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.
Category Archives: Live
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.
Hola, senoritas y caballeros! ¿Estás listo para el rugido majestouso?? Las leyendas del punk rock, El Dictators NYC, será invadir España en Octubre y Noviembre.
Traer el ritmo salvaje, los rasgos del grupo a Ross the Boss y Daniel Rey en las guitarras, Dean “El Sueño” Rispler en guitarra baja, JP “El Rayo” Patterson en la batería, y Handsome Dick Manitoba en las voces.
Ayudarles a salvar el rock & roll en estos espectáculos:
Also, “What’s up Pittsburgh!!,” “How ya doin’ Detroit!!” and, finally, if the Dictators NYC find their way out of the basement in Cleveland, it all wraps up on Sunday with “Greetings Chicago!!”
This is your first opportunity to go under the Thunder since 2003, Midwest. Show the band the love they deserve.
— Salvi C.
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.
Today in 1996 found the Little Kings playing their only Boston gig ever. The Little Kings were a combination supergroup/superstar comeback. Living legend Dion DiMucci teamed up with Scott Kempner and Frank Funaro from the Del-Lords, and Mike Mesaros from the Smithereens.
Dion, was, is, and always will be one of the coolest and most important artists in rock. He was an originator and an emancipator. But instead of working the oldies circuit and resting on his laurels, a right he most certainly had earned, Dion’s vision with the Little Kings was to do it again, from square one, as a new band.
While the concept was noble, the downfall of being a new band is that you sometimes get the shoddy treatment a new band suffers. This show, sadly, found the band treated quite poorly by Mama Kin. The set time got moved twice, the sound guy was rude and dismissive, and they were told not to bother with the second night of the booking before they’d even played the first night! I remember Frank exclaiming, “Why did they invite us if they didn’t want us?”
It’s word eating time. In our Jan. 16 post, we unfairly dismissed the 1/16/81 “Guitarmania” gig as “just another garden variety rent party.” Well, through an incredible case of serendipity, we turned up a recording of said show, and guess what? It was tremendous.
The night’s billing as “Guitarmania,” with Ross billed above Wayne Kramer, was actually a bit misleading, and no doubt an attempt to pad the room with Dictator fans. It actually was a Wayne Kramer Revue, with a couple of MC5 songs, a couple of solo things, a few obscurities, and a few covers.
I know that doesn’t sound compelling at face value. But Brother Wayne assembled a top-notch backing band for the night, with Charlie Giordano from the E Street Band on keys, Carol Coleman from Kid Creole and the Coconuts on bass, and of course RTB on lead guitar. They completely delivered the goods, as both the material and performance were top shelf.
We’re working to get a copy of this show into Brother Wayne’s hands for possible inclusion on a live cd.
2. I Still Hate
3. The Harder They Come
4. 25 Miles (Edwin Starr!)
5. Ramblin’ Rose
6. Everybody’s Taking Something
7. Modern Romance
8. Shake the Beat
9. It’s Only Money
10. Valentino’s Moon
11. Tutti Frutti
12. Kick Out the Jams
13. (encore) Shout
— Salvi C.
Yale University, the epicenter of Yuppiedom. A student population dominated by Biffs and Muffies, getting edumacated on daddy’s dime, all the while planning their next excursion to the Hamptons to watch the yacht races and lament on the price of good help.
On this date in 1977, these future WASPs of America must have dropped their monocles, wet their whale pants, and gasped in terror, as Yale University’s Woolsey Hall was invaded by a NYC punk triple bill of the Ramones, the Dictators, and the Cramps.
This was the only show ever at this venue for all three bands. One has to wonder if school administrators simply found the entertainment too out of character for a room designed for symphonies.
Woolsey Hall has been the site for Yale’s graduation ceremonies since 1901, and has been graced by both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton during in their frat boy phases. I like to think that the antics of those 2 party boys provided cosmic inspiration for Lux’s onstage pants-dropping insanity.
— Salvi C.