Johnny Thunders and the dangers of addiction: Johnny puts on one of the worst performances ever taped

Fair warning: this video is one of the saddest (and/or infuriating) shows that I’ve ever witnessed. Johnny is so wrecked that he stumbles and mumbles his way through what can only charitably be called a “set”, while haranguing the audience, hurling racial epithets, shit taking Sweden, and generally proceeding to define the term “trainwreck”. An idol, who once defined cool, degenerated into mess who can barely hold chords to songs that he’d been playing for years. He spends more time wandering among the audience and rambling than he does playing guitar, leaving his poor band to do what they can to cover for his total ineptitude. And hey, I’m someone that loves inspired Punk Rock ineptitude and confrontation, but this is not that. That is the aftermath of years of addiction and falling prey to your own ego (which I suppose addiction is anyway, but that’s a topic for your doctorate, not here). This should be required viewing in rehabilitation centers worldwide. Scared straight, LAMF.

On a side note, wouldn’t Al Pacino, circa Panic In Needle Park and Dog Day Afternoon, have destroyed in a Johnny biopic? Not that by 1975 anyone would be considering doing a Johnny doc, of course.

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