New York Dolls were an American hard rock band formed in New York City in 1971. Along with the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, they were one of the first bands of the early punk rock scenes. Although their original line-up fell apart quickly, the band’s first two albums—New York Dolls (1973) and Too Much Too Soon (1974)—became among the most popular cult records in rock. The line-up at this time comprised vocalist David Johansen, guitarist Johnny Thunders, bassist Arthur Kane, guitarist and pianist Sylvain Sylvain, and drummer Jerry Nolan; the latter two had replaced Rick Rivets and Billy Murcia, respectively, in 1972. On stage, they donned an androgynous wardrobe, wearing high heels, eccentric hats, and satin. Nolan described the group in 1974 as “the Dead End Kids of today”.
According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music (1995), the New York Dolls predated the punk and glam metal movements, and were “one of the most influential rock bands of the last 20 years”. They influenced rock groups such as the Sex Pistols, Kiss, the Ramones, Guns N’ Roses, the Damned, and The Smiths, whose frontman Morrissey organized a reunion show for the New York Dolls’ surviving members in 2004. After reuniting, they recorded and released three more albums—One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006), Cause I Sez So (2009), and Dancing Backward in High Heels (2011).
New York Dolls had been inactive following a 2011 UK tour with Alice Cooper, with former guitarist Earl Slick confirming the band was over in a 2011 interview.