ROCK ACTS SIGN UP TO CREATE UNIQUE GUITAR TO RAISE FUNDS FOR NEW YORK
DOLLS LEGEND SYLVAIN SYLVAIN
Rock musicians including Keith Richards, Slash, Myles Kennedy, Michael Monroe, Taime Downe, and Jizzy Pearl have come together and signed a unique Gretsch guitar, hand-painted by Tyla J Pallas, to raise funds for New York Dolls’ legend Sylvain Sylvain who has been undergoing cancer treatment in the US.
The auction is now live on eBay.co.uk
In April 2019 New York Dolls’ guitarist Sylvain Sylvain confirmed that he had been diagnosed with cancer, was undergoing treatment, required further surgery and would be unable to work for some time. As an original member of the New York Dolls, who had inspired a generation of rock musicians, this was devastating news to many within the rock community. Given the costs of medical care in the US, a Go Fund Me page was set up and fans of the New York Dolls, including musicians, have been donating and raising funds to support him. To date $69,860 out of the $80,000 target has been raised.
In the UK an idea was born. One of our own legends, Tyla (of Dogs D’Amour fame) and his friend/business partner, Alan Hampton (at whose bar both Sylvain Sylvain and Tyla had played in recent years), decided they wanted to do something. Alan had the idea of buying a Gretsch guitar, as played by both Sylvain and Tyla, getting Tyla to paint it and then auctioning it off to raise money. Tyla went one stage further, sourced a new guitar generously donated by Mike Taft at Gretsch, hand painted an original New Yorks Dolls design on it and asked his friends within the international rock community to sign it. And they did … and then some. The painted guitar (a new Gretsch Electromatic) is stunning. A unique one-of a kind piece of rock memorabilia that reads like a Who’s Who of 80’s and beyond debauched rock music in all it’s finest glory. A full list of the artists who have signed the guitar (along with images of the guitar) can be found at the foot of this release.
“I was gutted when I heard about Sylvain. Cancer’s horrific for anyone, but most musicians struggle to get insurance and in the US it’s even worse. The Dolls inspired so many of us and we just felt we wanted to do something. It was Alan’s idea. The least I could do was do one of me paintings on it and get in touch with a few old mates. I never expected so many to get involved. It’s great, innit? We’ve set a reserve, but to be honest I hope it’ll go for a lot more and it may come close to helping him hit his target. He’s almost there”.
Due to the logistical difficulties, the cost of shipping the guitar around the world and the tour schedules of those who wanted to contribute, Tyla and Alan’s plans nearly didn’t happen. But, not to be put off, an alternate plan was conceived involving another musical contact of Tyla’s – this time in Canada. Bruce Hotchkies, The Deadly Romantics, has a specialist printing business, and all artists wishing to sign the guitar would provide authenticated hand written signatures which would then be process-printed on to the back of the guitar, and the hand written signatures would be included along with the guitar and case when auctioned. To enable this to happen the signatures made their way across the Atlantic.
Alan Hampton, Owner, 10 Bar, Forfar, said,
“I’ve been a huge fan of punk, rock and particularly the Dolls for years. I also put on some music and I’ve been in the amazing position of having had both Sylvain and Tyla, along with other acts, play 10 Bar in recent years. I felt I wanted to do something, spoke to Tyla and it took off from there. It’s been great to see the rock community come together like this and want to pay back to one of their own”.
Amongst the signatories is a fellow New York Doll, Steve Conte (guitarist, Michael Monroe Band, and solo artist), who said, “I have spent many years with Sylvain, living in NYC, writing songs and playing in the New York Dolls together and I can honestly say – this guy is a national treasure. It’s heart warming to see that so many of these other great musicians who I know and play with have signed the guitar for Syl as well. Thank you all”.
The item will include the one-off guitar, guitar case and the original handwritten signatures. Given the charitable nature of the item, and it’s value to those in the rock community, a reserve of £3000 has been set.
The auction is now live on eBay.co.uk
Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour have also recorded a cover of the New York Dolls’ classic “Pills” (featuring Rich Jones (guitarist, Michael Monroe Band) and Alan Hampton (formerly guitarist, Courtesan) available to purchase and download from the Song For Syl Bandcamp Page. All proceeds from this will also be donated to the Sylvain Sylvain campaign. People can donate as much as they want when they download the song.
You were a mixed bag….as is life.
We enjoyed some great shows around the UK. Seeing familiar faces and a whole bunch of new ones. New venues and old favourites as always. We made a memorable trip to Germany for a show at Paunchy Cats and all made it back in one piece……just. (Read all about it in Vol. 2 of So Once Was I.) We had the pleasure of welcoming Scotty back into the fold for some shows in August and had the joy of going on our Jollies with The Dirty Strangers….Pip Mailing banged the bongos for us while Si was away doing his proper job with Squeeze. We revisited a classic and completed the In Vino journey….£20k lighter than we should have been, but as our recorded response said ‘F**k Pledge!’ We welcomed able seaman Corky onboard the ship as a trusted confident and general sorter outer and we of course said so long to absent friends and loved ones. The seas are not always calm in this world and when we are faced with rough waters, it is about the grace in which we navigate them that is important. We ended the year with our usual Xmas do(s) and we released an album that explored our darker side in Jack O’byte Bluesy Vol 1. We don’t like standing still….not at our age (Matty exempt).
So what for 2020? Plans? Of course we have plans. T is releasing some spoken word recordings with a twist early in the new year….you’ll love it! It’s unique! As a painter returns to an unfinished work, we will be revisiting Straight for its anniversary – an album that was a turning point for T – I’m sure he will write it all down or bend your ear about it should you be interested. We are also looking at releasing a brand new album under a similar model to Pl*dge, but through a trusted partner and with 0% risk – as should have been the case with In Vino. More details regarding this will be announced early in the New Year. We are off to Japan for four dates in March and will be looking at dates in Europe for later in the year before the whole Brexshit nonsense deems it financially impossible. For our US friends, we are always looking at ways of getting over to you, but the visa policy doesn’t make it viable at present without sponsorship etc. But don’t lose hope, we will get there.
So all it leaves is for us to once again thank you for your faith and support over the past year and hope that you all have a enjoyable and rocking 2020. See you on the other side!! Tyla, Gaz, Matty and Si. Xx