Manitoba’s, New York City
June 18, 1999
Review by DFFD123
Another day, another birthday, another birthday show, another brief appearance by the Dictators. This time the birthday boy was East Village musician Tom Clark, a friend of the ‘Tators who opened for them at CBGBs a couple of years ago. The Dictators started their set, well, as Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom. In Top Ten’s absence, Ross, Andy, HDM and J.P. performed “The Party Starts Now” and “Had It Coming,” followed by “Sonic Reducer.” And Clark got the ultimate present when he was invited onstage to play rhythm guitar on “Baby, Let’s Twist,” “Stay With Me” and a rollicking version of “California Sun.”
I love bad movies. Stupid story, bad acting, lack of continuity, zippers showing on the monster’s costume: To me, these are all assets, as long as the movie itself is entertaining. A good bad movie is much more enjoyable than a bad good movie.
On the surface, 1976’s “Jabberwalk,” AKA “This Is America,” an ITM (International Talent Marketing) production, has all the ingredients for a classic bad movie. The film is a series of vignettes about the American Way, with footage of NYC from its grimiest era, female wrassling (featuring the Fabulous Moolah), demolition derby, geriatric prostitution rings, junk food addictions, drive-in churches and other assorted weirdness. There’s plenty of nudity and explosions, and, most importantly, it has a few seconds of priceless footage of the Dictators circa 1975. This thing should rock, right? So how come it’s such a stinker???
You know what sucks? When you put off doing something pretty special ’cause it’s slightly inconvenient — you don’t have quite enough vacation time at your stupid job, or you’re a little low on cash — so you say to yourself, “Next time. I’ll do it next time.” My “next times” include attending a performance of the legendary Les Paul at Iridium, which he did EVERY DAMNED MONDAY for eons while I lived within walking distance (d’oh!); and seeing James Brown in person, which I should have done several times over since he always played the club right across from my office, but no, the last time it was, like, 85 bucks, so when did I finally see him? WHEN HE WAS LYING IN A COFFIN IN HARLEM (D’OH!).
And it was always the stupid job, the stupid cash keeping me from traveling to witness the Dictators knock ‘em dead in the rock’n'roll mecca of Spain (d’oh?). But thanks to tipster Esther Lecanda and the fine camera work by YouTube hero Rock & Roll First Line (see all his great uploads here), I can at least pretend to not have missed out on that last “next” time, as long as I blow up these Rocktober ’08 vids from Bilbao’s Kafe Antzokia, squint a little and turn up the speakers. Gracias, fellas!
Enjoy, the rest of you — and carpe diem.
“Avenue A” (featuring the kindest, gentlest ejection of a stage crasher anywhere, ever)
On the eve of Joey Ramone’s birthday, let’s remember the happier birthday bashes of the past. Like this one, on May 19, 1998, at Manhattan’s Coney Island High, as the birthday boy himself joins the Dictators for the Who’s “The Kids Are Alright.”
I was there and recall enjoying it immensely, but I do admit that I took it all (seeing Joey, the Dictators, cool music venues in Manhattan) for granted at the time … sigh.
The annual bashes have always been awesome for ‘Tators fans — and this year, Thunderbolt Patterson will be among those representin’. More info:
Wild Kingdom plays the Rat in Boston, 5/15/87. (Photos courtesy of Wayne Valdez)
Courtesy of the Cincotta Archives
The evening’s set list, as preserved in the Cincotta Archives
On 5/15/87, Wild Kingdom (they hadn’t added the “Manitoba’s” yet) made their first real road trip into enemy territory and played Boston’s Rat. This was one of about 2,000 fantastic shows I saw in that magical toilet during my extended youth.
Finding these tremendous pictures at the Boston Rock and Roll Photography page in Facebook got me to waxing nostalgic about the gig. Thank you to Wayne Valdez for his kind permission to use these shots.
I know I’m going to get slain for this, but my interest in Manowar begins and ends with the guitar heroics of the mighty Ross the Boss. So that’s why this three-part video of his guitar clinic at the 2005 Manowar Fan Convention, the Earthshaker Fest, is such a joy: All Ross, all the time, happily wailing away before an intimate gathering of ecstatic, very vocal fans.
Scott discusses everything from the Del-Lords reunion, politics, the Yankees (14-7) and the Buddy Holly box set in his latest blog entry on the Del-Lords official site.
He also talks the prominent mention he and the Dictators got at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony last month, courtesy of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong:
I got more phone calls and emails in the next coupla weeks from that little incident than I think I had in any two week period of my life. I heard from folks I hadn’t heard from in 20 years! This one from here, and that one from there, and another one, and a cousin and….Oy, vey!
For those of you planning to kick it old school with the Master Plan this Friday and Saturday and during their upcoming two-week tour of Spain, we share a taste of the band’s recent live action, courtesy of Veer Magazine.
[Edited to add: The Spanish dates have been updated here.]