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Tributes as New York Dolls' Sylvain Sylvain dies at 69

Julia Hunt
·Contributor
·2-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 30:  Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen of New York Dolls perform at Old Vic Tunnels on March 30, 2011 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Marc Broussely/Redferns)
Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen of New York Dolls in 2011 (Marc Broussely/Redferns)

New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain has died at the age of 69.

The Cairo-born star had been battling cancer, said a statement on his Facebook page.

“As most of you know, Sylvain battled cancer for the past two and 1/2 years,” said the message.

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“Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday he passed away from this disease.

“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,” it went on.

The American rock band formed in the 70s and were known for songs such as Jet Boy and Personality Crisis.

Fellow New York Doll David Johansen was among those to pay tribute.

Sharing a picture of the bandmates on Instagram, he 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.

Rock group "The New York Dolls" perform at the Waldorf Halloween Ball, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC, Oct. 31, 1973. At right is lead singer David Johansen, with guitarist Sylvain Sylvain. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York Dolls performing in 1973 (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

“I’ll keep the home fires burning. au revoir Syl mon vieux copain.

“February 14, 1951 /January 13, 2021.”

Mike Scott of The Waterboys shared a black and white image of Sylvain, telling him to “travel on well” and calling him an “all-time great rock and roller”.

Billy Idol posted a picture of Sylvain on Instagram.

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He wrote: “RIP #sylvainsylvain of the NY Dolls, in Elvis t shirt here with Johnny Thunders back in the ‘70’s...

“I was lucky enough 2 meet him in ‘78 in NY when I was on a generation x press tour 4 our first album... - BFI.”

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