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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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Sylvain Sylvain, New York Dolls guitarist dies

Influential musician loses battle with cancer
By News team
Published on January 14, 2021

The New York Dolls The New York Dolls with Sylvain Sylvain at far left

We are sorry to hear of the death of Sylvain Sylvain, the rhythm guitarist, songwriter and chief visual designer of the fabled proto-punk band The New York Dolls. He died on January 13, 2021, losing a two year battle against cancer.

The New York Dolls’ original career lasted only a few years in the early 1970s, but they were arguably one of the most influential groups in rock music history. The American met and interviewed Sylvain in 2013. He spoke about his background – he was born in Cairo, Egypt into a Jewish family, lived as a child in Paris, France, then when he was ten, the family moved to to Buffalo, New York, then his spiritual home, Brooklyn. He told us about his love of the British Invasion bands and girl groups of the ‘60s, the Dolls, and his relationship with singer David Johansen, and the best thing about being Sylvain Sylvain “I still get carded when I buy beer!” You can read the interview here

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