1975: Alex Cooley’s Electric Ballroom

This weekend marks the anniversary of the Dictators’ 1975 legendary road trip to Atlanta, GA, to open for Rush at Alex Cooley’s Electric Ballroom. Open from 1974 through 1979, the Electric Ballroom was a major touring destination of the time, hosting such names as Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent and Broooooce.

This was one of the earliest road trips for the Dictators, who were in the embryonic stages of the road from Complete Indifference through General Disdain, before settling down in Open Hostility. The guys only completed 2 nights of a scheduled 4-night stand before being sent home by Rush. The epic failure of the road trip has taken on mythical status, so much so that it’s recounted by band members with almost perverse glee. According to Shernoff, “It was right about here where they stopped ignoring us and started hating us.”

It’s hard to picture the Atlanta crowd digging Rush more than they dug our boys. Technically, it’s hard to picture ANY crowd digging Rush more than they would dig our boys, but that may be provincial thinking on my part.

— Salvi C.

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