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?”