New York Dolls vocalist David Johansen has paid tribute to his former bandmate, Sylvain Sylvain, following the guitarist’s death at 69 following a battle with cancer.
Taking to Instagram earlier today, Johansen recalled his first time meeting Sylvain.
“My best friend for so many years, I can still remember the first time I saw him bop into the rehearsal space/bicycle shop with his carpetbag and guitar straight from the plane after having been deported from Amsterdam, I instantly loved him.”
“I’m gonna miss you old pal. I’ll keep the home fires burning.”
Johansen joined the Dolls as their frontman shortly after the proto-glam punks’ inception in 1971, rounding out a lineup that included Sylvain, guitarist Johnny Thunder, bassist Arthur Kane and drummer Billy Murcia.
Johansen and Sylvain both appeared on all five Dolls studio albums – from their 1973 self-titled debut to their final album, 2011’s ‘Dancing Backward in High Heels’.
Sylvain’s death was confirmed earlier today (January 15) via a statement on the guitarist’s official Facebook page, where it was revealed that he had passed from the cancer he’d been living with for over two years.
“Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday he passed away from this disease,” the statement read.
“While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain. Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let’s send this beautiful doll on his way.”
Since the news of his death was confirmed, multiple artists have paid tribute to the late guitarist, including Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready and Kathy Valentine of the Go-Gos.