DFW Music News

For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: The New York Dolls Trash Gertie's in September 1973

Long ago, in 1978, this was released as a vinyl boot, Dolls Live: Dallas '74. Over the years the original has become a pricey, much-sought-after artifact -- this, despite the fact it's said to be of "very poor" sound quality. (This attendee didn't even dig it live: "not that great.") Then, in '06, the Dallas set was incorporated into a sprawling illicit anthology culled from dozens of sources featuring myriad versions of David Johansen, Johnny Thunders, Arthur "Killer" Kanel, Sylvain Sylvain and Jerry Nolan songs off the '73 debut. Essential.

Alas, the '74 Dallas show was in 1973 -- four nights in the fall, September 17-20. Says so right here. And it was at Gertie's on Lemmon Avenue, where a guy who worked for my dad played bass in one of the house bands. We used to drive by it on the way to junior high, twice a day for two years. Never knew the Dolls played there till this week, when I stumbled across a page with links to the boxed set From Here to Eternity that contains the Gertie's recordings, which sound much better than alleged.

Since I can't imagine what that was like, I thought I'd ask someone who I figured was there: the great Barry Kooda, who, in two years, would form the Nervebreakers with Mike Haskins, Carl Giesecke, Thom "Tex" Edwards and Pierre Thompson. This is what Barry sends by way of recollection:

I remember I was uncomfortable being stared at by the crowd as I was in a waist-length brown corduroy jacket with no shirt, matching pants, no shoes, red-and-green eye makeup on one eye and a three-concentric-hoop ear ring.(Straight guys didn't wear earrings back then, and if they did, it was a tiny stud.)

I remember feeling the attention shift from me, and someone slugged me in the shoulder and said, "Hey, man..." It was Thom (Tex) Edwards dressed in tight yellow trousers, white silk body shirt with music notes on it. He had cut-out ads from an Esquire magazine that he thought were interesting (I remember a Lowery Organs ad) and written "Blood" or "Dead" on them and pinned them all over his clothes. The Werewolves opened, and I remember them saying to Thom, "I didn't know The Morning News delivered...," and Thom saying, "They don't..." I got drunk after that and barely remember the Dolls at all.
Well, then, Barry, this work-week adios is for you. Should you care to remember the night the Dolls played Gertie's.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky