Talking rock and roll with the influential Johnny Thunders.

In the early 1970s American guitarist, singer and songwriter Johnny Thunders (John Genzale) came to prominence as a member of the New York Dolls. Briefly managed by impresario Malcolm McLaren, the band broke up in 1975.

He's the reason why we broke up.

Johnny Thunders went on to play with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. He describes his music as rock and roll.

I hate the word punk, I was never a punk, I never played punk music.

That said, he has nothing but praise for The Sex Pistols. In 1976 The Heartbreakers played the 'Anarchy Tour’ with The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned.

Music isn’t competitive.

Johnny Thunders uses methadone to help with his addictions and he tries to ignore what other people think of him.

If I was straight for 50 years they’d still call me a junkie.

If he is influential he hopes it is because of his music.

I copied everything from somebody else, everything comes from somebody, I mean Keith Richards took it from Chuck Berry, I took it from Keith Richards.

While scathing about the current music scene, Johnny Thunders still enjoys writing new material and touring.

He performs a version of the Bob Dylan song ‘Joey’ accompanied by a saxophonist.

From April–May 1990, Johnny Thunders undertook an acoustic tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. He played in Dublin’s New Inn on 21 and 28 April 1990.

This episode of ‘Nighthawks’ was broadcast on 26 April 1990. The presenter is Shay Healy.

‘Nighthawks’ was a programme that was set in a bar/cafe where the presenter Shay Healy was also the proprietor. The content was a mixture of comedy sketches, interviews, music performances and music videos.

‘Nighthawks’ was broadcast between 1988 and 1992 and went out three nights a week.