Category Archives: Dictators Assembled

Fall Preview, Dictators Style

It’s always either feast or famine with these guys. After a year of not much of anything to report, we have 4 major happenings on the immediate horizon.  

In order of appearance, and in no order of importance:

Ugly Things 40

November 8th is the street date for Ugly Things #40, which features an epic interview with Stu Boy King, conducted by yours truly. Stu was extremely gracious and patient with my incessant questions, and had a ton of great stories from the GGC days. He also proved to have an amazing memory — I can’t remember where I parked my car this morning, and he can remember stuff from 40 years ago.  

The Dictators NYC depart on another swing through Europe on November 10th, a tour that will feature the debut tune from the tag team of Manitoba and Friedman. The new song is called “Supply and Demand,” and we’re thrilled to report that it sounds like a Dictators song!! It will be available as a 45(!!!), first at the foreign dates, and then at the annual New Year’s Eve gig at the Bowery Electric. The B side is a live take of “Kick Out the Jams.”

Dictators Next Big Thing EP

2015 is the 40th anny of “The Dictators Go Girl Crazy,” and Sony is commemorating it in true style by releasing a limited edition (2500 copies) of a 10 inch featuring remixes and outtakes from the album. Andrew W.K. is doing the mega-mixes and promises everything to be louder and prouder than ever before. The 10 inch will be released on Record Store Day, which is Black Friday, November 27th.

Finally, early December will see the release of a 2-LP/double-length CD of the same album, featuring outtakes of every tune from the LP, plus “Backseat Boogie,” and 2 more Andrew W.K. mega-mixes. There won’t be any overlap between the 10 inch and the extended release, so you’ll need both to complete your collection.

— Salvi C.

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Filed under Dictators Assembled, Dictators NYC, Go Girl Crazy! Special, Stu Boy King, Vinyl

On With the Show, This Is It!!

Note: Last month’s lively discussion about the merits of ‘Manifest Destiny’ led to a comment of “it would make for a great musical on Broadway!” This, to me, was sheer genius, so with no further ado, we present…

MANIFEST DESTINY – THE MUSICAL

A study of Ambition, Control and Ego

md-the-musical

Songs by Andy Shernoff (“Hey Boys” by Shernoff/Kempner)
Concept by Adam RealMan
Adapted for the Stage by Salvi C

Starring:

  • Adrien Brody as the Tortured Artist
  • Jack Black as the Creation
  • Christopher Walken, as Bruce Dickenson, as the Producer
  • Amy Adams as Mary-Anne, or maybe Jane Krakowski once Amy turns it down
  • With The Dictators as themselves
  • Featuring the Steppin’ Out Dance Troupe and the Two Tub Men’s Choir

FIRST ACT

We open with the TA huddled over his keyboard, arguing with the Producer over his role in the band, and his desire to be a studio-only musician.

1st song: Exposed, sung by TA

Producer explains his position, and basically forces TA into being an on-stage performer in the band.

2nd song: Heartache, sung by the Producer

TA wanders the stage, struggling to reconcile his ambition with his lack of desire to perform. Heartbroken, he falls into fitful sleep.

3rd song: Sleepin’ With the TV On, sung by TA with the choir

Dream ends with the Creation rising from the mist, immediately going into…

4th song: Science Gone Too Far, sung by TA and the Producer

5th song: Disease, sung by the Creation

-INTERMISSION-

SECOND ACT

Opens with the Creation sitting at a lunch counter, being serenaded by Mary-Anne.

6th song: TEENGENERATE, sung by Mary-Anne

Scene change — we cut to TA, alone in his bedroom, looking out into the night, lamenting Mary-Anne’s sudden shift in amour.

7th song: HEY BOYS, sung by TA

TA argues, again, with the Producer, over his role in the band, while the Creation wanders through with the band hovering around him.

8th song: STEPPIN’ OUT, sung by TA

TA leaves the stage, probably forever. The Creation now dominates the action.

9th song: NEXT BIG THING, sung by the Creation

GRAND FINALE

The Creation and the TA duet on 10th song: YOUNG, FAST + SCIENTIFIC

ENCORE

We once again see the TA, now exclusively a songwriter, only now on the West Coast, happily married to Mary-Anne. In a beach scene, he sings…

Finale: CARS + GIRLS

-CURTAIN-

— Salvi C.

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NYC’s First Time With the Dictators!

coventry

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the very first Dictators gig in New York City. Our boys invaded the Coventry on March 13, 15 and 16 of 1974.  

The Coventry was the only club in NYC that allowed original bands a place to play and grow. It was located on Queens Blvd in Sunnyside, Queens, and was a big place with a 700-person capacity. Kiss spent their embryonic years there, and Joey Ramone hung out there in his pre-Ramone days. The current occupants at the club’s old address are a Bliss Drugs (provide your own joke here) and a Chase bank.

— Salvi C.

