Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers L.A.M.F.

The following is a guest post by Will from, one of my favorite blogs, Be The Boy. If you read (and enjoy) Chuck Klosterman's stuff, then by all means, Be The Boy should be a daily stop on your Blog Ride. I hope you all enjoy this piece, on the late Johnny Thunders, as much as I did. - A.D.

Been lying on my floor most of the night listening to what, for the moment, is my favorite record Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - L.A.M.F. the 1977 mix version. Originally put out in 1978 following the slow quiet death of the New York Dolls, L.A.M.F. (Like a Mother Fucker) is a lost rock and roll classic that didn't see the light of day in the format I'm now playing for more than 20 years.

The Heartbreakers as they were originally called were made up of ex Dolls Thunders on guitar and Jerry Nolan on drums aided and abetted by Walter Lure on guitar and ex-Neon Boys ex-Television member Richard Hell on bass. The band dropped the glam aspects of the Dolls in order to play old fashioned rock and roll. I guess not having to worry about looking good on stage gave Thunders and Nolan more time to dedicate to their full blown heroin addictions. Despite devoting the majority of his time to vice the Johnny was truly invigorated by having a new band and the band developed a hard edged, albeit sloppy sound centered on catchy riffs and with the replacement of Richard Hell by Billy Rath a solid rhythm section. The Heartbreakers had no trouble fitting in with the NY rock circuit of the day (CBGB, Max's Kansas City, etc...).

The band had also been to England at the request of ex-Dolls manager/scenester/oportunist Malcolm McClaren to play with his new group The Sex Pistols. Being more experienced and better versed in rock and roll the Thunders and the band easily outshined their English counterparts including the Pistols and the Dammed. While The Heartbreakers were at the core a rock and roll band they could hold their own for sheer punk rock enthusiasm and noise, stylistically they sound close to the early Clash records with a bit of Rolling Stones thrown in.

Continue Reading after Le Jump...

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