Johnny Thunders Birthday Bash

Carvels NYC

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July 15, 2018
Bowery Electric
New York, NY

    The New York Dolls almost single-handedly resuscitated the New York music club scene from 1972 to 1975. Johnny Thunders, born John Genzale in Queens, NY, took all he learned from watching British bands perform at the Fillmore East and started playing fat, raunchy rock ‘n’ roll guitar riffs. Suddenly, venues like the Mercer Arts Center and the Hotel Diplomat were drawing colorful, dressy crowds, and the so-called glitter-rock movement was born. Although not commercially successful as a recording band, the New York Dolls and other New York glam rock bands received extensive media attention while pioneering a stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll revival that five years later would evolve into punk rock. Thunders left the Dolls in 1975 and formed the Heartbreakers, Gang War and other bands, continuing his legacy until his narcotics-related death at age 38 in 1991.

    Local rock impresario Steve Krebs is a Johnny Thunders fan. In 2009 he financed a three-CD box set called Born to Lose: A Tribute to Johnny Thunders, which featured local New York bands performing Thunders’ songs. That same year, Krebs began organizing an annual Johnny Thunders Birthday Bash around Thunders’ birthday. Each year, the headliner is the Waldos, featuring Walter Lure, who played with Thunders in the Heartbreakers; the Waldos perform a full set after a dozen or so other bands perform Thunders covers. This year’s birthday bash, held at the Bowery Electric on July 15, Thunders’ 66th birthday, featured Krebs & the Maynard G’s, the Threads, the Skullers, Lenny Kaye, the Ritualists, the Carvels NYC, the Skelekasters, Lulu Lewis, the Hipp Pipps, Heap, Red Datsun, and Dennis Doyle.



Dennis Doyle

  1. Diary of a Lover (Johnny Thunders cover)
  2. Sad Vacation (Johnny Thunders cover)
  3. I Only Wrote This Song for You (Johnny Thunders cover)
  4. Disappointed in You (Johnny Thunders cover)

Red Datsun

  1. Who Are the Mystery Girls? (New York Dolls cover)
  2. One Track Mind (The Heartbreakers cover)
  3. I Wanna Be Loved (The Heartbreakers cover)


  1. Let Go (The Heartbreakers cover)
  2. Born to Lose (The Heartbreakers cover)
  3. Too Much Junkie Business (The Heartbreakers cover)

The Hipp Pipps

  1. Dead or Alive (Johnny Thunders cover)
  2. Pills (Bo Diddley cover)
  3. Daddy Rolling Stone (Otis Blackwell cover)

Lulu Lewis

  1. Jet Boy (New York Dolls cover)
  2. Just Another Girl (Johnny Thunders cover)
  3. Baby Talk (The Heartbreakers cover)

The Skelecasters

  1. (She’s So) Untouchable (Johnny Thunders cover)
  2. Subway Train (New York Dolls cover)
  3. Seven Day Weekend (Gary “U.S.” Bonds cover)

The Carvels NYC

  1. Bad Girl (New York Dolls cover)
  2. I Love You (Johnny Thunders cover)
  3. Great Big Kiss (The Shangri‐Las cover)

The Ritualists

  1. Chatterbox (New York Dolls cover)
  2. Lonely Planet Boy (New York Dolls cover)
  3. Human Being (New York Dolls cover)

Lenny Kaye

  1. You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory (Johnny Thunders cover, with Jay Dee Daugherty)
  2. I’m Free (The Rolling Stones cover, with Jay Dee Daugherty and the Ritualists)
  3. Gloria (Them cover, with Jay Dee Daugherty and the Ritualists)

The Skullers

  1. Downtown (Johnny Thunders cover)
  2. Alone in a Crowd (Johnny Thunders cover)
  3. So Alone (Johnny Thunders cover)

The Threads

  1. Ask Me No Questions (Johnny Thunders cover)
  2. London Boys (The Heartbreakers cover)
  3. Personality Crisis (New York Dolls cover)

Krebs & the Maynard G’s

  1. Blame It on Mom (Johnny Thunders cover)
  2. Pirate Love (The Heartbreakers cover)
  3. I.A. (Johnny Thunders cover)
  4. Who Are the Mystery Girls? (New York Dolls cover)
  5. I Can Tell (Bo Diddley cover)

The Waldos

  1. One Track Mind (The Heartbreakers cover)
  2. Pipeline (The Chantays cover)
  3. Crazy Kids
  4. All by Myself (The Heartbreakers cover)
  5. Cry Baby
  6. London Boys (The Heartbreakers cover)
  7. Sad Vacation (Johnny Thunders cover)
  8. Let Go (The Heartbreakers cover)
  9. Pirate Love (The Heartbreakers cover)
  10. Just Because I’m White/improvisational jam
  11. Get Off the Phone (The Heartbreakers cover)
  12. Born to Lose (The Heartbreakers cover)
  13. Chinese Rocks (The Heartbreakers cover)
  14. Too Much Junkie Business (The Heartbreakers cover)