Sunday, November 26, 2017

Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers’ L.A.M.F. Revisited

When guitarist Johnny Thunders struck out on his own from the infamous New York Dolls in 1975, he brought the band’s drummer, Jerry Nolan, with him and formed the Heartbreakers with former Television bassist Richard Hell. Guitarist Walter Lure was added to the band and, when conflict inevitably arose between Thunders and his bassist, Hell left to form Richard Hell and the Voidoids, replaced by Billy Rath. This is the line-up that, as Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers (to separate them from Tom Petty’s band), recorded a single classic punk-rock album in 1977’s L.A.M.F.

L.A.M.F. has been remixed and reissued numerous times over the 40 years since its original release, the album grabbing a new audience each time and cementing its status as a seminal work of the punk-rock era. In November 2016, sole surviving Heartbreaker Walter Lure was joined by friends like Blondie’s Clem Burke, Tommy Stinson of the Replacements, and the MC5’s Wayne Kramer on two nights at New York City’s Bowery Electric Club to perform L.A.M.F. in its entirety. The events, captured on audio and videotape, also included guests ‘Handsome’ Dick Manitoba of the Dictators, D-Generation’s Jesse Malin, Liza Colby, and Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys.

On December 8th, 2017 MVD Entertainment will release LAMF: Live at the Bowery Electric as a fourteen-track CD, a colored vinyl album, and as a full-length DVD which features bonus interviews with Lure, Burke, Kramer, and Stinson. These releases capture an energetic and reverent performance of the material by a group of talented musicians, coinciding with Lure’s touring L.A.M.F. show which kicks off at the end of November 2017 with gigs in Los Angeles, San Diego, Brooklyn, and New York City. Lure is joined on the tour by guitarist Mike Ness (Social Distortion), bassist Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), and drummer Burke. LAMF: Live at the Bowery Electric is a great addition to the Thunders/Heartbreakers canon and a perfect accompaniment to the recent 40th anniversary edition of the original L.A.M.F. album.

Buy the CD from L.A.M.F. Live at the Bowery Electric

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