New York Dolls - "Lookin' Fine on Television" DVD Review (MVD Video) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New York Dolls - "Lookin' Fine on Television" DVD Review (MVD Video)

New York Dolls - 'Lookin Fine on Television' DVD Review (MVD Video"The legendary and infamous New York Dolls at their best! Amazing rare live clips and interviews filmed by Bob Gruen and Nadya Beck in the heady days of the band's ascension in the 70s. Footage from early shows in NYC all the way to the TV studios, clubs and swimming pools of Los Angeles. Black and white film was never so colorful! Includes ripping versions of "Personality Crisis," "Who Are the Mystery Girls?" "Babylon" and more. See the incredible early days of the band that influenced generations of punks and rockers." -- Press Release

I'm the wrong person to write a review of the latest archival DVD from the New York Dolls, Lookin' Fine on Television, as my expectations likely don't match that of a casual fan. To back up, I've bought pretty much every NY Dolls release that I could put my hands over the last twenty years so I have a (too) large collection of the band's commercial releases, quasi-legitamate releases and bootlegs. As such, my expectations are high for any new archival release and Lookin' Fine on Television is a "good" but not "great" addition to the band's catalogue.

This new DVD consists of live audio tracks (likely from the '73 era of the Dolls) over which Gruen and Beck over-layed cut together live footage of the band playing that song from a number of different shows. The footage used came from a variety of shows which include local shows at Kenny's Castaways and Max's Kansas City as well as footage from the band's late '73 West Coast tour. Some of the footage includes clips of the band with Peter Jordan on bass, with Arthur (with his arm still in a cast) looking on, very brief clips from the band's Red Patent Leather era and some great shots of the Dolls' Halloween show at the Waldorf Astoria. As complete performances of songs from some of these shows were released on All Dolled Up, I keep hoping that the full performances will be released so I was a bit disappointed that the cut-together shots on Lookin' Fine on Television end up feeling more like a MTV-style music video than a live performance.

On a positive note, there is some cool interview footage sequenced between the songs. The disc starts with an impromptu interview with the full band who are relaxing on a meadow overlooking the City (and there are some brief shots of future Dolls Peter Jordan and Tony Machine during the interview). There are various clips from a poolside interview with David Johasen which was filmed in Los Angeles and there is also news footage coverage of the Dolls' 1973 Halloween bash.

The disc ends with a bonus clip that is absolutely priceless - this is a 1976 clip of David Johansen interviewing journalist Lisa Robinson on the street outside of CBGB and the taping is 'crashed' midway by a very mod-looking Johnny Thunders.

New York Dolls