Dateline: Suburban Boston, 1975.
It was my senior year of high school, I wasn’t quite 18, and I was still worshiping at the altars of Elton, the Beach Boys, and the Raspberries. I didn’t know any better, because there really wasn’t anything better to know about. What else was there for a kid from the ‘burbs? J Geils was great, but they were homegrown and played in town 10 times a year, so we took them for granted. I hated Zep, hated Bad Company, the Coop was in the bottle, Grand Funk was over the hill. It was a musical wasteland. So, I went searching, and started digging in the used stores for stuff I’d never heard of, and reading reviews of new acts. I saw this one review of a new band called the Dictators that used the phrase “Nazi surf band.” “That sounds pretty good,” thought I, and seeing that there was a wrestler on the cover sealed the deal. I needed this lp, and added it to my search list. The problem was it was nowhere to be found! I hit every store in town — nada. I’d do a sweep every week — zip. Boston was not hip to the Dictators!!
1975 ended, so did 1976. I saw a few more reviews of GGC, all of them raves, but there was still no sign of this lp in town. 1977 rolls around. I read about the Dictators opening a lot of Blue Oyster Cult gigs, so I saw BOC for the first time at the Music Hall in hopes of getting lucky. Who did we get for an opener? Be Bop Deluxe. OY, the pain!! I’m buying new albums 3 days a week, and stumble across a used copy of “Manifest Destiny” in a Cambridge store for $3. “Hey, it’s that band!!” So I batted out of order, and spent most of summer 1977 getting introduced to the Dictators via the 2nd album, not the first. It was ok, pretty good in places, but nothing to throw your panties over. I was expecting wow, and instead got meh. But I kept looking for that elusive first lp.
FINALLY, sometime in Fall 1977, I’m looking through the bins at the Harvard Coop, and there it was. I’d been in this store 20 times without finding it, but that day it was there. Maybe it was there all along, misfiled, waiting for me to look in the right place.
It was love at first listen, my personal Big Bang. As clichéd as it sounds, it was as if it spoke directly to me, from a bunch of 20-year-olds to another. It was the first album I’d ever heard that was so exuberant, completely unself-conscious and full of FUN. It was influenced by the same blend of junk culture that was influencing me at the time. In one spot it hit home squarely; in those first couple of college years, I truly WAS doing my homework at the bar!
GGC served as my gateway drug, my escape from BOF rock and my intro to the new and exciting. Through no fault of my own, I was late to the party. But since arriving 33 years ago, I’ve never LEFT.
— Salvi C.