Home Music New York Dolls Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain Dead at 69

New York Dolls Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain Dead at 69

New York Dolls Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain Dead at 69

New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain died on Wednesday of cancer. The news was confirmed on his official Facebook page with a tribute penned by Lenny Kaye. He was 69. 

In April 2019, Sylvain revealed that he had been battling cancer for the past year. He launched a GoFundMe campaign in the hopes to cover medical costs related to his treatment.

Sylvain Sylvain was born Sylvain Mizrahi in Cairo. Sylvain’s family fled Egypt after facing anti-Semitism, winding up in New York after a brief residence in Paris. He joined the New York Dolls in 1972 after befriending the band’s original drummer Billy Murcia at his Queens school. Sylvain contributed guitar, piano, and vocals on the Dolls’ first two albums, 1973’s New York Dolls and 1974‘s Too Much Too Soon.

Sylvain embarked on a solo career following his tenure in New York Dolls, releasing his eponymous debut album in 1979. He recorded numerous albums as a solo artist up until the late 1990s. When the New York Dolls reunited, Sylvain appeared on their final albums One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This (2006), Cause I Sez So (2009), and Dancing Backward in High Heels (2011).

“My best friend for so many years,” the New York Dolls’ David Johansen wrote. “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. au revoir Syl mon vieux copain.”

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