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Doll Parts

  • Jared Paul Stern


*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*

The other day when we said there were no challengers to Keith Richards' reign atop sex, drugs and rock'n'roll royalty, it obviously triggered something - the appearance of a certified contender, David Johansen of the New York Dolls.

Back in the '80s it seemed as though Johansen had given up his roots with a descent into campy cabaret under his Buster Poindexter alias. But he surprised us in 2004 by regrouping what was left of the Dolls for a reunion tour, followed in 2006 by the band's first album in 30 years, *One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This*. The album, which featured guest stars like Iggy Pop and MOTH Michael Stipe, showed Johansen still has what it takes.

At a benefit in Brooklyn the other night, Johansen tuned up in full Dolls regalia, down the trademark shaggy mane and well-worn biker jacket, and a mug rivaled only by Richards' in its craggy expressiveness of the vagaries of a rock'n'roll icon. As we noted vis-à-vis Richards, you can't buy this look—which doesn't stop lots of fellows from trying.