Sylvain Sylvain virtual tribute event announced with Debbie Harry and Thurston Moore on line-up

New York Dolls vocalist David Johansen, Henry Rollins, Sex Pistols' Glen Matlock and more will share "stories, performances and videos"

A tribute event celebrating the life of late New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain has been announced, with Blondie‘s Debbie Harry, Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore and more acts on the line-up.

Sylvain died in January from cancer, aged 69. He was a part of New York Dolls from 1971 until their second dissolution in 2012.

“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,” read a statement confirming his death.


Presented by Rolling Live Studios and hosted at Bowery Electric in New York, the virtual concert will also feature “a mix of stories, performances and videos” from New York Dolls vocalist David Johansen, Henry Rollins, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock, The Lemon Twigs and many more.

Also on the line-up is Patti Smith Group’s Lenny Kaye, who wrote a tribute to Sylvain at the time of his death. “[Sylvain’s] role in the band was as lynchpin, keeping the revolving satellites of his bandmates in precision,” Kaye wrote.

“Though he tried valiantly to keep the band going, in the end the Dolls’ moral fable overwhelmed them, not before seeding an influence that would engender many rock generations yet to come.”

The show will be live-streamed from midnight GMT on February 15 (that is, February 14 from 7pm ET). Tickets for the show are on sale now.


Johansen paid moving tribute to his bandmate Sylvain shortly after his death was confirmed. On Instagram, the vocalist wrote, “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.”