A Glimpse Into The Mind Of
By: Gus Bernadicou
Punk Globe: Barbara, could you please give the readers some background on yourself?
Barbara Kane: I started singing with my own band when I was 15. It was Bo Diddly's back-up band when he played in New England! He had different players for each part of the country that he played in! He was a genius! I sang and did light shows for The Group Image in the late 60's. Then in 1970 I worked with Prairie Prince and Michael Cotton to formulate their rock band The Tubes . My best friend from The Group Image is Sheila Jones and she & I were The Punishment Sisters for the first Mondo Bondage show they performed! We sang Chains and Satisfaction...Wilson Pickett style. Defiant & nasty!!! We cracked r whips and chains and kicked Fee Waybill off stage. I've also sung with Astrid Young, in Rock Musicals with my friend Nick St.Nicholas from Steppenwolf and numerous other projects as well as with Johnny ,Arthur & Jerry!
Punk Globe: What’s the story behind your last name?
Barbara Kane: Garrison? My great , great grand-dad was William Lloyd Garrison . He wrote the Emancipation Proclamation , helped start Women's Suffragette, and started the first Spiritualist Society . He, along with Honest Abe & his wife , and more Washington celeb's of that era , held seances in the left wing of the White House. The Blue Room, possibly? I do know that room I'd closed up.
Punk Globe: Arthur dated Connie and Eileen Polk. Any coincidence why Dee Dee was often after his sloppy seconds?
Barbara Kane: It would appear so! Dee Dee admired Arthur and I heard him say so.He wanted to start a dueling basses band with Arthur. We were all going to get an apartment together with Eileen! Connie was furious and when we were having dinner at Eileen's Mum's house she started banging on the door! So Eileen went to answer it Connie stuck her foot in and started to push it open and Arthur and Dee Dee went running to help her!!Dee Dee started to slam the door on her foot repeatedly but the bloody women was made of rubber! Nothing hurt her! Talk about jacked up!!she's the one that stood over Arthur naked with a butcher knife and tied his feet to the bed . When he woke up to her coming down on top of him to kill him...cauz he wouldn't take her on the first Dolls tour,he reached for the knife to grab it and she slashed his left thumb open!
Punk Globe: Could you give the history of you and Arthur’s relationship throughout the years (decades)?
Barbara Kane: Wow!! R history is HUGE! Arthur and I passed each other in backstage gigs in S.F when i was singing w: The Tubes , or hangin w/ already friend Johnny when they Played the Palladium in 1973 . However , we were formally introduced by my friend Stefan in1974 at the Starwood . He was talking to Arthur and I was near by . Arthur asked him if he knew me and would he introduce us so Stefan told me he had someone who wanted to meet me and Arthur said hi in his high pitched voice , pulled me onto his lap and never let go! We stayed in LA over a year while he tried to get his band Killer Kane with Blackie Lawless ,off the ground! When they played The Starwood , Glenn Buxton guitarist extraordinaire, was in the audience. Arthur was drunk but also had hepatitis of the liver! It was one of his shows where the amplifier held him up! Glenn told me to get him sober!!! So , Blackie got him to the VA hospital to the detox center and there he lay in a large room with rows of cots. He was in Hell!!! However , Killer Kane Band ended breaking up which was too bad cause they were excellent . Blackie did very well for himself but he was extremely talented and wrote brilliant songs so kudos to him. I sold everything I owned.. A gold Mercedes with red leather interior! Arthur LUVED that car! However, he wanted to go back to New York and try to put The Dolls back together. So I gave up my career... To bad cause I was working in a rock musical as the lead and had just worked for Orson Wells and John Houston! We stayed at the Chelsea Hotel when we arrived in Manhattan! The NY rock scene was had so much character and fab music! We went out almost every night! Cool bands were playing at all the clubs! We'd go to CBGB's, then cruise on up to Max's! Then there were nights when we'd be hanging in the stoop(stairs) with Frenchie St his apt. Building on St.Marks Place & 8th St. All of a suddenly Johnny pulled up in thus outrageous convertible 1958 Impala and we all jumped and drive around Manhattan raising freaking HELL!!! I have so many stories Gus! Some are in my epilogue!
Punk Globe: You were an actress at a time? Was Arthur ever in any movies?
Barbara Kane: Yes he was . The New York Dolls were in a Ralph Baski movie called "Hey Good Lookin ."he also did lots of extra work and got a few bit parts ! We wrote a song for a TV Show. First and Ten was the name. The episode was called " Easy Come, Easy Go!" the stars were Delta Burk & OJ Simpson! Arthur taught Marisol Jones and Mick Cripps from LA Guns girlfriend, Marie Webster,how to pretend play the bass and drums. They both worked at the infamous Rock clothing store, Let It Rock! Didn't matter of they could play, we just knew they had the best rock wardrobe in town!!! Also six months before Arthur died , a Mormon named Greg Whitely, followed Arthur to and from his job at The Mormon Family History Center filming him and asking him questions. When Arthur got the news about The Dolls regrouping for a gig, Greg was prepared to follow him to New York for the rehearsals with the band and then on to London for the Morrissey Meltdown. the movie we called New York Doll
Punk Globe: You also did a stint as a Rock ‘n Roller, correct?