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Filed under Dictators Assembled, Live, The Cincotta Archives

Rock and Roll’s Big Bang

Property of Ross Freidman

Property of Ross Freidman

Feb. 9’s well-deserved fuss over the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” serves as a reminder that Feb. 2 was our very own equivalent thereof. That date marked the 40th anniversary of the first-ever appearance in New York by the Dictators. It took place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. It was the second Dictators show ever, and our boys opened for Blue Oyster Cult and Iggy and the Stooges.

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‘Manifest Destiny’ — Yay or No Way?

manifest destiny

Welcome to today’s edition of Point/Counterpoint. We will be debating the merits, or complete lack thereof, of the Dictators’ second album, “Manifest Destiny.” The “pro” argument will be presented by our esteemed colleague and fellow Dictatorologist, Mike Mindless. The “con” viewpoint will be covered by resident nitwit Salvi C. Gentlemen, please present your opening statements:

MM: Manifest Destiny (abbreviated as MD from this point on) is 38:25 of magnificence.

SC: I think this album stinks on ice. It’s the Millard Fillmore, the Irlene Mandrell, the Joe Besser of Dictator LPs.  

MM: This was my first introduction to the band. I purchased the LP because the cover reminded me of the gatefold in “On Your Feet or On Your Knees.” How can you deny songs like “Disease, “Science Gone Too Far” or “Young, Fast, and Scientific?”

SC: Which reason do you want as to why I don’t like it — the horrible sound, the bored performances, the weak tunes, the 3 sped-up songs at the end, or the fact that the whole direction of the LP was a huge over-reaction to the commercial failure of “Go Girl Crazy?”

MM: This LP had the best vocal mix and showed the widest range for the band . . . sure, the production is “big” arena, and the band kinda gets lost in that. I don’t think the tunes are weak so much as introspective. I actually really love songs like “Heartache” and “Hey Boys,” coming to this band from a hard rock background. I’m not sure if I would have been as big a fan if I had bought GGC first. It was almost too raw for my ears then and took a while to like as much as MD, which I loved from the very first note. MD was also their biggest success sales wise.

SC: I also like the 2 tunes you mention, but I can’t listen to most of this album. It’s doubly frustrating to know that the pre-LP demos are better than a lot of the final versions. It could have been so much better.  

MM: I’d blame the producer for that. He had a way of making bands suffer. The Clash, especially Simonon, hated working with Sandy Pearlman, as he was forced to play the the bass parts over and over. The search for perfection is the antithesis to what music should be — live, immediate, and in your face. I also heard there was a lot of struggle in making MD. It went on forever, and the producers did things the band didn’t even know about, like bringing Allen La
nier in on keys.

SC: We’re supposed to be arguing here, but I totally agree that a huge part of why I dislike the album is due to its over polished sound. God, the band just sounds soooo bored. OK, so let’s go through this stinker track by track.

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It Was 40 Years Ago Today!*

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On November 30, 1973, the Dictators played their very first gig, in the gym at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland. They were the opening act for Blue Oyster Cult and Iggy + the Stooges. With the ink still wet on their freshly signed contract with Epic, Andy, Ross, Scott, and Stu-Boy, with pre-Handsome Dick Richie Blum in tow, drove the 4 hours south to what they thought would be stop one on the road to stardom.

It would be almost mythic if they had a fantastic gig, were overwhelmed by applause, got props from the other 2 bands, and were rewarded royally for their efforts. Unfortunately, not everyone can be Bobo Holloman and throw a no-hitter in his first start. With their musical chops still in the embryonic stage, they were sparsely rewarded with golf applause from the tolerant audience. Mostly, they were ignored. So, less than an hour later, with all the money from the gig going straight to their managers, they made the trip home. Much like a teenager’s first attempt at sex, it was over before they knew it, and they wondered what the hell just happened.




* Well, we think it was today. No one in the band remembers the exact date, and the librarians at Prince George’s CC, while enormously helpful, could only narrow it down to a Friday in November 1973. There were 5 Fridays that month — 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/23, and 11/30. BOC had gigs in other cities on 11/9 and 11/16, so those dates are ruled out. 11/23 was the day after Thanksgiving. The campus would have been a ghost town, so it’s unlikely there was a concert scheduled that night. So, by process of elimination, our boys made their debut either 11/2/73, or 11/30/73. We’re going with 11/30 until proven wrong, and we’re not waiting underwater for that to happen.

— Salvi C.

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Dictators at the Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto 6/21/78  

Dictators at Horseshoe Tavern

This nifty flier is from a weekend of gigs our boys did in Toronto, one of the final tune-up weekends before the June 25th release of “Bloodbrothers.”



I bet these were fun gigs. The pre-“What I Like About You” Romantics were a raw and rocking band, and we all know how lethal the 1978, stripped down to a five piece version of the Dictators were.

— Salvi C.

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