(alternate title: J.P. Brushes With Greatness)
Images with the kind permission of Dorthy Lee @ Nuclearjackalope.com
Three days later, and I’m sitting here reminiscing about what a great time I had at the Manitoba gig on Sat, 3/31. As much as I love the band and their music, it was the unique circumstances of the gig that make it such a special memory. It was a house concert, the first ever for Manitoba. Drew Eckmann, my new hero, was our host for the evening. Drew takes it upon himself to do his part to try and preserve rock + roll by opening up his home in Ringwood, NJ, for concerts.
The more I think about it, the more astonishing the whole concept is to me. I mean, I don’t like it when people I KNOW come in my house, and this guy is generous and kind enough to open his house up to complete strangers. And he’s done it 107 times!! As a result of his dedication, 75 or so drooling, screaming idiots were able to share and enjoy the primal, communal experience that a great concert provides.
Photos by Adam Gerstein
Doing this on four hours sleep and a massive hangover. Seriously, MANITOBA played their hearts out. They knew the importance of this gig (let’s face it — you are talking about 4,000 people) and they looked thrilled to be opening up for Guns N’ Roses.
(Photo courtesy of Ian Jane /Rock! Shock! Pop!)
Did you spend the weekend craving a cigarette and some cuddling? If not, then you weren’t at the Manitoba show at the extremely oversold Bowery Electric on Thu 1/26. The lucky attendees have spent the last couple of days looking back in awe.
You thought the Asbury show was great? So did I. Well, this was a quantum leap above the debut. From Note One, the band kicked a** and took names. They were tighter than a mosquito’s tweeter, and there was a ROAR coming from the dueling Gibsons that is almost beyond description. Imagine being on a tarmac without earplugs as a jet plane comes in for a landing — THAT’s what they sound like.
In accordance with the age-old show biz axiom of “Always open out of town,” Manitoba made their world debut on Friday, Jan. 13. The band headlined at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ, as part of the “Light the Day” benefit series.
It had been a looooong 5 years since these songs have been performed in the loud and proud, and it was a toss-up as to who was more excited — the band, to finally have the chance to play them, or the audience, who finally had their patience rewarded by being able to hear them. Suffice to say, it was an emotional and cathartic night for everyone in attendance. The supermodel-thin Handsome Dick spoke for everyone in the room when he bellowed, “There’s nowhere I’d rather be than in a bowling alley in New Jersey on a beautiful Friday night!”
If you had your druthers, and could choose the parameters for the perfect party, what would those parameters be? If your criteria includes a wonderful venue, gracious hosts, amazing food in quantities that could feed a small army, guests who are fellow music fanatics, and last but not least, a kicka** band playing three feet from your face, then Chumley, you really should have been at the Del-Lords house concert this past w/e.
Saturday’s show at the Root Hoot concert house in Peace Dale, RI, was the third leg of the band’s World Domination Tour, after lesser stops at the Lakeside and in Spain. Some 75 lucky souls spent 2.5 hours being regaled by Scott, Roscoe, Frankie and Lucky. The band played two sets. The first set was very tight, and loaded with DLs classics. Then, after a 45-minute break, in which everyone attempted to put a dent in the mountain of food, they played a much more adventurous second set, in the classic “Do we even KNOW this one?? Ah Hell, let’s do it anyway” style. Three or four from the upcoming album were previewed and well received. It also seems that both Scott and Eric are frustrated comedians, as they told very funny stories about Stu-boy King, Screaming Jay Hawkins and “Sergio F**king Franchi.”
Until we hear back from the librarian at Prince George Community College, and we’re not waiting underwater for that to happen, we’re going to go with the assumption that this is the very first review our boys ever received. This beauty is from the Village Voice issue dated May 2, 1974, and it covers what looks to be gig #10 or 11 of the Dictators. “There’s no way for them to miss out on superstardom.” Sigh.
Thanks and a tip of the miner’s helmet to our friends at streetsyoucrossed.blogspot.com, who did all the heavy archeological digging for us.
— Salvi C.
The Dictators’ Kentucky Tour, May 10-11, 2002
Another year, another Dictators-related road trip, this time to the land of the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, mint juleps, Fort Knox and the Louisville Slugger.
As soon as Salvi arrived at Midway early Friday, we hit the road toward the glorious bluegrass of Kentucky, by way of Cincy, home of our future RTB friend, Dawnowar. Passing Riverfront Stadium (we shoulda caught a few innings), and it’s still-under-construction replacement, crossing the Ohio, into sleepy Newport, Kentucky, home of the Southgate House, site of the Dictators’ first-ever Kentucky gig.
The Southgate House is on my shortlist of cool rock venues. A huge mansion near the river, a bar & restaurant upstairs, and in the basement, a ballroom/concert hall that had served as the birthplace of the Thompson Submachine Gun (see Al Capone). Tables and chairs surrounded a dance floor, great sound, good sightlines and cold, cheap beer.
Cincinnati band Thee Shams opened with a tough set. The Dictators took the stage, clawing through a 19-song, 76-minute set — heavy on “D.F.F.D.” — with HDM proclaiming, “We can’t curse tomorrow night, so we’re gonna curse a lot tonight.” (He did). At one point a tipsy, short-shorts-wearing Kentucky woman hip-checked our table, sending my old film Kodak flying, never to take another picture. But like a bat broken delivering a game-winning hit, it died happy. The Dictators’ set flew by in a blur, it wasn’t until we later listened to Sal’s tape that we realized just how fierce that set was. The weekend was off to a kickazz start.
April 12 marked the anniversary of 1997’s star-studded Tom Clark Benefit at Brownie’s in NYC. The DFFD Blog asked Dictators fan Adam Gerstein for his memories of the show.
So I get an email from Sal, who I have not heard from lately, asking me to remember the night that the Dictators played at the Tom Clark Benefit at Brownie’s in 1997. How can I forget that night — it was the night I rediscovered the band who probably has been my favorite band of the last 15 years … and that is saying a lot, as I go to a lot of live shows. Below is a review I did after the show for the Babel list (Patti Smith list) in 1997:
“Lenny Kaye was the first band that I saw last night. I used to see the Lenny Kaye Connection all over NYC and they were always fun. However, I always appreciated Lenny more of a backing musician with Patti rather than on his own due to the limited range of his voice. He put on an animated set and the interplay between J.D., Tony, and Lenny was great.
Jim Carroll surprised the hell out of me. I have seen him stumble on many stages since the seventies, but last night he looked fit (hard to imagine) and healthy. Then again he never played with a band as good as the guys last night. In addition to playing with J.D., Lenny, and Tony, he also played with Adam Roth, who added tasty slide leads. “Catholic Boy” and “People Who Died” were the standouts last night and Carroll definitely impressed the crowd.