Thunders, Kane and Nolan: You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory
The closest thing to a New York Dolls reunion that occurred during Johnny Thunders' lifetime happened on January 4, 1987, when the former Dolls guitarist stepped on-stage at The Roxy in Los Angeles with Jerry Nolan on drums and Arthur Kane on bass. It was the last time the three would play together (Thunders died in the spring of 1991, Nolan followed less than a year later, and Kane died after a handful of official Dolls reunion gigs in 2004), and Thunders, Kane and Nolan: You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory documents this show for the ages. The show was shot with a single video camera in a balcony at stage right, and the quality of the image (transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1) is a bit muddy, but the camera operator manages to cover the proceedings quite well given the circumstances, and thankfully the audio is very good, getting the raucous noise of this band on tape with clarity and force. The sound has been mastered in two formats -- the original stereo mix in Dolby Digital 2.0 and a surround mix in Dolby Digital 5.1 -- and while the two-channel mix sounds more natural, both serve the material well enough. The songs are performed in English, with no subtitles. Best of all, this video captures Thunders on a good night, with the guitarist lively, lucid, and fully engaged, and while we hardly ever see Kane, he's in the pocket throughout and supports Nolan quite well. Given the set list, this plays more like a Heartbreakers show than the New York Dolls, but it's a better Heartbreakers gig than the sizable majority of those that have popped up on home video, and while this doesn't offer anything in the way of bonus materials, You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory is well worth a look for fans of the sloppy genius of pre-punk guitar.
Disc #1 -- Thunders, Kane and Nolan: You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory 1. Pipeline [3:03] 2. Blame It on Mom [3:34] 3. Personality Crisis [3:36] 4. I Can Tell [7:29] 5. Dead or Alive [3:50] 6. Can't Keep My Eyes on You [3:01] 7. I Ain't Superstitious [2:57] 8. Too Much Junkie Business [4:46] 9. You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory [3:12] 10. Eve of Destruction [4:28] 11. Lonely Planet Boy [1:52] 12. The Wizard [1:44] 13. Play With Fire [2:28] 14. Green Onions [8:32] 15. In the Midnight Hour [4:02] 16. Little Queenie [4:26] 17. Born to Lose [5:17] 18. Baby What You Want Me to Do [4:30] 19. Courageous Gal [3:25] 20. Chinese Rocks [5:43]