New York Dolls Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain Dies At 69


Sylvain Sylvain, guitarist in New York Dolls, died Wednesday at 69 after a battle with cancer.

“While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain,” read a message from his wife Wanda O’Kelley Mizrahi on his official Facebook page. “Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let’s send this beautiful doll on his way.”

Born Sylvain Mizrahi in Egypt, he lived in France before moving to New York City. He co-founded the New York Dolls in 1971 and the group released its debut album two years later. Failing to achieve commercial success, the band lost its record deal after its sophomore album.

Mizrahi and founding frontman David Johansen reunited in 2004 and recorded three more albums.

“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,” Johansen shared, in an Instagram post. “I instantly loved him. I’m gonna miss you old pal. I'll keep the home fires burning.”

Tributes to Mizrahi are coming from musicians like Steve Stevens and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.

“He was a true sweetheart,” Stevens tweeted. “In 1980 sitting on a couch in my old band loft, he gave me my stage name of Steve Stevens. Where’d ya get that beat, got that beat on 14th street.”

McCready shared: “RIP Sylvain Sylvain, bringing the style and swagger to the original Glam-Punk Gods #NewYorkDolls! Heroes to my Heroes... I’m gonna put on ‘Trash’ & ‘Pills’ & ‘(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown’ in honour of Sylvain and the rest of the lipstick killers!”

Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s tweeted: “No no no no. It's too much. Sylvain Sylvain I'm speechless with this loss. He lived so completely and deserved better … Insanely sad.”

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