Dolls frontman David Johansen said Kane’s “playing and presence were the heart and soul of the New York Dolls and the secret ingredient of our sound.” He added that “practically every trauma that could befall a person happened to Arthur, but finally, 12 years ago. . . he was able to overcome that vicious cycle and put his life back together.” Every trauma is right. I remember seeing Kane perform with his hand massively bandaged after his wife cut off his thumb while he slept.
Kane’s death comes at a time when the surviving Dolls (including guitarist Sylvain Sylvain) were enjoying a return to the music scene, notes mtv.com. The band officially broke up in 1977, but popstar Morrissey, who was once president of their UK fan club, asked them to reunite for London’s Meltdown festival in June, with former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin filling in for guitarist Johnny Thunders and Libertines drummer Gary Powell taking over for the late Jerry Nolan.
Kane is the third founding member of the band to pass away, following the deaths of drummer Billy Murcia in 1972 from a combination of drugs and alcohol and guitarist Johnny Thunders in 1991 from a heroin overdose. Drummer Jerry Nolan, who replaced Murcia, passed away in 1991 from a stroke.