New York Dolls Lookin' Fine on Television

New York Dolls Lookin' Fine on Television
Lookin' Fine on Television opens with a disparity and contrast kept up for much of its 70 minutes. Part documentary, part concert DVD, this black & white collection of clips rockets between quickly cut and chopped live performances and sometimes informative, but chronologically unclear, interview footage. It's the looks behind the performances that make the DVD special, but since each performance is actually chopped and skewed from multiple gigs and put to a single audio track, there's a lack of context that makes sitting through the disc's shoddy production values a bit of a chore. The footage is almost 40 years old and it shows, with its rough, grainy picture only outdone by the sometimes scratchy, feedback-laden sound. While it's hard not to be captivated by the band's early, charismatic and borderline dangerous performances, Lookin' Fine on Television suffers from heavy-handed editing. The collection does its best not to alienate outsiders, and with its inconsistent production values and confused narrative, that's the best we can hope for. An eight-minute interview between an out-of-character David Johansen and journalist Lisa Robinson filmed in 1976 serves as the only extra feature, but it's the most interesting thing on the disc. The two talk outside of the legendary CBGB in NYC while drunk rockers stumble around in the background. Their conversation also features a cameo from a buzzed Johnny Thunders, who talks about the Heartbreakers' upcoming European tour with the Sex Pistols and his competition, a "new" band called Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. (MVD Visual)