Backstage With Gang War


I met Johnny at a club in Albany New York called J.B.Scott's. It was January of 1980 and he was on tour with Gang War. My buddy David and I arrived early at the club. Suddenly, Johnny came walking in with his bandana tied around his head and went straight for the Men's Room. Shortly after he came out and arrived at our table. "Qualudes, heroin, speed...." he asked. I informed him that I had none of the above but I did have a nickel of great reefer that I would share with him. We headed for the dressing room and I was introduced to Wayne Kramer. I confess that at the time I didn't know about the MC5 and I remember Johnny saying, "Do you know who this is? Do you know who this is?". We had a great time. John, Wayne, David and myself sat together smoking reefer and talking about music. Wayne was telling us about his prison experience. I felt like I had known both of them all of my life. The band took several breaks and each time we were invited backstage for another joint. The place was packed and I remember these college kids trying to come back stage and Johnny being very rude to them. Security came and tried to clear out the dressing room. Johnny and Wayne told the bouncers that we were with them.

I'll never forget John's guitar case. It was really beat up and 'The New York Dolls' name on it was partially scratched out. I liked Johnny. I felt sad when he died. I still keep in touch with Wayne. I'm glad things came together for him and that he is getting the recognition he deserves.

Johnny Thunders Cyber Lounge: www.thunders.ca
Managed by Chris Ridpath: chris@thunders.ca
Modified: May 7, 2001