There’s been a highly entertaining argument going on between the idealists and realists over the Dictators NYC’s first-ever performance of the full “Go Girl Crazy” album, which took place on Dec. 28 at Berlin in NYC.
The Idealists: That album was iconic, and such a personal thing for the original members that only those who made it should be the one who get to commemorate it. Anything less is bad karma. Unless the GGC lineup finds a way to suspend their purse-swinging long enough to play a celebratory gig, I shan’t be attending.
The Realists: Really, Dude? Are you new here? THIS is where you draw the karma line? These guys weren’t even done making this LP before they started their 40 Year Hissy Fit. I agree that this album deserves a gig that’s higher profile than a Wednesday night on short notice in a club approximately the size of my laundry hamper, but you honestly think the GGC lineup is going to make nice-nice long enough to play? The Brewers will win the World Series before that happens. I’ll tell you what–you stay home and polish your monocle. Me, I wanna hear them tackle “Back To Africa!”
This writer was unable to attend the show due to the threat of icy roads, but all my field reports were that the night was a total blast for all involved. Keith Ablow did a fine job pinch-hitting for Dean. Crystal Durant (HDM: “She’s great, she’s beautiful, and she hasn’t spent 1/10th the money Cher has on plastic surgery”) guested on “I Got You Babe” and knocked it out of the park. And yes, “Back To Africa,” which ended with the band shouting “we made it!” was worth the 41-year wait. Let’s hope the band sticks with this concept of doing the full LP for 2017 shows.
Photo by DFFD123
The Dictators NYC at the Parlor in Newport, R.I., on Sept. 17. Had I known there would be Spookyworld lighting, I would have dug my zombie makeup out a month early. #nofilter
This thing of ours ain’t always pretty or easy. Sometimes, like a pitcher who finds out in his first inning that half his stuff isn’t working, a band has to simply soldier on and find a way to make the magic happen.
This was the terrain the Dictators NYC found themselves in in their recent w/e in MA and RI. Indifferent or incompetent sound men, borrowed equipment, and a singer whose voice was working on zero days’ rest added up to a thin hand.
Friday’s gig was at Once, a swanky new place in Somerville, MA, in front of a boisterous crowd that HDM immediately cozied up to by telling us that we all s*cked for being Red Sox fans. We love you too, Big Guy. I hope those cleat marks on the Yankees’ necks wash off with a little soap.
While a ton of fun for everyone who wasn’t on stage, you could see that the guys were a little frustrated by the technical difficulties. This proved to be a foreshadowing of things to come the next night.
It’s no stretch to say that there would be no Dictators if not for Sandy Pearlman. He was the producer, manager, and visionary behind Blue Öyster Cult and the Dictators, and later produced the best works from the Clash and the Dream Syndicate. He was the maker of champions, the Captain Lou of music.
Sandy is dealing with some major health issues, and needs our help. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that’s left him unable to walk or talk, and is in need of crushingly expensive health care. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help pay for his care. Please give if you are so inclined. Every penny contributed will go towards his rehab and long-term care.
Today would have been Joey Ramone’s 65th birthday. The birthday bash is tonight at Webster Hall, and there are still a few tix available. One very special birthday present to us all has been provided by our own Andy Shernoff, in the form of a new video and tune called
“My Pal Joey” “Sweet Joey.” It’s a sweet tribute to a sweet guy. Andy played all the instruments on it, and we can only hope it makes its public debut in his set tonight, or maybe at his house show this coming w/e.
Check out the video below. The song is downloadable here, and all proceeds from your downloads go to The Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research.
— Salvi C.
Happy birthday to 40% of the ‘Go Girl Crazy’ line-up, Andy Shernoff and Stu Boy King!
Hearing rumors that the Dictators NYC were working on a new song was met with equal parts excitement and anxiety in these parts. “New stuff? Yay!! Umm — don’t release the doves just yet. Andy’s written the entire catalogue up until now, and the quality of the tunes has been consistently top-shelf. I know the rest of the guys are all experienced writers, but they’ve never written for the Manitoba persona. There’s no doubt that they have the strength and the reach, but do they have the intestinal fortitude? What happens if this thing, you know — stinks? Are we going to have to avoid eye contact and golf clap every time they play it?”
Rest easy. I’m here to tell you that “Supply and Demand” is an excellent addition to the set, and more importantly, sounds like a Dictators song.
The subject matter, concerning the band members getting off their collective arses and answering the call of duty, is as much a mission statement as WLSRnR was. HDM barks, “We had to do it for them, we had to do it for us!” as if their collective lives depended on it. There’s no RTB solo, but he makes up for it by cramming bits from 6 or 7 solos into his intro to the tune. The whole thing is done at 2:07, making it the shortest song in the set.
Look, no one likes change. The comfort that comes with routine is kicked out from under you like a cheap joke in an old movie. But sometimes change is necessary, and a good thing. If the pipeline of Shernoff tunes is truly closed, then judging from their debut tune, the songwriting duties are safe in the hands of the tag-team of Manitoba and Friedman.
There may still be some copies of the 45 for sale at their upcoming shows, but you can always grab the download here: thedictatorsnyc.com
And don’t forget to vote for it as the Coolest Song of 2015 here!
— Salvi C.
Christmas arrived early this year with Black Friday’s release of the Dictators’ ‘Next Big Thing EP.’
Andrew W.K. did a fantastic job with his three remixes. I’m hearing details and flourishes that were previously buried, and he compliments each tune with organ or piano parts. The rhythm section gets a lot of love here–Stu now plays lead drums on NBT, and Andy’s bass is much higher in the mix of “Weekend.”
The three outtakes are a complete head rush. This version of “Backseat Boogie” is a monster and blows the familiar demo version out of the water! The early take of NBT has Andy singing, “They didn’t know we were DUDES!” Finally, the instrumental version of “Weekend” is rifftastic and will undoubtably serve as a karaoke bed for upcoming holiday parties.
I can’t overstate how much fun this EP is. For diehard fans of the band, this release is akin to a religious zealot being given a newly found Dead Sea Scroll.
— Salvi C.
Andrew W.K. and Andy Shernoff Discuss the ‘Go Girl Crazy!’ Remixes