New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain died of cancer on Wednesday. The news was confirmed on his official Facebook page with a tribute from Lenny Kaye. He was 69 years old.
In April 2019, Sylvain announced that he had been fighting cancer for a year. He launched a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of covering medical expenses associated with his treatment.
Sylvain Sylvain was born in Cairo as Sylvain Mizrahi. Sylvain’s family fled Egypt after exposure to anti-Semitism and ended up in New York after a brief stay in Paris. He joined the New York Dolls in 1972 after being friends with the band’s original drummer, Billy Murcia, at their Queens School. Sylvain contributed guitar, piano and vocals on the Dolls’ first two albums, the 1973 New York Dolls and the 1974 Too Much Too Soon.
Sylvain began a solo career after his tenure with New York Dolls and released his debut album of the same name in 1979. By the end of the 1990s, he recorded numerous albums as a solo artist. When the New York Dolls reunited, Sylvain appeared on their final albums.