Music News

Martin Scorsese co-directing new David Johansen documentary for Showtime

Sikelia Productions/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Former New York Dolls frontman David Johansen, who found solo success in the 1980s with his lounge-singer alter ego Buster Poindexter, is the subject of an upcoming Showtime documentary that Martin Scorsese is co-directing.

The film will feature footage shot earlier this year during a series of shows Johansen played at New York City’s Café Carlyle. The concerts showcased the 70-year-old singer performing various songs from throughout his long career and sharing stories about his life.

The movie also will include archival footage and new interviews with Johansen. Born in Staten Island, New York, Johansen co-founded the influential glam-punk band The New York Dolls in the early-to-mid 1970s. He launched a solo career in late 1970s, and in the ’80s, began performing under the pseudonym Buster Poindexter, scoring a major dance hit with the campy “Hot Hot Hot.”

David later explored traditional blues music with a new group dubbed The Harry Smiths.

“I’ve known David Johansen for decades, and his music has been a touchstone ever since I listened to the Dolls when I was making Mean Streets,” says Scorsese. “Then and now, David’s music captures the energy and excitement of New York City. I often see him perform, and over the years I’ve gotten to know the depth of his musical inspirations.”

He adds, “After seeing his show last year at the Café Carlyle, I knew I had to film it because it was so extraordinary to see the evolution of his life and his musical talent in such an intimate setting.”

The documentary will be co-directed by David Tedeschi, who served as editor on several of Scorsese’s music-related projects, including Bob Dylan: No Direction Home and the Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light.

By Matt Friedlander
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