R.I.P. Dept.: Onetime New York Dolls Manager Marty Thau Dead at 75

Marty Thau. Photo via the New York TImes website.

Marty Thau, who managed the New York Dolls and figured in the careers of Richard Hell, Blondie, the Ramones and Suicide, died on Feb. 13 in Richmond, Va. He was 75.

The cause was complications of renal failure, his daughter, Leslie Bernard, told the New York Times.

Writing about his discovery of the New York Dolls in early 1972, Thau wrote in a blog post:

At first I couldn’t get past the sight of them. They were visually remarkable. While everybody in America were wearing army coats and earth shoes, here were these guys decked out in leather and leopard skin with bouffant hairdo’s, black nail polish, lipstick, six-inch platform boots, chopped jeans, feather boa’s, armbands and pantyhose. It was a style beyond femininity and thrown together in such a way as to appear natural. Then I zeroed in on their music … loud and hard ghetto music about girls, sex, drugs, loneliness, heartbreak and the rites of teenage romance. In other words … real rock ‘n’ roll.

I had never seen or heard anything like it and instantly knew they made everyone else look tired, which at that time meant David Bowie, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music. Betty and I looked at each other and smiled. One thought was spinning through my mind … “what would the world think of the Dolls indeterminable gender bending … is this too real?”

For more, head to the New York Times obit.

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About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

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