Red Patent Leather
|Red Patent Leather|
|Live album by New York Dolls|
|New York Dolls chronology|
Red Patent Leather is a 1984 live album by the earlier disbanded New York Dolls. It was recorded in New York a decade earlier, in March 1975, just a month before the group broke up while on tour in Florida.
The New York performance was recorded at the "Little Hippodrome" club. The shows were the last performed by the group in New York, and as such they made the small, unusual venue famous. The venue itself closed later that same year.
The entire show was included in the 'From Here To Eternity' boxset, featuring the tracks on disc 3.
Band performances were rare at the "Little Hippodrome", a drag and comedy club which was located at 227 East 56th Street, between Second and Third Avenues. The club was named after the Hippodrome Theatre, a nearby landmark Theater District building in Midtown Manhattan that had been torn down in 1939.
The group dressed in red for the show and decorated the club with a faux communist red theme, and dubbed the event 'Red Patent Leather' in their press release, which explained:
- "This show is in co-ordination with the Dolls' very special 'entente cordiale' with the People's Republic of China."
The press release also claimed that the intended backdrop behind the stage would even include "a huge red flag bearing the hammer and sickle" 
Several "new" songs being played by the Dolls at this stage in their career would show up on later solo records. The song "Pirate Love" would later be recorded by Johnny Thunders' next band The Heartbreakers on their debut. "Down, Down Downtown" would be recorded as "Downtown" on Thunder's solo debut So Alone. "Girls" would be recorded by David Johansen for his solo debut. "Teenage News" would be recorded by Sylvain Sylvain for his solo debut. The band was going to record "Teenage News" as a single in 1975 but most of the band members were too drunk to show up at the recording session. Thus, it is likely that some of the songs on this album would have been on the band's third studio album had they made one.
- "Red Patent Leather" (Johansen, Sylvain) – 3:37
- "On Fire" (Johansen, Sylvain) – 3:29
- "Something Else" (Bob Cochran, Sharon Sheeley) – 2:25
- "Daddy Rollin' Stone" (Otis Blackwell) – 3:39
- "Ain't Got No Home/Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Henry, Williams) – 3:57
- "Girls" (Johansen, Sylvain) – 3:45
- "Down, Down Downtown" (Johansen, Thunders) – 4:15
- "Pirate Love" (Thunders) – 4:12
- "Pills" (Bo Diddley) – 3:13
- "Teenage News" (Sylvain) – 3:49
- "Personality Crisis/Looking for a Kiss" (Johansen, Thunders) – 5:41
- "Stranded in the Jungle" (Johnson, Smith) – 3:48
- David Johansen - vocals
- Johnny Thunders - lead guitar
- Sylvain Sylvain - rhythm guitar, piano
- Arthur "Killer" Kane - bass
- Peter Jordan - bass
- Jerry Nolan - drums
- Allmusic review
- Robert Christgau review
- Live in NYC - 1975, mp3.com
- New York Dolls, From Here To Eternity, Disc 3
- From the Hip, "It's All the streets you crossed not so long ago" blog, October 18, 2005, from Nina Antonia, "Too Much, Too Soon" London: Omnibus, 1998, and Village Voice ad, March 30, 1975