Category Archives: Archive

Under the Thunderboss


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…

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Filed under Archive, Live, Ross the Boss, Thunderbolt, Video

“How Ya Doing, Chicago!?”

Avalon stubAs we documented in the last post, the Summer of 1991 had our heroes on the road again. This revamped juggernaut wiped out Chicago on this date in 1991. The boys played the Avalon with the Lunachicks and Spinout in support. Here are some memories of the gig from our Senior Midwest correspondent, Robbie Q:

The Avalon was formerly known as The Quiet Knight, a truly legendary folk/rock/blues/comedy club. It was located on the second floor of a building at Belmont & Sheffield, just a bit south of Wrigley Field.
Many future stars played there in the ’60s & ’70s. Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Bob Marley, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Zevon, the Kinkster, even Jimmy Buffett played there before they were stars. But by the time punk hit, the place was declining, as was the neighborhood, and it finally closed, reopening as “Tut’s,” becoming a cornerstone of the Chicago punk scene, then finally becoming the Avalon. I don’t believe it stayed open as the Avalon very long, either. Too bad, it was a cool and historic room. The building is still there. Last time I went by, several years ago, the second floor was now occupied by a beauty/barber college. I wonder how many future cosmetologists knew the real history of the place?

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Filed under Archive, Dictators Assembled, Live, Live Review

What a Drag It Is!

Club 82 adOn this day in 1976, the Dictators played a short set at the 82 Club, a down-on-its-heels drag bar on 4th St. between 2nd Ave. and the Bowery. Glam and punk bands bumped elbows, and hopefully nothing else, on the club’s stage while the show “girls” danced in front of the band. Video footage from this gig sadly does not exist, but if it did, I think it would be more popular than a clip of Jesus Christ on roller skates.

The set list:

1.  What Goes On
2.  California Sun
3.  Tits to You
4.  The Next Big Thing
5.  America the Beautiful

— Salvi C.

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Filed under Archive, Dictators Assembled, Live, The Cincotta Archives

“The Jules Whites?” Nah. “The Preston Blacks?” Nah.

On this day in 1982, the 4 prodigal sons of the Unholy Trinity of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry made their public debut with their first-ever show at Bottom’s Up in NYC.

They had spent months wood-shedding their sound, and after flirting with “Night Train” as a band name, settled on “The Del-Lords” in tribute to the director of The Three Stooges shorts. Who knew that 28 years later they would still be omitting the slow ones and hitting the fast ones?


The set list from that first night:

1. Club Song
2. Paramour
3. Folsom Prison Blues
4. Joanne
5. Jumping in the Night
6. Bartender Blues
7. Love Among the Ruins
8. Hand to Mouth
9. Drug Deal
10. Double Life

— Salvi C.

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Filed under Archive, Live, Top Ten

11 Years Ago Today … We Wish YouTube Existed

Reprint courtesy of

Manitoba’s, New York City
June 18, 1999
Review by DFFD123
Another day, another birthday, another birthday show, another brief appearance by the Dictators. This time the birthday boy was East Village musician Tom Clark, a friend of the ‘Tators who opened for them at CBGBs a couple of years ago. The Dictators started their set, well, as Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom. In Top Ten’s absence, Ross, Andy, HDM and J.P. performed “The Party Starts Now” and “Had It Coming,” followed by “Sonic Reducer.” And Clark got the ultimate present when he was invited onstage to play rhythm guitar on “Baby, Let’s Twist,” “Stay With Me” and a rollicking version of “California Sun.”

— DFFD123

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Filed under Adny, Archive, HDM, Live, Live Review, Ross the Boss, Thunderbolt

‘You Don’t Know Us … But You Will!’

The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!Note: This is the last in a series of posts in The DFFD Blog Goes Girl Crazy! special — a monthlong commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!’

For this last post in our March celebration of our favorite band’s seminal first LP, we’ll let a couple of actual Dictators have the final word:

Ross the Boss: That’s amazing, 35 years?? Well, I’m here in Germany tonite and thinking what a monumental album that turned out to be, no words can describe my pride!

J.P. “Thunderbolt” Patterson: In 1975 I had the only subscription to “Creem” magazine in my middle school. I took one look at the Dictators and remember saying to myself…”I wanna be in THAT band.” Gee, I wonder how that worked ? Jury out ?

Dictators Epic promo

Epic Records promo shot

— DFFD123

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Filed under Archive, Dictators Assembled, Go Girl Crazy! Special

‘The Ferocity, Melody & Humor Were Undeniable’

The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!Note: This is one of a series of posts in The DFFD Blog Goes Girl Crazy! special — a monthlong commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!’

So I had tickets to see Blue Oyster Cult with this weird band the Dictators opening in 1977, at the Ocean Ice Palace. The show never happened, but it was because of this show that I became aware of one of the greatest bands I’ve ever heard. The next day, I went to the local record stores and saw Manifest Destiny in one shop, and the first LP in the other store across the street. After looking both over, I chose Manifest Destiny, because of the Metropolis cover. I played it like 20 times in a row, and next day returned for the first LP.

After hearing MD, I was quite shocked by the rawness. This was one of the first really “Punk” records I had ever bought! It took a few listens to adjust to, but the ferocity, melody & humor were undeniable. This LP was like a sledgehammer. Even the liner notes were great & the picture of the band at White Castle was on my wall for years. Even the cover pics kind of made you want to be a rock star, because their rooms looked like mine! And the songs just kept coming, Master Race Rock, incredible stuff. Even the kitschy cover of I Got You Babe was never skipped.

Mike Mindless

Mike Mindless

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Filed under Archive, Dictators Assembled, Go Girl Crazy! Special

‘You’ll Go Bozos for It!’

The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!Note: This is one of a series of posts in The DFFD Blog Goes Girl Crazy! special — a monthlong commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!’

Some reviews from Back in the Day, dug up by my esteemed colleague Salvi C.:

The Dictators Go Girl Crazy may be the most self-indulgent, impossible, elitist, brilliant recording ever.” — Trouser Press

“This album is vulgar. But impressive.” — Creem

“You’ll go bozos for it!” — Dictators Fanzine #1

— DFFD123


Filed under Archive, Dictators Assembled, Go Girl Crazy! Special, Music Review