New York Dolls, Pills

The Bo Diddley original is something of a calypso, but the Dolls don’t bite on that. Their version rocks, and what most impresses in this clip is how hard these guys work the harmonies and the front line attack. That’s music.

While the pumps, and the balance they require, are rock.

Syl’s face paint seems to presage Kiss’s face paint, which Kiss started wearing around the same time. I don’t know the history here.

Is it more likely that Kiss copied the Dolls? Or the Dolls copied Kiss? Remember that the Dolls’ biggest hit was Looking for a Kiss, before Kiss even had a hit.

Here’s the Bo Diddley original:

One thought on “New York Dolls, Pills

  1. Definitely Kiss came after the Dolls. Kiss started out playing at the Diplomat Hotel on W 43rd St. The Dolls had played there before they played the Mercer. Jerry Nolan and Peter Criss were friends from way back. A photo – looks like about 1965 – of them with their idol Gene Krupa:

    Kiss got their big break when they opened for Iggy and Blue Oyster Cult on New Year’s Eve for 1974. I wasn’t there although I saw that tour a week later in Port Chester, minus Kiss but with The Dictators opening, who didn’t have Handsome Dick yet. I didn’t see Kiss until more than a year later, by which time they were playing the Beacon and well on their way to the Garden. Then didn’t rip off the Dolls, they were influenced but actually in image they were the opposite, in the sense that the Dolls were “this is crazy but it’s real” while Kiss said “this is a show and it’s not real.” Which is one reason why they were more successful. To be fair they had some tunes to back it up, and they had excellent bizzers behind them such as Bill Aucoin and Neil Bogart/Casablanca Records.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.