Film Details Final Wish Of NEW YORK DOLLS Bassist To Reunite Band

January 28, 2005

Debbie Hummel of The Associated Press reports: At age 55, Arthur Kane was a thin, slightly balding man with a modest new life. He was a quiet soul, who had pledged his devotion to the Mormon church — and even worked for them at a genealogy center in Los Angeles.

His co-workers had a tough time believing that about 30 years earlier, Kane was famous, not for his faith, but utter lack thereof. His nickname was "Killer," and he tore around rock club stages in lipstick, tights and women's clothing as the bassist for the raunchy punk band the NEW YORK DOLLS.

He was one of three remaining members of the band, whose ranks were whittled by hard living and drug abuse.

Despite the fact that he had created a new life for himself, Kane still fondly remembered his time in the band — and he was ecstatic to bring it back together for a reunion show in England.

His life, which straddled two bizarre extremes of devotion and decadence, caught the attention of a filmmaker who was in Kane's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregation in Los Angeles.

"There are not many glam-rockers who are Mormon," said Greg Whiteley.

Whiteley decided to turn his fascination with Kane into a movie premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. His production, "New York Doll", chronicles Kane's journey to rehearsals in New York and finally to the London festival — where the band reformed and played last summer for the first time since 1975.

In that performance, Kane's platform boots and outlandish crossdressing are traded for a much different uniform - one modeled after the dress of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith.

But Kane's band mates seemed to respect his faith — even joking that the bassist wouldn't get his share of the concert's T-shirt sales because he "will just give it to the church." Read more.

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