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Johnny Thunders

Who’s Been Talking? - Johnny Thunders in Concert DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Billed as the final recorded concert from Johnny Thunders, this is sort of a mixed bag. Let’s get a little background out right here. I had heard Thunders with the New York Dolls before, but was never really all that impressed with that band. I knew that Thunders is considered one of the icons of punk rock, but that was about my extent of information on the man. Well, after seeing this video, I can see what all the fuss was about. While I’m not sure I’d call him punk rock, the guy pounded out roots rock and roll like few others have. He just plain rocked. Mind you, his more energetic tunes seemed to work better than the more balladic ones for my money, but the whole set is strong. So, why is it a mixed bag, then?

Well, it’s just a shame that there isn’t a better video of this floating around. The audio is on the good end of “adequate.” It’s unfortunately, better than the video. This thing looks like an audience shot bootleg, but then you notice multiple camera angles. A lot of it is washed out and blurry and then there are sections that look to be damaged. These things make it seem much more like something you’d find being traded around on VHS than a DVD released professionally. The thing is, as good as this performance is, and as rare as footage of Thunders is, it’s worth having. I know I’m hooked on the guy now.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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