“Animals Medley” – David Johansen


Here’s David Johansen’s famous Animals medley from the stellar 1982 live album “Live it Up.” This is a medley of the Animals’ “We’ve Gotta Get Out of this Place,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” and “It’s My Life” and Johansen and his band pulls it off damn well.

Trivia note: I remember going to a (now-defunct) used record store in Norfolk, VA in 1989 and discussing the New York Dolls with a clerk or the owner (I can’t remember). The guy admitted a disdain for Johansen because of this Animals medley, because allegedly, his band did an Animals medley before Johansen did it, Johansen saw his band perform it when his band opened for Johansen, and then Johansen did the same thing and gained notoriety for it. OK, maybe this guy at the record store deserves a cheeseburger for Johansen’s alleged steal … but even then I thought, really? Your entire reason for “not making it” was because Johansen stole some idea of doing a medley of covers of some other band from you? Sweet lord, that’s THEE most single pathetic celebrity grudge I’ve ever witnessed. Johansen, God bless you for turning a medley of covers into a minor hit. Even if you allegedly stole the “original” idea of doing covers from another band.

“Frenchette” (live) – David Johansen

One of the most underrated singer-songwriters of the late 1970s is David Johansen, former lead singer of the New York Dolls.  Here’s my favorite Johansen solo track, this time in a stelllar live version from the promotion-only “The David Johansen Group Live” album recorded at New York City’s Bottom Line club in 1978.  Whether with the Dolls, solo, or in his Buster Poindexter alter-ego persona (sadly, where Johansen found his biggest commercial success), the man knows how to put on a show.