In light of the recent passing of original Dictators drummer Stu Boy King, we at the DFFD Blog are proud to share with you the only interview he ever granted, to our own Sal Cincotta, published by rock magazine Ugly Things in November 2015. Our deepest thanks to Ugly Things for allowing us to republish that article here, supplemented with some new nuggets Sal dug up from the original notes for the interview. (For you collectors out there, this story originally ran in Ugly Things #40, which is still available here.) Catch up with Part I, Part II and Part III. Read on for the fourth and final part.
Stu Boy King: Although my time as a Dictator ended at the George Washington Bridge terminal, I did work with members of the band on a couple other occasions. I had a friend named Rod Scoler. He was another brainiac who wrote off-the-wall songs. He put together some material, and we went to audition as potential openers for a Pink Floyd tour. The band included Andy and Scott, even though it hadn’t been that long since I’d been fired. Andy and Scott eventually begged off, saying, “We can’t do it, we still have a contract,” even though the Dictators were frozen at the time. A couple years later, in the summer of 1980, I was in the orchestra for Andy’s Off-Broadway play ‘Waiting for the Dough,’ which was produced by my old HS pal Bob Kaplan.
What did you do musically after you left the Dictators?
Very shortly after the Dictators dumped me, I joined another band called Uncle Son. Uncle Son got some notoriety and played a lot through our involvement with WBAI. Hilly Krystal loved us, and we must have played CBGBs twenty times in two years. We had a radio show called The Bob Alexander Good City Underground Rock Show, where we had a variety of interviews and bands playing, including the Dictators and the Ramones. Billy Jean King, Vitas Gerulaitis, Peter Criss, all used to come to Uncle Son gigs. Ross, and Tish and Snooky [Bellomo; sisters, backing singers for early Blondie, proprietors of the punk rock boutique Manic Panic, and members of the Sic F*cks] came to all our parties out on Long Island. We had a record deal with Ultrasound Studios worth $10,000 to do a single, but that’s just another deal that fell through. I spent two years in Uncle Son with little to show for it. We got tons of airplay, and snuck songs onto several comps, but never released anything of our own.
I also played with Tommy Frenzy, who was in the Tuff Darts, in a band called King Casual. We had a record deal set up with Laurie Burton, who wrote “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” for the Young Rascals, but Tommy f*cked it up by asking for too much money. She loved the King Casual band.
Another band I loved playing with, but who had no ambition, was a terrific band called Bittersweet. I loved them, but they were content to just be a local act. I did fill-in work, both studio and live, with Just Water and The Mumps. I did studio sessions with Tommy Mandrel from Ian Hunter’s band. I did a lot of drum tracks for Niles Rodgers for him to use as drop-ins. I played (uncredited) on David U. Hall’s Walter Midi Group CD. I even did three performances as a member of the Westchester Symphony Orchestra.
I played pretty much nonstop for the next 15 years and was actually making a living playing music after the Dictators. My biggest problem was, with all the people I knew and played with, I didn’t build off my connections. My last band was Route 66, who played up and down the East Coast and out to the Midwest.
I never wanted to come off the road. All I ever wanted to do was travel and play. But around 1989 my first marriage unraveled, and in 1994 my second wife Deirdre and our beautiful kids became part of the equation. I was frustrated by the whole music scene, dealing with the disappointment of deal after deal falling through. When I put the sticks down, I put them down for good. Believe it or not, I went into the family business. I’m a licensed private investigator, consultant, and criminal justice instructor for New York State police. I’ve provided operations security for a lot of NYC nightclubs and special events. I was the security agent director for Time-Warner for ten years. I had 175 employees at one point. In times like these, with chatter going around about terrorism and Islamic groups, business goes crazy. I’ve been knifed twice, I’ve been in fights, and I’ve investigated homicides, accidental deaths, pedophiles, weirdos, wackos, nut jobs, and thugs.
I’ve been out of the [music] business for 25 years, but I have never lost my love for it. I still have something to offer in the music business, I’m still in shape, and I still have the desire to do it. If this interview turns into an opportunity for me, then you will have no idea how much I appreciate it.
This interview was conducted on March 6, 2015, 40 years to the day after that 16-hour trip home from Atlanta.
July 17, 2015 postscript:
Are you aware that Sony Legacy is reissuing the album?
I am, and I’m very impressed. It’s a big deal if they’re going to do that, and I am interested in hearing the outtakes. There were quite a bit of them.
They’ve planned to use an outtake of every track from the LP, plus “Backseat Boogie.”
Well, after we spent $130 an hour for 12 hours on that song, they should use it. I still have bone chips in my fingers from playing that! The fact that the album is being re-released is huge.
It just shows how much attention the album has slowly gathered over the years, and the love people have for it. It gets a lot of respect now that it obviously didn’t get when it was first released.
It’s my dream that the original band get together for a show, or even just for a few songs, to celebrate the re-release.
I think a lot of people share that dream.
It’s an amazing coincidence that I’m talking with you, that I’m online in social media for the first time ever, and that the re-release is happening. If Sony is going to invest money to re-market that LP, two generations later, for a new culture, that’s big! Maybe I’ll finally get paid!
Let me ask you a question: I’ve been out of the music scene for 25 years–how did you find me?
I took a page out of your book, and did some detective work. Digging around in the music world yielded bupkis, but I read someplace that your father had been a private investigator. I thought that maybe you had gone into the same line of work, and bingo, there you were, hiding in plain sight.
Very impressive. Maybe I should hire you!
God Bless Stu Boy King and all he stood for.
— Salvi C.