Johnny Thunders

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Johnny Thunders live around 1980

Johnny Thunders , actually John Anthony Genzale, Jr (born July 15, 1952 in Queens , New York - † April 23, 1991 in New Orleans , Louisiana ) was a New York punk musician.


From 1970 to 1975 Johnny Thunders was guitarist in the group New York Dolls , then he played with the Heartbreakers and was active as a solo artist from 1978.

After Peter Hein and Xaõ Seffcheque had already covered his song Born to Lose for the album The latest terror idea of ​​crazy colonel with Family 5 in 1987 , Thunders played the song for the album Learning English together with the Düsseldorf band Die Toten Hosen shortly before his death Lesson One . Thunders was one of the band's musical role models and was mentioned in 1986 in their song Das Wort zum Sonntag . Since the People, Animals, Sensations tour in 1992, the band has performed the song with changed lyrics. Instead of “As long as Johnny Thunders lives, I'll stay a punk; as long as there is something to drink, all of our parties continue ", they say:" Hey Johnny, can you see us right now? We dont forget you! We will tell about you everywhere so that your name will live on forever ”.

Johnny Thunders died in the hotel “St. Peter's Guest House ”in New Orleans as a result of his heroin addiction and left behind four children.


The Clash mentioned Thunders in the song City Of The Dead , with the lyrics “Don't you know where to cop? / That's what New York Johnny said / You should get to know your town / Just like I know mine. "

In the song Rock City Wankers by the Swedish glam rock band The Ark Thunders is also mentioned: "Oh no / You put a spike into your vein / Does it make you think you've got / The blood of Thunders in your brain".

Guns N 'Roses , especially Duff McKagan , dedicated the song So Fine from the album Use Your Illusion II to him . They also covered Thunder's composition You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory on the album The Spaghetti Incident? .

Thunders was also the inspiration for the song Johnny Gonna Die's album released in the ten years before his actual death Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash of The Replacements .

Discography (selection)

  • 1977 LAMF (with the Heartbreakers )
  • 1978 So Alone
  • 1979 Live at Max's Kansas City
  • 1982 Live at the Speakeasy
  • 1983 New Too Much Junkie Business
  • 1983 In Cold Blood
  • 1984 Hurt Me
  • 1984 Live at the Lyceum Ballroom 1984
  • 1985 Que Sera, Sera
  • 1987 Stations of the Cross
  • 1988 Copycats (with Patti Palladin )
  • 1990 gang war
  • 1991 What Goes Around
  • 1994 Live at Mothers
  • 2000 Belfast Nights


  • Antonia, Nina: The New York Dolls: Too Much, Too Soon Omnibus, 2003.
  • Antonia, Nina: Johnny Thunders. In Cold Blood Jungle Books, 1987, Cherry Red Books, 2000.

Individual evidence

  1. Hollow Skai: The Dead Pants . Hannibal, A-Höfen 2007, ISBN 978-3-85445-281-2 , page 37.

Web links