Johnny Thunders' 20-year career -
a chronological timeline of his life.
From the New York Dolls, to The Heartbreakers in NY and London. Then 'So Alone', 'Gang War', 'Que Sera Sera', 'Copy Cats', etc; reunions and gypsy times in Paris, Stockholm, London & L.A. Compiled from various sources including Nina Antonia's biography 'Johnny Thunders- In Cold Blood' and my own recollections working with Johnny 82-91.
Please add dates, correct mistakes and leave comments.
4th: Final £1,000 of the advance is sent to Johnny's sister Marianne.
17th: A gig at the English Acid club in Los Angeles. Johnny is staying with various friends in L.A. and running out of money again, he asks me to try and collect some from New Rose, ABC Records and Virgin Publishing.
24th: Johnny arrives on TWA at London's Heathrow, for a visit to his doctor.
26th: Johnny meets with Luca, an Italian who's intrigued by Nina's biography, and thinks it would be 'interesting' to pair his music with classical musicians.
29th - 2nd: Luca records his project with Johnny in the studio. It's not rock'n'roll.
30th: A second visit in a week to the doctor, for 'some other medication'. I try phoning the doctor, asking him not to prescribe any tranquillisers. Desperate for cash for drugs, Johnny proposes 'Bootlegging... Volume 2'. I decide for him that it's not the best career move.
3rd: Johnny flies out to Paris after arranging to play some dates at the Gibus Club.
23rd: Johnny ends up at Stiv Bators's apartment after using up the hospitality of friends George and Octavio. In the studio, Johnny plays on what will become Stiv's last album, together with Dee Dee Ramone, Dr. & the Medics' Vom, the Godfathers' Chris Dolbymore, and Sigue Sigue Sputniks' Neal X.
Johnny calls to relate a sorry tale of a big bust-up there with Dee Dee Ramone: he'd accused Johnny of taking money, smashed Johnny's guitar, thrown bleach on his clothes and pulled a knife. Forlornly Johnny asks us to use the story to get publicity in the music press; as it portays the kind of junkie loser image we want him to lose, we decline.
13th: Johnny moves out of his friends flats into a Paris hotel.
19th: Johnny is completely broke. He's now at another number in Paris, and has booked two gigs at the Gibus Club for next month. Can we send him some money?
4th: At last, the French film 'Mona Et Moi' that Patrick Grandperret has worked on with Johnny over six years, opens at the Odeon cinema, Paris.
7th & 8th: The Gibus Club shows pay the rent and overheads yet again.
25th: Arriving in the UK in transit to Ireland for a few dates, Johnny gets held up by immigration. It seems he'll be too late to do the first Dublin date, which was to be televised. But in 2006 we find out he wasn't too late - the televised interview, together with a live performance, is posted on Youtube.
26th: The acoustic tour continues at Belfast, followed by Waterford and Dublin.
1st: The acoustic tour moves to the UK at Glasgow, followed by Leeds, Doncaster, Wakefield, Grantham, and Stevenage, but Johnny is not well- he's now been on a bender for six months, adding tranqullisers to his drug cocktail, and it shows.
11th - 13th: Three dates in Greece, in Athens and Salonika.
16th: Back in the UK as some Italian dates fall through.
21st: Off to Germany for the acoustic tour: Munich, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Krefeld, Hamburg, Berlin, then to Brussells. By now he's healthy again, the work keeping him busy and fit.
30th & 31st: Two nights at the London Marquee, teamed up with his band. On the 31st, Johnny, Stevie and Jamie go to B.S.B. studios to performing 'Lydia' and 'Nine Lives' for 'The Power Station' TV show. The film is lost when the studio closes when they merge with Sky.
1st: We meet with Johnny and some of the band at the Columbia Hotel, and talk about the possibility of recording a new studio album. Wary of the 'Copy Cats' financial scenario, we try and budget it. With six musicians to fly around from various countries, their fees and Johnny's large fee, a cheap studio is proposed to compensate - not the most enticing idea. We decide to think about it, and although Johnny is now alert, clear and lucid, we want to see if he can stay that way.
2nd: Johnny flies PAN-AM to the USA. On the way to the airport, we talk about the numerous releases that he wasn't getting royalties from, and agree that I should research for outstanding money from other labels and publishers, and if possible collect it on his behalf.
15th: Asbury Park, Fast Lane gig.
22nd: A friend of Jamie's, Amy Koster, is working at a management company and helps get Johnny some US gigs.
For the first time in very many years, Johnny the wandering gypsy gets himself an apartment, in New York. 'New York is very dangerous to my health', so we wonder how he'll get on.
Johnny checks himself into a health-farm! At last he's got the will to stop taking drugs. An advance fortuitously got for re-selling the 1984 live Lyceum album this time is spent wisely. He spends some six weeks there, getting completely clean, coming out not needing his methadone, for the first time in probably sixteen years. He's almost a changed man, calm, quiet and thoughtful, without the constant feeling of stress, panic and paranoia that the chemical dependency had previously induced.
The ROIR cassettes 'Stations Of The Cross' and 'Too Much Junkie Business' get released on CD in Europe by Danceteria.
Johnny moves flat to avoid the junkies who'd found out where he was living.
20th: Arriving at Heathrow with Jamie in the morning, a rehearsal is booked for later that day. For the first time, no appointment with the doctor for a methadone prescription is necessary! It is wonderful to see him straight. It's actually quite strange to talk to him without his drug barrier; no edginess or weird aloofness, he's just a relaxed regular guy!
21st: London Marquee date with the band. Johnny is enjoying himself, getting drunk and partying. No time to talk, they're off to Switzerland.
23rd: Gig at Fribourg, Fri-son club.
26th - 30th: Johnny and Jamie play five nights at the Gibus club in Paris.