Johnny Thunders & Wayne Kramer – Gangwar!

Dolls man hooks up with MC5 guitarist in predictably volatile combination

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Flash axe lovers should have been in heaven when New York clashed with Detroit at the gates of punk. Thunders & Kramer’s live recordings from Toronto and Boston in 1979 don’t actively disappoint, although some of the performances are sketchy: as Kramer noted, “Johnny’s got one foot in the gutter and the other on a banana skin”, and that tension doesn’t always deliver. Still, hectic takes on “Ramblin’ Rose”, the Stones’ “I’d Much Rather Be With Boys” and Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” keep an effervescent mix at boiling point. A recklessly high-energy take on Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” illustrates, too, why this toxic combination could never last.

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