Nikki Sixx has paid tribute to Sylvain Sylvain, one of the founding fathers of punk rock as guitarist of legendary band the NEW YORK DOLLS, who died on Wednesday, January 13 at the age of 69. He had battled cancer for two and a half years.
Earlier today, the MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist took to his Instagram to write: “As a kid discovering The DOLLS was some of guidance I needed to head to LA and lean on not only them but so many great 70’s bands with punch and flair to start my own bands. . It was an honor to have The NY DOLLS open for @motleycrue and always a joy to sit backstage and talk to #sylvainsylvain. He was kind. Loved rock n roll and reminded me why I loved that band in the first place. RIP Rockstar.”
The NEW YORK DOLLS were called many things — glam, proto-punk, hard rock — but are probably best understood as a “dirty rock and roll” band. Combining an aggressively androgynous style with street-smart New York attitude and campy humor, the NEW YORK DOLLS ushered in the era of CBGBs, heroin chic, loud guitars and referential lyrics which gave rise to Patti Smith, the RAMONES, TELEVISION and many more. Fans of the band range from GUNS N’ ROSES to Morrissey, who organized the reformation of the band when he curated Meltdown festival in 2004.
Born Sylvain Mizrahi, Sylvain remained with the NEW YORK DOLLS until the group’s breakup in 1977. He later worked on various projects, including a band called THE CRIMINALS and another group called THE TEARDROPS. Sylvain reunited with NEW YORK DOLLS in 2004 and played on the band’s last three albums, “One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This”, “Cause I Sez So” and “Dancing Backward In High Heels”.
Sylvain‘s autobiography, “There’s No Bones In Ice Cream”, was released in 2018 via Omnibus Press.
In April 2019, a fundraising campaign was launched for Sylvain, who revealed at the time that he had been battling cancer for nearly a year.