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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Morrissey reunites punk pioneers
New York Dolls
The New York Dolls inspired both punk and heavy metal
Morrissey has persuaded 1970s punk pioneers the New York Dolls to re-form and play at London's Meltdown festival.

The band's three surviving members will be joined by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin and Libertines drummer Gary Powell on 18 June.

Morrissey is curating this year's alternative arts festival, which will also feature Jane Birkin, Nancy Sinatra and playwright Alan Bennett.

The ex-Smiths star will also perform during the Royal Festival Hall season.


Forming in 1972, the New York Dolls created a new type of hard rock that predated both punk and heavy metal.

By mixing rock and roll with David Bowie's androgynous glam and the anarchic noise of Iggy Pop's band The Stooges, they influenced a generation of musicians.

The band's two albums, The New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon, remain two of the most popular cult records in rock history.

I thought about it for a couple of days and thought, 'That could be a hoot'.
David Johansen, New York Dolls
Their original guitarist, Johnny Thunders, died of a heroin overdose in 1991 and drummer Jerry Nolan died after having a stroke four months later.

Despite their US popularity, the band had little chart success in the UK. Neverless Morrissey became a diehard fan and was once president of the UK New York Dolls fan club.

Morrissey personally contacted singer David Johansen to ask him to re-form the group, MTV reported.

"That was the last thing on my mind," Johansen said, "but I thought about it for a couple of days and thought, 'That could be a hoot'."

Johansen will be joined onstage at Meltdown by original rhythm guitarist Sylvain Sylvain and bassist Arthur Kane.

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