How about your early
influences as a musician?
Well, I grew up
listening to a lot of the Stones' music, Keith, Jeff Beck and Chuck
Berry, which is a lot of the stuff that Thunders' was
listening to as well, so the whole thing was just easy to move
wanna know, and I need
to know [ if you're a
guitarist, you'll understand why
] , what's your on-stage set up?
Right now, I'm not
playin' my old, old Gibson's, 'cos we have them in soft gig-bags,
they go on planes, so
I'm using some new Gibson's, the white one is a Les Paul
Supreme, and a Les Paul Classic Coppertop. They are exactly as
they came from the factory, no alterations made, same pick-ups, same knobs, and
they sound ok...They take a beatin', I give 'em a beatin'
For a while I was
just using a Tremelo and a Reverb, and some other stuff, but
y'know, I thought, "let's go real simple", so now I have one
box, that gives me a little bit of crunch, and that's it, it's
called a 'Power Screamer', by HBE, Home Brew Electronics, its
custom made, so unless I'm playin' something a little clean,
it's pretty much it...I use a 100watt Marshall Head, through
an Orange 4x12 cabinet..it's a rental amp, so it's not my
ultimate set-up..If I was nearer to home, I'd bring my '59
Junior, my '70 Les Paul Custom, my '67 plexi-head and my '70's
4x12 Marshall cab.
At this point during the conversation, I'm afraid I slip
into guitarist/Muso mode, and start asking Steve about his
favourite guitar, guitarist and guitar sound...
Well, I'm not one of
those guys that has a 'collection' as such, and I don't really
have a favourite ...I have my '59 Junior, and I guess it all
depends on which song I'm doing...I played a '59 Danelectro on
the record, on 'Tommy' and I also played that on 'Gimme
Love...'its kinda like a 'Tele' at the bottom, like a really
'meaty Tele'...I use my Junior, and my '335 on a bunch of
stuff, and that's about it, really! I used a 'Strat on one
song that didn't make the album..
Oh yeah? Which song was that then?
It was an extra track
- 'Beauty School' , have you heard that one?
Yeah, that was
featured on the DVD that came with the record...'the making of
Yeah! That's the
one...maybe there's a little bit of footage from the
I think David or Syl
actually commented about the fact that a 'Strat' is "So
Un-New York Dolls" in the film..
Yeah, but y'know, I
just take my stuff along with me...I have my 'Melody Maker'
with me, and there's some other stuff I have as well. I play
whatever fits the song really!
You're at the end of
a month almost in Europe, and from what I've heard, you've
absolutely gone down a storm here. This is the first time
you've played Liverpool, right? and also, compared to the
Meltdown re-union thing you guys did in London with
Arthur, have the audiences surprised you in any way?
Yeah, for sure! It's
hard to say, because a lot of the places we've just played,
the original Dolls didn't...like Berlin and Hamburg...Amsterdam
was amazing, Bologna, Paris was unbelievable and tomorrow in
Glasgow, I think, is sold out ..it's weird 'cos some crowds
just kinda stand there, lookin' bored, but the majority have
been WILD!!! Its great, there's a 'mosh-pit' goin' on at some
shows, and the kids all goin' wild..it's great! For the
finale, we do 'Trash', 'Personality Crisis' and 'Jet
Boy'...they ALWAYS get the crowd going mad!!!
So, when you guys finally decided to record and get the
show on the road, was there like a 'meeting of minds' to
determine a 'look' for the new band?
Well, You're right,
in the DVD, David says that Syl wants to be 'Glitter', and he
wants to be 'Glam'....but there wasn't anything to it, we
just wear what we want, that's how they found each other back
in the day, and in fact, when I joined the group,
David just said [ adopts a gruff-'Davy-Jo' voice.. ] "Y'know
Stevie...just wear what you want"..
Ok, I need a beer at this point, and realise that the guy
needs to unwind before another show..
So, you play
Liverpool tonight and Glasgow tomorrow, than its back to the
U.S. for a short and well deserved break, before you set off to
conquer the states. The Dolls' were almost completely
overlooked in the '70's over there, apart from New York and
the West Coast, how
do you see things opening up for you there on the back of the
new record and the massive success of your European Tour ?
Well, certainly, we
hope we will be a hit....there's enough interest from the people
who remember the band from the first time around, and the
'cult-status' that they created over the last thirty-odd years
or so...we look out there, and we see kids of like 17 and 18
wearing T-Shirts of the original band, and it's just great to
done...I'm taking my girl for a drink and bite to eat before
we get back to the show...I wanna thank you man, it's been a
pleasure, and have a great show tonite!
Chris, it's a
pleasure! Enjoy the show..
Steve joined us for a meal and chat right before he hit the
stage in Liverpool. Lynne and I were having dinner in an Indian
Restaurant in the city, and he just walked on in there...He
called his wife from his cell, ordered, and then joined us at
our table....we chatted for ages...almost forgot he had to be
on stage......it was great fun!
The Doll's hit the stage,
the place is packed, David walks to the Microphone, slowly,
then greets his people with the legend that is....
''When I say I'm in Love, You best
believe I'm in Love, L-U-V"........
NEW York Dolls, and they are coming to get
Chris [ La Rocka ]
Lynch - October 2006
Many thanks to
for the use
of her images in this piece!!!