Billy Murcia

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Billy Murcia
Birth nameBilly Murcia
BornOctober 9, 1951
Bogotá, Colombia
DiedNovember 6, 1972 (aged 21)
London, England
Associated actsNew York Dolls

Billy Murcia (October 9, 1951 – November 6, 1972) was the original drummer for the New York Dolls.[1]

He was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and raised in Jackson Heights, New York, USA.[1]

Billy Murcia and Sylvain Sylvain both attended Quintano's School for Young Professionals, in the late sixties. It was at Quintano's that they met Johnny Thunders, also a student there. They made their musical debut in 1967, in a band called "The Pox".[2] They owned and co-managed a clothing business called "Truth and Soul". Murcia was a fundamental ingredient of the original New York Dolls sound and played during their now-legendary series of weekly shows at the Mercer Arts Center.

While on a brief tour of England in 1972,[3] Murcia was invited to a party where he passed out from an accidental overdose. In an attempt to revive him he was put in a bathtub and force-fed coffee, which resulted in asphyxiation and death.[4] He died before the New York Dolls recorded their first album and was later replaced by Jerry Nolan in 1973. The final gig of their tour, at the Manchester Hardrock, was canceled, and the band flew back to New York City. Murcia can be heard playing live with the New York Dolls on Lipstick Killers: The Mercer Street Sessions.

Johnny Thunders wrote a song called "Billy Boy", in honor of his friend and former band member.

The song "Time", from David Bowie's Aladdin Sane album, references Murcia and his untimely demise.


  1. ^ a b Jacobson, Mark. "The Icon: Doll Face", New York (magazine), September 23, 2002. Accessed May 28, 2009. "Then came the sad pictures: Johnny and Jerry, RIP, and Billy Murcia too, their first drummer, a Colombian from Jackson Heights, dead in a London bathtub."
  2. ^ "Criminals". The Mod Pop Archives. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  3. ^ New York Rocker: My Life in the Blank Generation with Blondie, Iggy Pop, and ... By Gary Valentine. Thunder's Mouth Press. p.3
  4. ^ Living (and dead) dolls By Peter Shapiro The Times May 21, 2004