The reformedDictators - three founding members Andy Shernoff, Ross The Boss and Top Ten, and Albert Bouchard from Blue Oyster Cult - are back with a fun secxiond single from their recent recording sessions. Top Ten has since stood down from the band due to health reasons but "Let's Get The Band Back Together" was recorded before he made his decision.
For those of you with attention span issues here's the short version: All killer and no filler. While "D.F.F.D." (Dictators Forever Forever Dictators) is a perfect album title, they could just as easily called the record "You’re Lucky". The new Dictators album is a phenomenal combination of craft, power, and presentation. It puts together everything that’s great about the first three Dictators albums and the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom CD, which are all really different as far as I'm concerned.
Hugely influential pre-punk pathfinders the Dictators are reforming to record and possibly play. But it will be without longtime vocalist Handsome Dick Manitoba, with the 'Tators reverting to their original configuration.
Bassist-vocalist Andy Shernoff confirmed the move today, saying he and guitarists Ross The Boss and Top Ten would re-convene with ex-Blue Oyster Cult member Albert Bouchard on drums. Shernoff, the songwriting member of the Dictators, said the line-up would soon be "recording a few tunes to feel things out".
The re-tooled line-up of The Dictators is touring Europe right now - on the back of a new single. Now billed as Dictators NYC, the band’s “Supply and Demand” b/w “Kick Out The Jams” is available as a limited edition 45 or download.
The new line-up formed five years ago without founding Dictators member Andy Shernoff and is Handsome Dick Manitoba (vocals), Ross “The Boss” Friedman (guitar), J.P. “Thunderbolt” Patterson (drums) and Dean Rispler (bass.) It’s the first studio recording by any form of the band in 15 years.
The A side was written by Handsome Dick Manitoba, Ross The Boss and Jake Manitoba and is backed by a live take on the MC5 nugget, recorded in San Francisco. You can order the digital download here and the seven-inch from label Striped Music here. And while on the subject of all things Dictators, an expanded edition of “Go Girl Crazy!” is in the wings. More info on that soon.
This album did not change my life. It affirmed it. When I was a pre-teen I was way into Pro Wrestling. That translated to automatic retard status among peers and adults. After all, it was fake, only an idiot would be so into it. And having Slade as my favorite band was not earning me any coolness points at school either.
And then, first darned rock mag I ever bought - either Circus or Circus Raves - there was a review by one Gordon Fletcher of this now-classic. Man, it sounded like everything I was looking for. I got the LP right away and was blown away by everything about it.
Most especially the songs of course, but also the graphics - just like my wrestling mags - and the fact that not only did they have wrestling promos on the record, they knew who Verne Gagne and Dick The Bruiser were. They really knew their stuff! Plus, like me, they were Jews from NYC.
It's rare that you find a disc with which you can't find even insubstantial fault. The Dictators, live and amped-up, are simply one of the best things on this musical planet. If you had to come up with something to balance the lavish praise we and fellow Tators fan-atics are spouting about this, it might be that the contemporary tunes on "Viva" manage to sound exactly like their studio cousins. And that's supposed to be a bad thing?
The Dictators Debonair Music Hall Teaneck, NJ USA November 2, 2022
By Geoff Ginsberg (with help from Frank "Geoff couldn't edit his way out of a wet paper bag" Friedman)
Dictatorsassemble! They're baaaack!!
And there was much rejoicing.
Andy Shernoff and Ross The Boss have reconstituted the band and they're doing gigs and recording again.
Before I get to the show itself, a bit of semi-recent history. I'm going to assume if you're bothering to read this, you already know the big picture history - punk forefathers, the NYC band between the Dollsand the Ramones, etc.
In 2006, CBGB was wrapping up their historic run on The Bowery. Many CB's legends came out of their apartments to perform on that stage one last time and give the venue the send-off it so richly deserved.
The penultimate night featured Walter Lure (RIP) and The Waldos, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and the first performance by the Dictators in several years. They had done some gigs in 2003 as a four piece since Scott "Top Ten" Kempner had moved out west, but this was the full complement: Handsome Dick Manitoba, Ross, Top Ten, Andy and JP Thunderbolt Patterson.