Barbara Kane: Honey!!! Stint? I am always rockin and am preparing to start up again! However, I was 15 when I played my first gig with my own band. They were the back-up band for Bo Diddley! In the late 60's I was in a group of artists, writers, light show & rock band! We played a gigs at The Village Theatre with The Fugs and The Mothers of Invention. I later worked with Don Preston . He was writing the music for a rock musical with my friend Nick St.Nicholas , the founder and bassist for Steppenwolf. We r still very good friends;() the Group Image was the Bands name and we later played anyhow at the same theater , only Bill Graham had bought it, and our lead guitarist Artie butted Bill Graham in the stomach because he stole our musical venue, our lower east side theater to play shows for the people!! Not some money hungry club over-charging rock kids to hear their fave bands! So that nite we played with the MC5 ...Yeah! Kick out the jams mofo's! THAT was a wild gig ! We did lira if shows later but I wasn't singing . My partner in singing when I put together the Mondo Bondage show , Sheila Jones, started to sing with the band ! I did sing in Chicago with them and Muddy Waters went on next and he said we sung like angels and to keep on singing! Thanks Mr.Muddy Waters LUV! So in 1970 I helped Prairie Prince and Michael Cotton formulate theme shows for their band The Tubes! The show we did was Mondo Bondage and Sheila and I were The Punishment Sisters! We sang Chains and Satisfaction, Wilson Pickett style! Hard & Nasty! I've also done projects with my dear friend Astrid Young. She is a great songwriter with tons of talent!
Punk Globe: Of course there was that famous show with Johnny, Jerry and Arthur and you singing backup….what’s the story on that?
Barbara Kane: That was a Rockin band! Jerry Nolan is one the greatest Rock drummers I have ever had the privilege of knowing! He drove Arthur to greater heights of bass playing! I had already sung with John. At Max's in 1977. The year before that Roxy gig, I sang with Johnny at the Roxy as well. Everytime I sang with John there were no rehearsals so I never knew what that musical trickster would do! Yes, he would screw around but I had fun and isn't Rock all about FUN! Who care if a string breaks or ya hit a bad note ... With John,as with The Dolls... It was the Spirit of the show that made it too cool! The kids at the shows were so absorbed by the charismatic entities on stage that nothing else mattered! Everyone was absorbed by the sound and the total energy!
Punk Globe: The next big reunion for Arthur was of course with the Dolls?
Barbara Kane: Yes ... He NEVER got over the demise if The Dolls...HIS band. That's the way he felt and that's that ! My friend and Arthur's ,Robert Arce, was the one who found out about it. David wasn't going to use Arthur because he didn't think Arthur could still play! So Robert appealed to Darren Hill , David's manager, to please give Arthur a chance . So he did! Their reunion is in the movie. My thoughts , Arthur was so sincere and happy to be playing again but as far as I'm concerned, David's as phony as they come! A real piece of work! Why did he tag himself onto the end of ARTHUR'S movie singing a Mormon song? Excuse me but wtf is that all about? EGO !
Punk Globe: What did that mean to him? What did that mean to you?
Barbara Kane: Regrouping with hi s band and making up with David was all Arthur ever wanted! Arthur had promised me that after a few gigs there was going to be a show in Ireland and he was going to take me there and renew our wedding vows. We were going to be together again and be happy! I lost out to the fickle finger of fate! Thumbs down for Babzi Dolls reunion with LUV and happiness.. .
Punk Globe: David soHandsome didn’t show up to the first day of rehearsal, did that lead you all to lose some faith?
Barbara Kane: He didn't show because he wanted his boys to let him know if Arthur could still play. David Sohandsome...good one Gus! There's no luv lost between him and moi! When Arthur and I were married we went to a show at the Ritz in NYC and David came over to us singing to Arthur"If you want to be happy for the rest of your life never make a pretty woman your wife!" Cyrinda Fox had left him and he was really a dick to me!
Punk Globe: …And there also was the movie, how involved were you in that?
Barbara Kane: As I said it was Morman movie. Very biased and not in my favor! They don't like me nor I them! The home teacher private lawyer..did they know Arthur was sick? Why would have a probate lawyer be his home teacher the last 6 months of his life? Arthur told him to call his wife and tell me be was dying and had only a few hours to live. He decided NOT to cause I lived three hours away and wouldn't make it! Then he told the hospital not to let me near his body, prevented me from saying good-bye to him at the coroners office . So when I had my lawyer confirm that we were still married I called my mortician to get his body but when he for there he called me and said"Mrs.Kane, I'm sorry but your husbands body is too badly decomposed to bury.we have to cremate him ." Every horror movie we ever saw flashed through my visual mind and I snapped ! I called the Mormon bishop and WENT OFF! The next time I got to hold Arthur in my arms was when the post mistress handed me his ashes at the post office.
