Poptown Records “THUNDERBOSS” Release Party
BillyMarks West, NYC
Sept. 12, 2006
Approximately sixty-seven minutes after booking my flight to Boston to hang out with Salvi, and to finally see the almighty Radio Birdman play at the Middle East on Sept. 9, I got the call; Thunderbolt Patterson, Ross the Boss, and Dean Rispler, aka THUNDERBOSS, were playing a set at Poptown’s release party for “THUNDERBOSS,” at J.P.’s favorite hangout, BillyMarks West in NYC. And J.P. hisself had cordially invited us to attend!
Salvi and I found our way to BillyMarks, strolling in the door as the band did a brief soundcheck. Mid-song, J.P. spotted Salvi, and yelled “SAL!” After finishing the check, J.P. came over to chat and thank us for traveling so far for his little bash. Not a problem, Mr. Bolt. As J.P. worked the room, we spoke quite a while with Dean, Ross and C.J. Sciøscia. J.P.’s daughter filled snack bags with crunchies, while his wife sold T-shirts and CDs, and searched for gaffer’s tape. Once behind his drumkit, J.P. explained that he and his missus were on the eve of their 17th wedding anniversary … awwww.
Karen (our wunnerful webhostess) and her hubby John arrived, followed shortly by a dapper gent, who turned out to be J.P.’s Dad. We were introduced to Mr. Patterson, and spent most of the non-musical portion of the evening yakkin’ with him. The man’s led a fascinating life being, among other things, a member of the US Diplomatic Corps, traveling the world with his family. Granddad was a professional wrassler, Dad’s a diplomat, J.P.’s a rock drummer/thespian. Now that’s a colorful family lineage! Adrianna, J.P’s sister, arrived from Maryland just as the first set began. Given the family history, I wondered what her chosen calling was. Geophysics? Gourmet chef? Rockette?
Ross had taken his legendary black Les Paul out of protective custody for this gig. Dean played a cool Epiphone bass, J.P. played his usual Pearl kit. With the Poptown/NFL Film Crew in place, THUNDERBOSS launched into their seven-song set, wrapping it up with a rip through Jeff Beck’s “Rice Pudding,” with a dash of Jimi tossed in by Ross. An excellent, smokin’ set, but much too short. But…
After a brief intermission, J.P. was back behind the cans for a repeat of the first set. The band kicked in … YOW!!!! The playing had become more assured, fierce and fiery. The songs ran a bit longer, with Ross doing some improvising. Dean was proving to be a true ace bass master, the new guy was now completely locked in with the vets. J.P. hit even harder than usual, clearly enjoying playing with Dean and Ross, and basking in the glow of being King For A Day. This, dear readers, was a power trio personified. I repeat … YOW!
As we hung out after the set, a sweaty, beaming J. P. came around, thanked us again for attending his bash, giving us a handshake and a hug. Our pleasure, Brother, it was an honor and a thrill to be there!
Salvi and I said our farewells, and headed back to the car, for the run back to Boston. We later heard we missed the tardy Andy Shernoff by a few minutes, and that Anton Fig made an appearance as well. But Jeff Beck, J.P.’s hero, who was playing up the street, was a no-show. Maybe ol’ Jeff would have been inspired to lay off the jazz and return to the rawk if he’d heard Ross rip up BillyMarks that night. Maybe he was simply scared off by RTB’s hands of doom. Famous balladeer Roger Waters, playing at MSG, hid in shame as well.
On our way to the car, we saw a barefoot guy dumping his garbage into the can outside his building. As he turned, we saw he was wearing a groovy MANOWAR shirt, so we hadda tell him Ross the Boss had just played a set at BillyMarks, about a block away. As he thanked us, he rubbed his grubby hands on his jeans (carefully avoiding his “Hail to England” shirt), and took off running, bare feet and all, in the direction of BillyMarks. Now that’s a real fan! Good thing BillyMarks isn’t the kind of place that enforces the “no shoes-no service” laws very stringently. Hopefully he got to meet Rossowar, and got to wash his hands in the bargain.
The release of most anything Dictators related is reason enough for a party, and J.P., Poptown and BillyMarks did it up right that night. BillyMarks even went the extra mile that evening, dumping a load of ice into the semi-operational urinal. Total class! A kickazz album, a kickazz band, and a kickazz party, in a hangout that was perfect for the occasion. It just doesn’t get much better in Dicsworld!
Set List :
Fast or Finish
King of the Road