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.


Partying in Paris, Johnny has lapsed and got into tranquillisers. With his reputation, every drug-taker seems to gravitate towards him bearing gifts. He leaves Paris after another week, for New York. In London, we hear that our distributors Rough Trade are on the verge of bankruptcy, owing us tens of thousands of pounds. Now is not the time for speculative new studio projects.
Johnny phones from New York, and says he needs to see his doctor badly.
'I thought you didn't need anything any more?' 'I'm just the same old jerk, I guess.'
He has a tour of Japan booked, where he can't get anything, and wants to get methadone in London before he goes.
26th: He books a flight to arrive at Gatwick at 6.50 am, and a Harley Street appointment at 9.00am, I'm to pick him up and take him there. I prepare a pile of files on royalties I've researched, with a plan for him to get his affairs in order and register all his song compositions with M.C.P.S.
I wait at Gatwick Airport for four hours, before finding out that seven hours after missing his flight he has called to tell me not to go to meet him.
30th: He leaves for Japan directly from New York.
1st - 5th: 3 dates in Tokyo, plus Osaka and Nagoya with the band.
6th & 7th: Acoustic gigs after the band go home.
9th: Johnny visits Thailand for a few days holiday and to buy some new silk suits.
15th: Johnny arrives back in New York, the same day as I leave New York for London.
18th: Now Johnny has arrived London, calls our office needing £200 desperately to see his doctor.
19th: Straight off to Germany to record 'Born To Lose' with Die Toten Hosen for their album 'Learning English- Lesson One'. Does acoustic gigs while he's there.
22nd: Leaves Germany for New Orleans. Arrives, checks in to a hotel, ignoring jet-lag stays up all night.
23rd: Johnny dies in New Orleans, at St. Peter House, Room 37, aged 38.


Anonymous said...

March-Continental Divide
Johnny joins the Waldos for a few numbers. I think his last live playing in NYC

Anonymous said...

Feb 20-Rex's NYC
Johnny does an acoustic set.

Anonymous said...

Feb 20 1991 Rex's NYC acoustic set

Scott St. James said...

Hi everybody.
I am really down. I´ve just seen a video on youtube. In this video johnny appears singin´ and fighting for breath, very hard to see him in that way. But the thing that broke my soul is that:suddenly, the images of the video turns to a hospital room. There´s sombody´s corpse in a bed: it´s him, poor johnny boy. I´m so down. I wish not to have seen this damm video.

Anonymous said...

That's not Johnny's corpse! It's Spacely's - read the posts on youtube. The filmmaker Lech Kowalski deliberately focussed on such controversies and made drugs the centre of the film - which is why the Thunders Estate won't let it be released. But you can see it on Youtube...

Mominator said...

just spent the weekend in room 37
listening to thunders on my lap top
love the site
thanks for all the info

Anonymous said...

I pass one night in room 37 october 2004...
We miss You Johnny !!!!
Thanks for the site.
It's great !

Anonymous said...

March 9, 1991 Johnny plays a brilliant and sober acoustic gig w/sax player at Jazzberry's Nightclub in Rochester, N.Y.
During the day he is relapsing as The local band, Chesterfield Kings and he struggle to record a few of his songs with him.

Anonymous said...

July 15...birth of a legend; Johnny Thunders

Anonymous said...

J.T was the real deal,r.i.p.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Johnny. You were really nice to me when I met you in Philadelphia. How sweet of you to get your driver to give me a ride home in your band's van. RIP.

Lisa said...

Thanks for posting this, I just read the entire thing, very insteresting. I believed a rumour that was creeping around on the internet about Johnny not playing live on the Dead Or Alive DVD because you could hear guitar being played but his hands weren't playing it! But I read in your diary that he overdubbed the DVD, and just didn't care about it being in sync with the video. Phew :) My dreams are now unshattered of my favourite electric guitar player. Forgive my ignorance, so did you work with him?

chris damned said...

Thanks for all your great job !
Jungle is very great label and i want to thank you for all goods vinyls re-issues too !

Rip Johnny never out of my mind !

Chris Damned said...

"Mona et Moi" in french here :

Visions from a Stolen Horse said...

Thanks for publishing all this...Johnny lives on through these memories!

Unknown said...

I keep obsessively reading about Johnny. I have a New York Dolls record, the live in Paris, but I never followed anything after them and I'm just fascinated by Mr. Thunders lifestyle. He is missed.

billy bad vibes said...

Is that the real reason the film never got released. I thought it was because Kowalski couldn't get permission for certain footage. Theres so many versrions its hard to pick the best footage. But this film would definitely scare people into keeping away from smack.the story of Johnny Thunders is the a classic way of showing the kids to keep off that stuff. Smackheads at the beginning think I can handle it mentally. What they don't know is that you physically need it.or you get really ill. Wouldn't the movie bring some money into the Genzalez estate. I love Johnny thunders. Its the last rock n roll stuff I got into. After them I stopped listening to new rock bands. He was the last of the greats. And if Sid Vicious had lived im sure they would have recorded together. Shame Sid isn't on So Alone. Doing backing vocals. The Heartbreakers were the unluckiest band.theres loads of ifs onlys. They'd have signed a single with Emi with the prospect of a follow up album if it sold well. I'm sure they'd have made Top of the pops. But they made the mistake of going with track records. Hindsight is a wonderful thing eh.

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