He was 69 years old...

New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain has died.

Born in Egypt, he spent part of his childhood in France before coming of age in New York.

Helping form New York Dolls alongside vocalist David Johansen, the group lit a fire under the complacent rock scene, drawing on doo wop, girl group, and early rock 'n' roll.

Releasing two seminal albums before collapsing in a heap of glitter, make up, and platform shoes, New York Dolls arguably created the template for punk rock.

Reforming in 2004 at the behest of Morrissey, New York Dolls played sporadically in the years following. Sylvain Sylvain had been diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and news of his death was confirmed by wife Wanda.

Musician and journalist Lenny Kaye penned a tribute essay alongside the announce, commenting:

“His role in the band was as lynchpin, keeping the revolving satellites of his bandmates in precision. Though he tried valiantly to keep the band going, in the end the Dolls’ moral fable overwhelmed them, not before seeding an influence that would engender many rock generations yet to come.”

“Thank you Sylvain x 2, for your heart, belief, and the way you whacked that E chord... Sleep Baby Doll.”

Wanda O’Kelley Mizrahi commented: “As most of you know, Sylvain battled cancer for the past two and 1/2 years. Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday he passed away from this disease. While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain. Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let’s send this beautiful doll on his way.”

David Johansen penned an eloquent tribute to his band mate on Instagram...

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.



Follow Clash: