The New York Dolls are one of the most influential bands of the rock and roll era — arguably the earliest progenitors of both punk and glam rock.
They are also the bridge that brings far flung enemies together.
Consider the case of Anthony Bourdain — irrascible travel show host and member in good standing of the Pax Arcana pantheon of greatness — and squawky dog food peddler and sloppy joe connoisseur Rachael Ray. For years, Ray has been the preeminent receiver of Bourdain’s sour scorn for all things dumbed-down in the food world.
(Basically, Bourdain is pissed that smart, sophisticated food shows like Molto Mario were unceremoniously dropped from the Food Network in favor of saccharine lightweight fare like Ray’s 30 Minute Meals and the abysmal Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee, who we have previously described as a “witless cyborg swamp monster.” Ray catches most of the shit from Bourdain in part because she has been a breakout success, but also because her relentlessly chipper personality is the perfect foil for Bourdain’s gloomy demeanor.)
But then Bourdain heard that Ray — who is apparently a huge music fan — was hosting yet another SXSW party this year. And that her guest list included the New York Dolls. On his Facebook page, Bourdain lamented that Ray also loved a band he considers central to his musical sensibilities:
“This development … following hot on the heels of Rachael saying nice things about me on ‘Nightline’ [she told interviewer Cynthia McFadden that she “absolutely loves” Bourdain and has “an enormous amount of respect” for him] has caused me no small amount of confusion, panic and misery. I don’t know whether to go out and shoot a puppy, or send Rachael a fruit basket. It just does me no good at all to think of Rachael as a Dolls fan. It’s really only a matter of time now until my daughter looks up from her grilled cheese and says ‘Yummo!!’”
Ray responded by sending Bourdain an actual fruit basket. Bourdain then posted a sincere note on his Travel Channel blog thanking her, and edging ever closer toward rapprochement:
My daughter quickly tore into the grapes, saving me from the humiliating business of doing an impromptu “Dancy Dance” from Yo Gabba Gabba (a strategy that has been known to work in situations of similar extremis). I thank you for your kindness to someone who has shown you no good reason for such a thing, your good humor — and for appreciating the New York Dolls.
Now, I’ve never hated Rachael Ray as much as Bourdain (or half of the other people I’ve known), but frankly I don’t know whether to feel joy or remorse at this development. As much as I love to see old enemies bury the hatchet, very few have ever wielded that hatchet quite as well as Bourdain. It was a joy to watch.
At least we still Guy Fieri to shit on. Man, fuck that guy.
Dear Rachael [Bourdain Blog]
Anthony Bourdain stirs up trouble with Rachael Ray [Daily News]