A little androgyny goes a long way.

New York Dolls (album)
New York Dolls (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am almost ready to do a Top 5 of Gender Blender Rock songs -but letting the years of music run through my brain, I hit a little stumble block.

As a fan, it is easy for me to go back to David Bowie and Spiders from Mars as the start of the androgyny soul train. I consider that record  the first popular push for the male/female alter ego.

Immediately- I hear that voice in my head going… “All the music critics will say  The New York Dolls were the first androgynous rock band“. In fact the critics will say that the New York Dolls were the first… (Hang on to your seats, here we go!), the first glam band, the first glitter band, the first metal band and even the first proto-punk band. Proto-punk?? They also invented stage diving when David Johansen (NY Dolls lead singer- I have heard some of his stuff) lost his wig and jumped in the crowd to retrieve it….and …and  a guy who played  triangle on their second record invented the Wham-O Frisbee!!

Music I never heard is supposed to be so influential? I have nothing against these guys but you would think that something of them would be played somewhere I listened at some time if they did in fact, start everything.  I am going to admit that I have never knowingly heard a song from this infamous N.Y.C band. I was not hip enough to be in to them at anytime and I am not going to Google my way around them now and take a crash course. I am not a music critic; I am just a fan of Rock music. That is not an excuse, it is just a fact- So get ready for the Androgyny Top 5 coming to the Cave soon…and No New York Dolls will be harmed (or referenced in any other way) in the making of this list.

7 thoughts on “A little androgyny goes a long way.

  1. Great post, and I’m glad you admitted to never hearing anything by the New York Dolls. Until about a year ago I could say the same thing, although I think I may have heard one song (“Personality Crisis”). I finally gave in and bought the first album when I noticed that it was selling dirt cheap on Amazon, and I have to say it lives up to the hype. There’s nothing androgynous about them in the music, so other than the drag photo on the cover it’s all straight-ahead raw rock & roll, in the same vein as The Stooges & The Modern Lovers.

    When you do compile a list of Gender Blender (love that term) rock songs, I have two nominations: Pete Townshend’s “And I Moved” (from his Empty Glass album; I believe it was written for Bette Midler but she never recorded it) and Big Country’s “Come Back To Me” (from their Steeltown album, my favorite record of the ’80s; this song is written from the perspective of a pregnant woman waiting for her man to return home). They may not be very well known, but they would fit the criteria for your list.

    1. Rich,
      Thanks for the support and suggestions and let me throw out a challenge to you to complete your list of 5 and I will feature it here. This is already turning into more than I thought and is going to be at least two posts, if not more. Man, it is tough to walk in these high heels!.

      1. Just thought of a third one: Billy Bragg’s “Valentine’s Day Is Over.” He sings from the perspective of a battered woman who’s not taking it anymore. It has a beautiful melody and some great vocals. Okay, that’s three. Will let you know if anything else pops into my head.

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