After his departure from the Dictators in late 1978, Richie Teeter was a co-founder of a New Wave-ish NYC quartet called VHF. The band gigged a lot around town from 1979 until 1983 or so, in pursuit of the elusive brass ring, but success seemed to elude them. To my knowledge, they never released a record, although they did do plenty of recording.
We here at DFFD combined forces our good pal Lindsay Hutton at the Next Big Thing blog (AKA The Only Other Guy In The World Besides Me Who Never Threw Anything Away) and managed to unearth 3 demo sessions and a live show. We’ve compiled the best songs and takes, and are proud to offer, for the first time, what we’re referring to as The Great “Lost” VHF album. We’ll send a CD copy to anyone who asks for one.
After hearing these songs a few times, I have to say that one reason why they may have missed out on a contract was because stylistically they were all over the place. I can hear bits and pieces of Foreigner, the Cars, Mott the Hoople, Hall + Oates. A lot of what other people sounded like, maybe at the expense of sounding like themselves. It’s good stuff, but it sounds like 5 or 6 bands crammed together.
Regardless of style, any opportunity to hear Rich Teeter sing a lead vocal is something that shouldn’t be passed on, and he’s front man for roughly half of the 10 songs here. That man had a set of pipes.
– Salvi C.
WFMU, the greatest radio station in the US of A, is running a 2-part Richie Teeter tribute on the Evan “Funk” Davies show. Part 1 airs tonight at 9pm ET, part 2 will follow next week, same night and time (streaming live over the interwebs). Tonight will feature Richie’s work with the Dictators, next week will be a special airing of some of his tunes as a member of VHF.
Photo by Jim Bradt, from the Cincotta Archives
We’re reeling from the news of Rich Teeter’s passing after a struggle with esophageal cancer.
Rich was the rarest of musicians, a singing drummer who didn’t sing enough. He was blessed with a tremendous voice, and we were so lucky to be able to hear him sing lead on 3+1/2 songs on “Manifest Destiny.”
Richie was a member of the Dictators from 1975 through 1978, and played on their 2nd and 3rd albums. He had many credits after his initial stint with the Dictators. He did some time in Twisted Sister, was the studio drummer for Tom Verlaine’s 1981 “Dreamtime” lp, and played around the tri-state area in VHF. Rich was the drummer for all Dictator reunion shows up through the middle of 1991, and went on to play in cover bands on Long Island for years. In what was probably both his most high-profile and most anonymous vocal ever, he sang an uncredited version of “Shout” during the opening scene of 1982′s “Diner.”
Our condolences go out to Rich’s loved ones, his band mates, and to his many fans.
We’re all heavy of heart over this. We lost one of the good ones.
– Salvi C.
P.S. There’s also a fantastic tribute to Rich, written by our good friend Lindsay Hutton, at the Next Big Thing blog: http://nextbigthing.blogspot.com/
We are so, so sorry to be the bearer of sad tidings, but we have to report that former Dictator drummer Rich Teeter has passed away. More details as they unfold. Rich was one of the truly nice guys. R.I.P buddy.
UPDATE: In Appreciation of Richie Teeter
Head to eBay now for a chance at this test pressing from the Teeter collection:
The Dictators Test Pressing Sleepin with the TV on edit
Ultra RARE Allied Record Company Punk Science Gone Too Far
The DFFD Blog sends a hearty happy birthday today (March 16) to former Dictators drummer-vocalist extraordinaire Rich Teeter!
THE DICTATORS RE-FORM TO HEADLINE
“THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF PUNK”
CONCERT AT THE RITZ, NYC
Ross and Scott with the Dics at the Ritz in '86. Photo courtesy of CJ Scioscia
NYC? The Big Apple? Me? It was January, 1986. I was 32, and had never been east of Dayton. But when the call came from Salvi, telling me about the Dictators reforming to headline the “10th Anniversary of Punk” at the Ritz, I did what any red-blooded Dictators fan would do … I borrowed $250 from my then-girlfriend and headed to Midway Airport! I hopped a Thursday night flight to Newark via People’s Express, a budget airline that required passengers to pay in cash once the plane was in the air! People’s Express made traveling by Greyhound seem like a first-class trip in comparison. But I got there in one piece. Who knows what fell off that plane en route?
I landed at Newark, no plans, no room, ending up crashing at the Ben Franklin Inn (“Where a Penny Saved…”). Friday dawned bright and crisp, I grabbed an eventual bus to downtown Newark. A nice gentleman sat next to me immediately, asking me lots of questions, several times inviting me to hop off the bus for “a drink or two.” People sure were friendly in Newark! And I’d heard such bad things.
The Powers That Be behind the The New York Nobody Sings blog, dedicated to songs about New York, might not be the world’s biggest Dictators fans — at least according to a new post this week — but they did dredge up a cool clip of “New York New York” from Irving Plaza in ’81. For that, we salute you.
What an enchanting way to kick off a new year and new decade: Sit back, crank up the speakers and behold the Dics and their afros performing “Search and Destroy” in a clip that hasn’t lost a lick of its kinetic charm in the nearly 33 years since it was filmed. Manitoba takes the mic like he was fired from a rocket, Ross stares his singer down for an unsettlingly long time, Mark the Animal rocks ferociously, Ritchie Teeter punishes his drum kit, Andy hides in the background like a hired hand, and the otherwise cool-looking Top Ten, he wears short shorts.
This video of the performance is a bit better synced than most we’ve found, which ups the enjoyment factor considerably. Also adding to the fun: the 250 comments on this poorly synced version of the video. Look out, honey, they’re using technology! I’ll save you some serious scrolling by reproducing my faves — complete with original spelling and punctuation, for the authentic experience — starting with the uploader’s intro: