HAPPY JOHNNY THUNDERS DAY (APRIL 23rd)
Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale, Jr. (July 15, 1952 - April 23, 1991), was an American proto-punk guitarist, singer and songwriter.
He came to prominence in the early ’70s as a member of The New York Dolls. He later played with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist.
Many rumors surround Thunders’ death at the St. Peter House in New Orleans, Louisiana in April 1991. He apparently died of drug-related causes, but it has been speculated that it was the result of foul play.
According to his autobiography, Dee Dee Ramone took a call in New York the next day from Stevie Klasson, Johnny’s rhythm guitar player. “They told me that Johnny had gotten mixed up with some bastards… who ripped him off for his methadone supply. They had given him LSD and then murdered him. He had gotten a pretty large supply of methadone in England, so he could travel and stay away from those creeps - the drug dealers, Thunders imitators, and losers like that.”
What is known for certain is that Johnny’s room was ransacked and most of his possessions were missing (passport, makeup, clothes). Rigor mortis had set in with his body positioned in an unnatural state, described by eyewitnesses as “like a pretzel”, underneath a coffee table. Friends and acquaintances acknowledge he had not been using heroin for some time, relying on his methadone prescriptions.
The police did not open a criminal investigation.
JOHNNY THUNDERS DAY is APRIL 23rd. Put on some NY Dolls or Heartbreakers in his memory and play it loud!