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Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers

Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers

After the original New York Dolls broke up, Johnny Thunders—who had been the Dolls’ Keith Richards to David Johansen’s Mick Jagger—and Jerry Nolan formed the Heartbreakers. If the Dolls were a precursor to punk rockers, then the Heartbreakers served as a living bridge to it—updating classic Rolling Stones-style, sneering two-guitar rock in prototypical fast-and-furious style. With Thunders’ shambling, drugged-out, foul-mouthed onstage charm, and songs like “Chinese Rocks” celebrating the heroin-junkie lifestyle, these Heartbreakers could not be confused with Tom Petty’s backup band.

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images Images

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