Crossdressing Rocker Turned Mormon Librarian: New York Doll Giveaway

A mesmerizing documentary traces the path of the bass player for the 1970s glam punk band “New York Dolls” who converted to Mormonism and worked in the LDS Family History Center in Los Angeles.

WINNERS:  Congratulations to David Stewart, Mark Martin, Annamarie, Mary Seaux, and Tracy Hall Jr!  You will be notified via e-mail!  This contest is officially closed, but keep coming back to this blog for more exciting giveaways!


A certain movie  caused a little scandal at our church several years ago.  No, it wasn’t racy or lewd or political, it was…  well, it was about Arthur “Killer” Kane, bass player for the New York Dolls.  The New York Dolls are a rock band, formed in 1971, and influence much of what we know as punk rock, including the Ramones, Blondie, Television and Talking Heads.  Their story is like any you’ve seen on VH1’s Behind the Music, because – like many bands — their trajectory could also be titled, “How Not To Survive Fame.”  In fact, their original drummer didn’t outlast the group’s first British tour, the next one died of drug abuse, and their founding guitarist died of drug excess.  Lead singer David Johansen came out best, by transforming himself into Buster Poindexter (who sang ”Hot Hot Hot”), and starring in ”Scrooged” with Bill Murray.

Kane, however, the subject of the movie, fell from the third floor of a building.

The movie begins with Kane as 55 year old, has-been rock star in California. While he was recovering from his fall, however, he encountered two Mormon missionaries and converted to the faith.  Yes, Arthur “Killer” Kane became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and ended up working in one of the church’s genealogy libraries – the Family History Center in Los Angeles. Kane’s transformation is emotionally jolting. In one frame he’s a trashy cross dressing punk glam rocker, in the next he’s a librarian in a short sleeved 60/40 blend button up.

When Kane gets the chance for a reunion with the remaining members of the band – something he’d dreamt of doing for years – he’s both thrilled at the opportunity and terrified of facing his past.  After 30 years, he packs his bags and heads off to be a part of the 2004 Meltdown Festival in London.

After he leaves, one of his fellow Mormon librarians says, ”I can’t believe I know a rock star.”

The movie is not about Mormonism, though the faith element of Kane’s life caused many conversations among us at church. In fact, the film doesn’t play up Mormonism, nor does it treat the faith ironically.

A movie that involves Mormonism that isn’t hysterical or preachy?  Yeah, that happened.

The filmmaker pulls off the unthinkable – he just tells a story.  This results in a touching, poignant, hilarious, gut punch of a film.  The film debuted in 2005, before Gov. Romney surged to the top of the GOP ticket, but is being re-released (with a few added extras) through a new online tool called PUMit.

Buy it here in an HD version for $2.99, for three viewings.

We’re giving away five PUMit versions as well, to the winners of our New York Doll giveaway!


Simply leave a comment below for your chance to win.  We’ll randomly select a winner on October 23.  Not only will you be entered for a chance to win the movie, you’ll also receive a free Faith and Family Channel e-zine every week with more exciting giveaways!  No purchase necessary!

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About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • swmpfx3000

    It is always good to see an evolution from self absorbed individual to someone that gets joy out of serving others. That is exactly the things Jesus Christ spoke about many times. Some take that to heart and have learned the value of the evolution and some stay so entrapped by their lifestyle they cannot see nor understand the true happiness that lies just beyond their grasp.

  •!/ConservativeRep David Stewart

    I look forward to viewing that movie. Here are two other converts you may not know about. The first one I do not know if he is still active, Eldridge Cleaver, former black panther. Also Gladys Knight is a member. Make that three – I just learned that Ricky Schroder joined a few years ago. We are all about following Jesus Christ and trying to follow his example.

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  • Annette Curran

    I would like to view this movie. If it is about serving others, it is about the Mormonism, as well as all other Christian based faiths.

  • rachel gail

    And your a prima ballerina on a spring afternoon
    change on into the wolfman howlin at the moon hooowww

  • Heinz Mahler

    I love this show…one of my favorites…

  • wonko

    I loved this movie when it first came out for a number of reasons. As the article says it treats the LDS faith very differently than other movies of the time. It didn’t mock or preach and left stereotypes at the door. It really is just a great film about a lost soul that finds himself and is redeemed in more ways than one. It was the details like retrieving his guitar from a pawn shop that made it both intimate and real.

    I also loved seeing all the musicians I grew up with paying homage. Some good memories outside of the film there.

    This is one cross dressing rocker you can take home and share with your parents.

    Glad to see it is being re-released. It is well worth sharing.

  • Mark B.

    A terrific movie. My favorite scene: the former New York Doll singing “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” to guitar accompaniment as the final credits roll.

  • Mark Martin

    “New York Doll” is a wonderful, touching, and uplifting documentary about the rise, fall, and rise again of a real-life rock musician. Being a rock music fan for almost 50 years, I really enjoy this film and recommend it to all pop music fans, especially with an interest in religious matters. Enjoy!

  • LisaJ

    This is a beautiful film and he had a wonderful soul.

  • Bryce

    I heard this was a great documentary and can’t wait to see it. I love punk rock and am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’ve found happiness and direction by trying to follow the teachings of Jesus.

  • Craig Loveland

    Loved this movie–thoroughly enjoyed it. Does a great job of telling the history of early punk/British invasion music of the 70′s and 80′s. I am a fan of Morrissey so enjoyed his role in the film, too. Of course it all works because of the heart and sincerity of the main character Arther Kane. Five stars!

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  • Annamarie

    I have seen the original movie and really was touched by it. It’s wonderful to see how truely changed this man was.
    BTW, I’ve been following Evangelicals for Mitt since — I can’t remember when — before Gov. Romney finished his job as Governer, maybe. You folks do a great job. Thank you.
    BTW2, thanks for the tip about chocolatehairvanillacare. It’s been a fun source of inspiration.

  • Tracy Hall Jr

    I also loved this sweet movie that played my religion low-key.

  • Lisa P.

    You are doing such a beautiful thing on your SixSeeds. Thank you!
    I enjoy reading your articles. Bravo!!

  • Jimmy T.

    Great story. Would love to view the movie.

  • Mary Seaux

    Cool deal!

  • swmpfx3000

    Was anyone awarded the DVD and the five PUMit versions?