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Sylvain Sylvain

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Title: Sylvain Sylvain  
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Subject: New York Dolls, David Johansen, One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, New York Dolls (album), Red Patent Leather
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Sylvain Sylvain

Sylvain Sylvain
Background information
Birth name Sylvain Mizrahi
Born (1951-02-14) February 14, 1951
Cairo, Egypt
Origin New York, United States
Genres Glam rock, protopunk, punk rock, glam punk
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Associated acts New York Dolls, The Criminals

Sylvain Mizrahi[1] (born February 14, 1951), known as Sylvain Sylvain, is an American rock guitarist, most notable for being a member of the New York Dolls.


  • Early years 1
  • Career 2
  • Discography 3
    • With New York Dolls 3.1
    • As Sylvain Sylvain 3.2
    • With Syl Sylvain and the Teardrops 3.3
    • With Sylvain Sylvain and The Criminal$ 3.4
    • With She Wolves 3.5
    • With The Batusis 3.6
    • With Roman Sandals 3.7
    • As producer 3.8
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • External links 6

Early years

Sylvain was born in Cairo, Egypt to a Jewish[2][3] family, but anti-Semitism forced his family to flee in the 1950s,[4] first to France and finally to New York, United States. The Mizrahis lived first on Lafayette Avenue in Buffalo, New York but later moved to New York City, while he was still a child. Sylvain has dyslexia.[5] He attended Newtown High School in Queens and Quintano's School for Young Professionals in Manhattan.[6]

Prior to joining the New York Dolls, Sylvain and future New York Doll bandmate Billy Murcia ran a clothing company called "Truth and Soul," which helped define his fashion sense and would play a role in the band's groundbreaking look.[7] He has one brother, Leon, and one sister, Brigitte.


Before joining the New York Dolls in 1971, Sylvain was a member of the band Actress, which also featured Arthur Kane, Johnny Thunders and former fashion partner, Billy Murcia. He played rhythm guitar for the Dolls[8] from 1971 until the group's final dissolution in 1977. Sylvain and singer David Johansen were the last remaining members at the time the group broke up.[9] After the dissolution of the Dolls, he frequently played with Johansen on some of his solo records. He started his own band, The Criminals, with another ex-Doll, Tony Machine, and continued to play the New York club scene. He landed a solo recording contract with RCA, and released one album with Lee Crystal (drums; later of Joan Jett's Blackhearts) and Johnny Rao (guitar).

He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s and recorded one record, Sleep Baby Doll for Fishhead Records. His band mates on this record were: Brian Keats, drums, John Carlucci, bass, and Olivier LeBaron' on lead guitar, with guest appearances by Frank Infante of Blondie and Derwood Andrews of Generation X. In 2004 he reunited with the surviving members of the New York Dolls, along with Steve Conte, Brian Koonin and Brian Delaney. Arthur Kane, who died in 2004, was replaced by Sami Yaffa.[1] They released three records; "One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This," "'Cause I Sez So," and "Dancing Backward in High Heels". The reunion was filmed as part of a documentary on former band member Kane and was released in 2005 as New York Doll.[10]

On March 18, 2010, at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Sylvain and Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys and Rocket from the Tombs debuted their new band, The Batusis. Their EP is on Smog Veil Records.

In November 2012, Sylvain posted a video for his new single, "Leaving New York," on the Internet, and it was available on iTunes on December 2, 2012.

In 2013 and 2014 Sylvain joined with Glen Matlock as the Sex Doll Tour.


With New York Dolls

As Sylvain Sylvain

With Syl Sylvain and the Teardrops

With Sylvain Sylvain and The Criminal$

With She Wolves

With The Batusis

  • Batusis EP (2010, Smog Veil Records)

With Roman Sandals

As producer


  1. ^ a b Hermes, Will (July 23, 2006). "Return of the New York Dolls, What's Left of Them".  
  2. ^ "Syl the One". Riverfront Times. November 29, 2006. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Q&A with ex-NY Doll, Sylvain Sylvain".  
  4. ^ "An Interview with Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls". Brooklyn Vegan. September 5, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ "New York Dolls: We Re-Hatched Iggy Pop's Career". February 28, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "School's Out" by Tom Sinclair. Brod, Doug, editor. SPIN: Greatest Hits: 25 Years of Heretics, Heroes, and the New Rock 'n' Roll. John Wiley & Sons, 2010. p 146.
  7. ^ "Sylvain Sylvain all Dolled up".  
  8. ^  
  9. ^ "Former New York Doll Displays Musical Scrapbook".  
  10. ^ Chonin, Neva (November 25, 2005). "Documentary follows former N.Y. Doll from post-fame obscurity to reunion".  


  • Lazell, Barry. Punk! An A-Z, Hamlyn, 1995
  • Ruppli, Michel; Novitsky, Ed. The Mercury Labels. A Discography, Vol. V., Record and Artist Indexes, Greenwood Press, 1993.

External links

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