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New York Dolls bassist dies

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Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane, bassist with the legendary New York Dolls, died last night, less than a month after the band’s critically acclaimed reunion gig at Morrissey’s Meltdown Festival in London.

Kane’s spokesman confirmed last night that the musician was admitted to an LA hospital yesterday suffering from suspected pneumonia and later died from advanced leukaemia. His family have already confirmed that there will be a public memorial service for Kane, a committed Mormon, behind the Mormon Temple on the city’s Santa Monica Boulevard on Saturday.

Kane’s sad death comes just weeks after the bassist reformed with fellow surviving New York Dolls David Johansen and Syl Sylvain after being invited to perform in London by one of the band’s biggest fans, Morrissey. After the success of that gig, and a number of support sets at Morrissey’s US shows, the band have been booked to play in Japan, at New York’s Garage Festival and at the Reading/Leeds Festivals. It is not yet clear if Johansen and Sylvain will now proceed with those shows.

Photographer Bob Gruen, a close friend of the band’s, told reporters last night that, because of the recent New York Dolls reunion, Arthur died “with a smile on his face”.

This sad news comes from CMU.

Update: The Daily Telegraph has a good obit on Arthur.

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About Marty Dodge

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Marty, very sad, I guess only David and Syvain remain – pretty muc takes the “re” out of reunion

  • M. Thau

    Hi Mart: I just knew you would write about this. You and Eric are probably the only blogcritics that’ve even listened to a Dolls recording. Anyway, thanks for the mention. It’s a sad day, indeed. Contrary to what most people might think they know of Arthur, he was very bright, very humorous, and a very gentle soul. He will be sorely missed by all those that knew him.

  • Well the New York Dolls spawned a whole bunch of great bands. They were the template for glam hard rock like Twisted Sister, Hanoi Rocks and Guns n Roses (LA Guns etc) to name a few.

    And after all if there were no NYD, there would have never been a Buster Poindexter…which would have been a great tragedy.

  • Mike Kole

    Don’t forget the huge influence the Dolls had on the Sex Pistols, with Steve Jones learning to play guitar to Dolls records and idolizing Johnny Thunders, and Johnny Rotten’s lyrics to “New York”, and the Malcolm McLaren connection.

    Nolan, Thunders, and Kane… and the Ramones… Time for a Ghoul Pool on the members of Blondie?

  • godoggo

    Me, I like them better than pretty much any of the bands they influenced. Something must have happened over Manhattan.

  • Eric Olsen

    There are bands I loved then and don’t love anymore. There are bands I didn’t love then but do now. the Dolls are one of the few bands I loved then and love even more now: their two studio albums now sound just about perfect to me.