David Johansen Interview

David Johansen first captured rock audiences attention in the early seventies with his group the New York Dolls. His departure from the Dolls led to a solo career that has enjoyed great critical acclaim.
"Here Comes the Night" is David Johansen's latest album. On tour with Pat Benator, We spoke with David Johansen last month when he appeared here in .Syracuse.

Q. With touring so expensive these days, how can you afford to do it?
A. It's pretty much down to keeping the expenses down as much as possible so we at least break even at the end. We're travelin' in a small van, have a rented truck for the equipment and stay in cheap hotels.

Q. You're getting a big promotional boost with the album and tour. Is this a make it or break it type situation for you?
A. Well, no, but everybody's hopin' for the best. It’s a great opportunity for me to play for people who aren't old enough to go to bars 'cause usually I been playin' in saloons for the last two or three years.

Q. What's different for you this time around, the music, your altitude?
A. Oh, Gee, I don't know. I'm basically the same person 1 was when I was twelve. I haven't really changed that drastically. My attitude about the music is pretty much the same and always has been. Put some life into it and a little sense of humor.

Q. One article has it that you seem "assured of a place in the rock world." What do you see that place as being?
A. It's really hard to be objective about yourself like that. They'll probably say I'm somebody who gave the business a kick in the ass and got it into a perspective or something when everything was so serious.

Q. Has the best of rock passed us by?
A. I think it's got a long future.

Q. I know you've been asked this many times before but why couldn't (he Dolls have stayed together a little longer?
A. It's just the situation at the time. It was getting out of hand. Too many managers, too much this, too much that. I had to get out while I was still alive basically. (Laughs).

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