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.
"After 'So Alone' I went back to America and tried the family life for a bit, got married, had some kids. I moved to Detroit and met up with Wayne Kramer (ex- MC5 guitarist) and started 'Gang War'."
Lots more happened during this period than is listed, but little was documented at the pre-internet time this was written. Fill in any gaps in the comments section.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the early version of Gang War - Johnny, Wayne Kramer (not long out of jail serving two years of a four-year drug bust), Ron Cooke and the Senders' P. Marcade, record their first demos: I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys, I'm Gonna Be A Wheel, Who Do Voodoo, and Just Because I'm White.
But there were to be no releases during the life of the band; only some tiny press foot-notes and a few US club-goers got to know of them.
6th: 'Live At Max's Kansas City' album is released in the UK by Beggars Banquet.
Gang War play a gig at the Ritz, together with the Lenny Kaye Band. The gig is reviewed in New York Rocker's February edition.
At The Heat, Iggy Pop joins Gang War on stage; they perform Chuck Berry's 'Round and Round' (thanks to Johnny Morgan for the info, contributed below).
Gang War gigs were few and eventually dried up; few in the US wanted to know about two washed-up ex-guitar heroes. So Johnny, Wayne and Gang War drifted apart. Wayne has sometimes blamed drugs, and also commented that Johnny was more of an entertainer than a musician. Various gigs were recorded, including two from Boston & Toronto that were issued as the 'Gang War' CD on Skydog and later Jungle, but dates are sketchy.
Little is recorded of Johnny's activities between Gang War and him reappearing in New York in '82.
He regularly visited Philly, in particular gigs at The Hot Club, also at The Kennel Club and Revival.
Early in 1981 he played The Second Chance in Ann Arbor, with Walter, Jerry and... Tiny? Who's he? (Check out or add to the comments section below; this info is all thanks to some who were there.)
25th: Since 1979, I have been working as label manager at Fresh Records. Leee Black Childers has been managing Levi Dexter, who has a single released on the label. Casually he mentions that he's going to France to try and get a deal for some Johnny Thunders tapes, the only place it seems there's still a market for him - 3 years silence being a very long time in show-business. He returns having been unable to do a deal, so on the 25th we sign a deal for the Track tapes, Fresh folds five months later before issuing anything by Johnny.