once in a lifetime

I *never* in my life thought I would see THIS:

You purchased 2 tickets to:

Randalls Island, New York, NY

Saturday August 14, 2004 11:30 am

I’ve read some cantankerous bitching and moaning about reunion overkill recently. To be honest, I was getting a little worn out by reunions around the time the Pixies got back together. I didn’t fight all that hard to get tickets to the closest Pixies show precisely because I wasn’t too sure I wanted to 1) relive something that wasn’t all that long ago (can it truly be nostalgia if I can still vividly remember it?) or 2) witness it if it was less than glorious.

So when I heard about Morrissey putting The Dolls back together – I will confess that I was, and am, a little dubious about this. JT is gone forever, and I guess I just don’t know how it’s the Dolls without him, you know? I read all the reviews (believe me, I read *all* the reviews) and I know that it’s supposed to be just short of the Second Coming.

But here’s my question: what if it *wasn’t*? Would anyone actually say such a thing? The fans break into two categories. Number one, anyone who actually was there back in the day. The two dozen people who actually were at the Mercer Arts Center in 1975 have to say say that the new reconstituted version is amazing or risk being labelled old and cantankerous (nothing worse than a music fan walking around insisting that the Who without Keith Moon aren’t the Who, or how if you didn’t see Springsteen in 1975 you have no right to call yourself a fan).

The rest of us are people like me, who never thought they’d own a concert ticket that read NEW YORK DOLLS. The first Dolls album was the first album I snuck in the house (sliding it behind the washing machine with a surprisingly adept arm stretch, given I’d never done such a thing before) because I didn’t want to have to explain to my mother why they were wearing makeup and women’s clothing (not that I fully understood the concept of drag at age 14 either, truth be told). It was one thing to like the Ramones or the Clash or Patti Smith or Television, but the real test was if you liked the Dolls (and the MC5 and the Stooges, of course).

Would any of us admit the truth if they weren’t great? I guess I won’t find out until I am standing there in the mud watching them onstage. All I do know is that if I was not going to be back home in time for this show, I would have been gotten there by any means necessary.

Why? Because the shimmering possibility of catching a glimmer of the past, of youth, of lost magic, is far too enticing to abandon.

The closest I have come to seeing the Dolls was at one of those Thunders multi-night stands, this one Irving Plaza in 1983 or 84, when David Jo and Sylvain showed up. I still have the photo of the three of them onstage together, one of those moments that I didn’t want to tear my eyes away from the stage to photograph but also absolutely needed to document as well: “I really *was* there!”

So I am going to Randall’s fucking Island. I even organized a small ticket brigade this morning to guarantee that I had a ticket (I didn’t see it selling out in three minutes but I also wasn’t about to take any chances for this show). And I will be wearing fishnets and knee-high boots and the shortest skirt I can get away with, and undoubtedly something shiny or glittery or otherwise appropriate. After all, to quote my darling friend Shiz, “I”ve never had to decide what to wear to a Dolls show before!”

This is also undoubtedly the biggest concert ticket bargain within recent memory – $20 for this lineup:

Performers: Iggy Pop and the Stooges, The New York Dolls, The Romantics, The Ravonettes, The Pretty Things, Moonie Suzuki, The Electric Prunes, The Fonda’s, Bo Diddley, The Cynics, The Chains, The Troggs, The Singles, The Stems, The Woggles, The Chesterfield Kings, The Paybacks, Boss Martians, The Chains, The Forty-Fives, Reigning Sound, The Shazam, The Cocktail Slippers, The Killer Barbies, The Star Spangles, The Charms, The Fuzztones

It will be funny, in a sad way, when this sells more tickets than Lollapalooza.

Final thought: I have never seen so many “The” bands on one bill in my life

Final thought #2: I love seeing Bo Diddley on that roster

Final thought #3: Surely it is a sign of the apocalypse when you can search for New York Dolls on *Ticketmaster*

Final thought #4: WTF are the DTK/MC5? Don’t they belong on this bill??