Johnny Thunders: Heartbreaker

Fantastic blog post about one of the greatest and saddest rockers of all time. Brilliant writing!

The Big Get-Even

By the time Johnny Thunders had arrived, he was already gone. Just 19 when he transformed from John Anthony Genzale, Jr.—the skinny Italian kid from Queens, New York who loved chicks and baseball and rock and roll—and hit Manhattan as Johnny Thunders—the sneering New York Dolls guitarist with a mop of teased hair, platform go-go shoes, and low-strung TV yellow Les Paul Junior—he was already a full-blown junkie.

Like some sad cross between Al Pacino in The Panic in Needle Park and Exile-era Keith Richards, Thunders took the myth of rock’s excess and stripped away the fairy tale to reveal the abscesses, dope sickness, loneliness, and self-destruction at the poisoned heart of it all. And with every breath he managed, Thunders both undermined and strengthened the lie. Like all junkies, Thunders was in love with his own self-destruction and blurred where his addiction stopped and he started, probably because…

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