Punk Globe: Also your book, right?
Barbara Kane: It's called, "I,Doll", Life and Death with The New York Dolls by Arthur you know who!
Punk Globe: What did you want to accomplish with the book?
Barbara Kane: When Arthur was writing the book he didn't know if he could sell it and he was having trouble finishing it , which he finally did after to severe head injuries . He Did several rewrites ,all of which I have and may release with my bio when its done. I promised him I would release it no matter what it would take ! It wasn't easy to do after the shock of his sudden death. Every time I read a chapter I was in tears! My epilogue was like writing with a river flowing out of my eyes. My memories... My LUV ....it was like falling in LUV with him all over again! It felt good to see the final product..ARTHUR'S beloved ,soulful , truthful and very funny book!
Punk Globe: Although this was before your time maybe you can help with the fact check… Peter Jordan played more gigs than Arthur Kane, and also played more songs on “In Too Much Too Soon” than him. Of course Johnny played bass on “Chatterbox.”…is that correct? (or not even relevant?)
Barbara Kane: Peter filled in at times for Arthur. Arthur's drinking would overwhelm him and he was completely dysfunctional . Arthur and Pete were good friends so their was no rivalry between them!
Punk Globe: What about the CD released for the Meltdown Festival Show. It has been mentioned in interviews, and clearly shown in the movie that the bass playing is overdubbed…
Barbara Kane: All I can say about that is : Arthur was dying when he played that show. His brain was "bleeding out" so I have to give him alot of credit for even being on stage! If he was missing bass lines, or screwed up here and there, then I'm sure David had another bassist redoing it in the studio! Many blessings for my husband for having the courage to go past his pain , get up in front of thousands of people as sick as he was, and playing his bass like the warrior musician that he always was and forever will be! I will defend him to my death because every ounce of me knows what an incredible, sensitive man he was .... I'm just so sad he never made it to enjoy the glory that The Dolls have now!
Punk Globe: The Dolls then went on to continue and put out three fabulous albums, can YOU listen to them and hear that they miss Arthur or is Sammi Yaffa’s playing spot on?
Barbara Kane: No I don't listen to them. It's David's music NOT The New York Dolls! I'm not a fan of his music at all! He doesn't carry on the tradition of The Dolls music . The last time I saw them play where I live here in Ventura, he sang Private World but turned it into a Shirelles song at the end ! WTF !!! I sang that song with Arthur and frankly, I sing it better than him and stick to the roots of the song! Arthur worked on alot if that music and David never gave him any of the publishing. He left Arthur to die in poverty and squalor! Only in the end did he decide to open his heart and let down his ego for 5 seconds anyway!
Punk Globe: What have you been up to recently? Any projects worth noting?
Barbara Kane: Yes have too many projects in the works! I am working with an author in Finland! His work is brilliant and we are working on eliminating abuse on this planet! Women ,children , animals.... All who suffer from cruelty ! I pick up my Valkyrie sword and slash away at all abusers!!! Also, I have music that Arthur and I wrote when we had two bands together ...Coup d'Etat and Puss 'n' Boots. There were always girls from groups ripping off my image and one in LA even used Puss'n'Boots so we copy wrote the name! Ion working with Matt Lee from The D.I's. Arthur and I worked with him in the late 80's and he's a brilliant musician!
Punk Globe: You are currently partying it up in Los Angeles, correct?
Barbara Kane: Well I don't really party it up! The occasional appearances I do make are at my girlfriends ,Kathleen Wirt, recording studio parties at her studio 4th St. Recording! She throws the MOST OUTRAGEOUS parties ever! Otherwise I prefer to run with my wolves. I birthed and raised a pack of White Wolves. My best friends ever! LUV...
Punk Globe: Any inspirational words you can leave our readers with?
Barbara Kane: I like to choose my words carefully! I have studied extensively many spiritual paths . I ended up choosing The Prh of The Masters. The book is The Adi Granth. It's from northern India. It teaches the way back home through the inner sound. When I was given the book I thought " sound...I'm a dinger and so I know it's sound that uplifts the soul! It's a song that will make up laugh,smile or cry! Chanting , instruments from Peru or India raise the consciousness . What is more pure and elevating than sound! Music fills every potion of us... So , Tibetan mysticism , Egyptology , magnetic lay lines, UFOlogy, Rosecrucianism, Buddism, Native American medicine and much more....Ive studied them all. All these paths narrow down to one road kids.... Taking us all back home ...to the one road ...the music of the spheres, the logos....sound! Listen inside, follow your dreams, ease be kind and LUV one another. Help if u can ..even if it's a butterfly that's hurt.. The inner reward is a greater gift than material crap that only dissipates into nothing. We have so much to give each other. LUV , Your Babzi Doll, Arthur Killer Kane's Dolly Moll
Punk Globe: Thanks for the time, Barbara!

Punk Globe would like to thank Barbara Kane for the honest and insightful interview....

Do you have a story the world needs to hear? Email me at gus@punkglobe.com!