by Peter Aaron
It was a bummer last week to hear that illness had forced original Ramones drummer (and Hudson Valley resident) Tommy Ramone off the Acoustic Anarchy tour he’d been co-headlining with original Sex Pistols bassist Glenn Matlock. But, as they say, the show must go on. And with New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain taking Ramone’s place for the tour’s stop at the Linda in Albany this Friday, the news is at least a little easier to take.
Matlock co-founded inestimably influential UK punks the Sex Pistols in 1975 with guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook; vocalist Johnny Rotten joined soon after. A fan of the hard-edged, melodic, mid-1960s mod rock ’n’ roll of the Small Faces, the Who, and the Creation, Matlock did much to write and shape such classic Pistols songs as “Anarchy in the UK,” “God Save the Queen,” and “Pretty Vacant.” Internal conflicts saw him booted from the band in 1977, although he returned for the recording of the group’s iconic debut, that year’s Never Mind the Bollocks, temporarily stepping in for his, to put it mildly, less-accomplished replacement, Sid Vicious. After the Pistols, he went on to play with the Rich Kids, Iggy Pop, the Spectres, Robert Gordon, the re-formed Faces, and as a solo artist. Matlock was again on board when the Sex Pistols reunited in 1996.
In 1971, Sylvain joined the New York Dolls, in which he shared guitar duties with the late Johnny Thunders. After the pivotal glam/proto-punkers officially dissolved in 1977, he led the Criminals before joining the backing band of ex-Dolls singer David Johansen and launching his own brief solo career. He and Johansen have co-helmed the New York Dolls since the quintet’s 2004 reactivation.
This rare acoustic performance takes place Saturday, March 15, at 8pm at the Linda Norris Auditorium in Albany. Tickets are $15 advance and $18 at the door. For more information call (518) 465-5233 or visit www.wamcarts.org.