Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale, Jr (July 15, 1952 - April 23, 1991), was a rock and roll guitarist and singer, first with the New York Dolls, the proto-punk glam rockers of the early '70s. During the late '70s, he was a familiar figure on the New York punk scene, both with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. His screeching, penetrating guitar sound is distinctive and highly influential in punk rock music. Thunders tangled with the demons of fame along with alcohol and drug addiction.
Under the name "Johnny Volume", Genzale began performing in high school with "Johnny and the Jaywalkers"; after leaving that band, he joined "Actress", which featured future Dolls Arthur "Killer" Kane and Billy Murcia. "Actress" became the New York Dolls in 1971 and Genzale renamed himself Johnny Thunders.
After recording two critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums - The New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon - the Dolls broke up. The early Dolls recordings are still in print today and continue to influence young bands with their trash/glam/punk attitude.