Rundgren.

After that first successful record, the band released “Too Much Too Soon” in 1974 before breaking up. They reunited from 2004 to 2011 with a new line-up recording three new studio albums.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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