David Johansen is a talent of limited means but huge brass balls. His huge brass balls have always been the driving force in a career that has straddled underground cred and occasionally somewhat anonymous public adoration. Mach schau!, David, and more power to you for delivering through the guises of drag queen, lounge lizard, and bloozologist.
Despite his limitations as a singer, I was always intrigued by the “real” David Johansen, the wannabe Jagger under all the make-up and nylon firing up songs in The New York Dolls, the guy who came out of the gates on his first solo album with the excellent single “Funky But Chic” and who had a minor hit with a live medley of Animals songs. That Johansen was a guy I could best identify with. He was still putting across his meat-and-potatoes rock ‘n roll with style and fun, certainly, but doing so in a straightforward manner, without the rock star bullshit that had gotten out of hand in the late-’70s. I was trying to find a way to do something like this with my friends and our little band. This possibly imagined Real Johansen was leading the way toward a rock scene in which I could fit.