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The Heartbreakers

The Heartbreakers

Biography

Johnny Thunders formed the Heartbreakers with Richard Hell and Jerry Nolan in 1975, after the New York Dolls disintegrated and Hell was kicked out of Television. Hell's tenure in the Heartbreakers proved to be short lived as well, and he was replaced by Billy Rath in 1976. Forever loved as much for what they didn't do as for what they did do, the band played broken down rock 'n' roll with pure abandon, marked by Thunders' stunning guitars, alternately hilariously vulgar and genuinely touching lyrics and near constant zombie state thanks to a legendary heroin addiction. With only one horrendously recorded album and a notoriously unpredictable live presence, the Heartbreakers represent all the failed mythos and chaotic brilliance of the era better than any other pre-punk or even punk band -- except for maybe other even more doomed Thunders projects (i.e. Gang War with MC5's Wayne Kramer). Following a stint playing in London and touring with the Sex Pistols, and the disastrous release of L.A.M.F., the Heartbreakers fell apart in 1977 and Johnny went solo, reforming the band every few years for a sudden appearance in NYC right up until his death in 1991.
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