All Dressed Up, Got Nowhere To Go

   Too Much, Too Soon: The Make-up & Break Up Of The New York Dolls - Nina Antonia 5/5


     Let me just say thank Bob for Youtube so I can finally see old footage of the Dolls live because I wasn't lucky enough to have seen them during their initial run. I was born the same years the Dolls exploded on the scene looking like crazed transvestites. They were original at a time when rock music needed it and they gave rock fans something no one had ever seen before. You can see their influence all over popular music. Let's be honest and say that if it weren't for the Dolls those hairbands from the 80's would've never existed, and it's a known fact that KISS was hugely influenced by the band as well. With that being said, the book tells the Dolls story as it slowly unravels. The Dolls it seemed were poised to be the new face of rock 'n' roll, but instead they became a casualty.

      The books doesn't hold anything back and as far as bios go this one is really good because it doesn't try and lay blame on why The Dolls fell apart. You can see the cracks begin to form but no one was able, or even smart enough to stop it. If anything Too Much, Too Soon is a cautionary tale of what happens when the gimmick stops working. The Dolls were victims of a lot of things and at times the worst enemy of the band were themselves. It's informative, but at times I felt that there should have been more. More insight on the band, and maybe a few more pictures. Just having the story is good but what made the band so unique was their look. It's talked about in great length but the pictures that the author provide don't really do a casual fan any good.

      While the Dolls were inventive and groundbreaking it's what also did them in. There were a lot of mistakes made, and you can feel a bit of sadness as you realize that The Dolls are falling apart. There would be no third record and the chemistry that the band had was all but destroyed and drugs and ego took hold. For anyone looking to read a book about the Dolls this is a decent read that gives you the history of the band and their slow tumble and eventual demise. I didn't know a lot about the band before reading the book and I'm glad that I read it. As a fan it gives me a better understanding of what made the band so good and what eventually caused their breakup. The band would reunite but it's just not the same. Most of the band is no longer with us, but we do have the records and the small amount of video footage to remind us just how great they were.

      The book is well researched so you get a fair and balanced read and there are interviews with each band member sprinkled throughout. This is their story after all and Nina clearly wanted to write a book that would appeal to fans as well as non fans. This is the story of the Dolls and their brief run in rock excess and into the history books. Now all we need is to get the band into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Shame where they belong.