New York Dolls Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain Dead at 69

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David Johansen pays tribute to “best friend” Sylvain Sylvain. The guitarist’s death was confirmed earlier today following a battle with cancer.

Sylvain Sylvain the punk icon and guitarist for New York Dolls whose riffs bridged the gap between punk and glam, died Wednesday. He was 69. The musician, who also contributed piano and songwriting to the groundbreaking band’s first two albums, had been battling cancer.

New York Dolls vocalist David Johansen has paid tribute to his former bandmate, Sylvain Sylvain, following the guitarist’s death at 69 following a battle with cancer.

Taking to Instagram earlier today, Johansen recalled his first time meeting Sylvain.

“My best friend for so many years, I can still remember the first time I saw him bop into the rehearsal space/bicycle shop with his carpetbag and guitar straight from the plane after having been deported from Amsterdam, I instantly loved him.”

“I’m gonna miss you old pal. I’ll keep the home fires burning.”

“As most of you know, Sylvain battled cancer for the past two and 1/2 years,” his wife, Wanda O’Kelley Mizrahi, wrote in a statement on his Facebook page. “Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday he passed away from this disease. While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain. Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let’s send this beautiful doll on his way.”

David Sylvian (born David Alan Batt,) of the band Japan,
changed its name in honor of the guitarist of the New York Dolls.

Since the news of his death was confirmed, multiple artists have paid tribute to the late guitarist, including Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready and Kathy Valentine of the Go-Gos.

 

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