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.

1984

January:
Johnny stays in Sweden with Susanne.
February:
9-11th: Re-mixing 'L.A.M.F.' with Tony James in all-night sessions at Greenhouse Studios, Islington. Christopher and Susanne also in attendance. 'Hurt Me' is released as a 7" single by New Rose.
March:
10th: Johnny starts filming in Paris with Patrick Grandperret. As his band in the fictional film, Billy Rath, Henri-Paul and Jerry Nolan attend.
19th & 20th: The Heartbreakers have gigs in Paris. (with Walter?)
21st: We sign a settlement with Christopher, Leee and the band for the Track tapes.
22nd & 23rd: With Walter, the Heartbreakers reunion tour visits Nottingham Palais and Manchester Hacienda.
24th: Johnny has a BBC Radio One interview with Richard Skinner. Despite a couple of vodkas beforehand, Johnny isn't too talkative but Skinner skims through his history, plays a couple of the remixed 'L.A.M.F.' tracks including the single 'Get Off The Phone', and gets Johnny to plug the Lyceum date:- "Be there or be square!"
25th: At the packed London Lyceum, being recorded (for ABC's live album) and filmed (for Jungle's video 'Dead Or Alive'), a nervously apprehensive Johnny has rather a lot of vodka with his orange juice. The show is good, but doesn't quite gel like the earlier one. Johnny is in the mood for repartee entertainment; Walter looks to the heavens when a Johnny monologue during 'So Alone' goes outrageously over-the-top. After an 'interval' for further 'refreshments', it goes positively downhill with a 'Chinese Rocks' jam. The vodka, tiredness, on-stage spliffs and whatever else has hit - Johnny, who earlier was wildly abusing the audience in his inimitable infamous fashion, by now hardly acknowledges them.
26th: Walter splits back to his day-job as a commodity broker on Wall Street, others for Paris.
28th - 30th: Johnny and Tony James mix the Lyceum album at Wessex Studios, with Johnny adding guitar and vocal overdubs to improve the recording, forgetting about the synchronisation with the video.
April:
Ten dates in Sweden (from 28th March) have been cancelled due to work-permits being refused due his bad publicity. This time Johnny uses the media, posing in Stockholm centre in front of a ship, claiming he would play on it outside of Swedish waters.
5th - 8th: Four dates in Finland. Michael Thimrem replaces Walter.
May:
Back in Paris, the Gibus Club as always, hosts a gig for Johnny.
June:
14th & 15th: In Madrid, the show on the 14th is filmed by Spanish TV for a 60-minute rock programme 'La Edad De Oro'. Sylvain Sylvain has now joined the line-up, so with three Dolls together, a few more old Dolls songs are added to the set. The Spaniards donate a flamenco guitarist to accompany Johnny on his acoustic set; the hilarious non-communication between them is eventually cut from the show.
18th: In Stockholm's Södertälje the young Finnish band HANOI ROCKS who model themselves on the New York Dolls, support Johnny on this rescheduled Swedish gig.
19th: Johnny plays a Stockholm club.
21st- 25th: Four gigs in Finland again.
July:
2nd: We did some more post-production on the video, which is turning into a lengthy nightmare. "Japan, late July/August" it says in my diary. Did it happen?
August:
More filming with Patrick Grandperret in Paris.
17th & 18th: Dates in Holland.
20th - 24th: 'Thunders Week' at the London Marquee; Johnny is the first and only artist to play five consecutive nights at the Marquee (then in Wardour Street), and even though it's a heatwave in London, every night is sold out. With Billy and Jerry, it's a three-piece version of the Heartbreakers, forcing Johnny to concentrate on his guitar. Many who were there say it's the best they saw him.
22nd: In the afternoon, Patti Palladin and Johnny rehearse their duet 'Crawfish' together with Jerry, Billy and Only One's guitarist John Perry at 313 Studios, Holloway. An interview of Johnny is filmed there for the Jungle video, the camera later captures them at the Marquee with 'Sad Vacation' making it onto the final film. Many years later all six tracks filmed at the Marquee appear on the DVD of the Jungle 3-disc set 'Down To Kill'.
26th - 29th: More UK gigs: London Fulham Greyhound, Nottingham Rock City, Leeds Warehouse and Manchester Hacienda, and poss. 31 Dublin, 1st Belfast?
September:
2nd: London's Dingwalls Club. Gigs in the capital are reaching saturation point.
10th - 16th: A tour encompassing Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Afterwards both Jerry and Billy Rath - who has now also found himself a Swedish companion - both resume their domestic lives in Stockholm.
October:
Johnny forms a new band: Terry Chimes on drums, Keith Yon on bass, and Dick Trueman on guitar.
11th - 22nd: Johnny joins the ascending Hanoi Rocks for a double-bill UK tour.
23rd: A solo gig at Portsmouth Poly.
26th & 27th: In Ireland, at Dublin's TV Club and Belfast Queens.
29th: Headlining London's Tufnell Park Savoy, plus the March Violets and Three Johns.
November:
Tony St. Helene (known just as 'T'), a friend of Yon's, replaces Terry Chimes for a full European tour. The tour is scheduled to take in Sweden (2nd - 10th), Spain (14th), Italy (19th - 21st), and from the 28th to December 8th in France.
December:
After France, the tour continues to Austria (9th), Switzerland (12th & 13th), Germany (14th - 21st), and Belgium (22nd). In Germany they are filmed for TV shows at Munich ('Formula One') and Dusseldorf ('Music Convoy').

With 95 gigs in 1984, things are getting back on a more even keel.

7 comments:

Steve Dorrell dorrelly@hotmail.co.uk said...

I was at the The Nottingham Palais gig, went for a piss after gig & Billy Rath pissed next to me... came out of loos & Johnny was in Foyeur with some woman... I went & bought a copy of His live at the speakeasy album (DTK) & he autographed it..( I still got it}.. so pissed I didnt have a camera

Anonymous said...

there is a fantastic recording of 28 November at the west slide club , Lyon,(FRANCE) it a stereo soundboard pre-fm recording made on super vhs tape, the soundman of the gig make this available truh internet

P@ndora said...

Johnny appeared twice in the same weekend at the Pandora's Music Box fesitval in Rotterdam on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd of September 1984.

http://pandoras-music-box.blogspot.com/2009/01/johnny-thunders.html

It's highly likely that the sets were recorded, but I've never seen a recording...

P@ndora

Anonymous said...

Europeans and Japanese do not understand the Dolls or Heartbreakers. Only Brits and Yanks do.

dtkfred said...

met johnny a lot during 83/84's in paris....i wasn"t in the dope gang, so it was always pleasant.
saw johnny a couple of time on stage & we fllowed thehb's reunion from paris to london

Anonymous said...

It was actually me(Michael Thimren)who joined the group on guitar first with Terry Chimes on drums during the Swedish part of tour, then with Keith Yons buddy Tony st Heleme on drums for Italian,Spanish,France tour.I also had a casette tape of Lyon gig that was nice, but lost it

Visions from a Stolen Horse said...

Henri Paul was on guitar for the Music Convoy show. 3 tracks from the performance are now on YouTube.