I know what you’ve been thinking. “Hey, those knuckleheads over at the DFFD Blog haven’t had much to say lately. Where they been at?” Well, here’s the reason for the long gap between posts. I spent almost a year tracking down the remaining members of Total Crudd, which was RTB’s band prior to joining the Dictators. A dozen interviews with seven members took a while to assemble, but the end result was worth the effort. The story will appear in Ugly Things #46, which will be available later this month. Expect lots of nonsense about epic parties, illegal substances, and a monkey.
If that isn’t enough to entice you, here’s Ross with fellow TC alumnus (and first Dictators drummer) Jim Sugarman from their fourth-grade class picture. (That’s Ross in the glasses.) This kinda stuff is website GOLD. Here also is a story from Jim that didn’t make the cut for the final article:
Here’s the story about Ross’s white guitar. My brother (6 years older than us) bought himself a white Gibson SG and a Fender Vibrolux amp. After a while he decided to go to college overseas, needed money, and sold both to Ross for around $300. You can imagine how he’s kicking himself today.
One of the first times Ross used the guitar, maybe 7th grade, was when we were rehearsing in the neighborhood youth center. We did a blistering version of “Spoonful,” improvising our own solos and generally going nuts. At the end of the song, in marched in the local band that consisted of the neighborhood thugs. Their guitarist went up to Ross and says, “I bet you think you’re hot sh*t!” and started pushing and punching him. Ross calmly put his guitar down someplace safe and proceeded to kick his a**.”
— Salvi C.
On the occasion of our favorite guitarist’s birthday today, we’re taking the opportunity to repost these videos of Ross the Boss slaying ’em in a guitar clinic at a Manowar convention a few years ago. Turn ’em up loud, ’cause that’s how he likes it! Happy bday, RTB!
Vacation Hell. PopuIation: you. It’s only mid-break, and your hellions have already broken or grown bored with everything Santa or Hanukkah Harry brought them. Your main squeeze is ready to strangle you if you don’t leave her alone for a few hours. And you? You’re a sight. You’ve put on so much holiday weight that the only thing that fits is the emergency sweatpants with the duct tape waist band.
Instead of pulling your chair up to the fridge again, how about killing 2 birds with one stone, and entertain the kids and get some exercise by grabbing a few swings at The Cage? The DFFD staff made our first pilgrimage there during a recent road trip, and here’s our review of the facility.
You have to love any destination that combines 2 of our favorite things, namely baseball and the Dictators. The Cage is the day gig for our favorite loud guitarist, Ross the Boss. He’ll be behind the counter, handing out the bats, critiquing your swing, and blasting “That Metal Show” on the TV.
The Cage is located at 62-40 Metropolitan Ave in Middle Village, an easy ride for anyone in Queens or Brooklyn, and 2 blocks from the last stop on the M train. “Last stop. M train.” That’s a good line for a song.
The Dictators NYC, the band with more name changes than P. Diddy, hit the Bowery Electric this past Thursday for their first New York show of the year. As always, BE was packed with the sweaty faithful, wanting it fast and loud, and our boys did not disappoint.
Sometimes it’s big things (Oh my God, they’re actually playing? It’s been five years!) from shows that make for the memories, and sometimes it’s little things. Here are a few of the little gifts the show had to offer:
• A much-needed pitchfork was taken to the set list. “Savage Beat,” “I Stand Tall” and “Minnesota Strip” are in; “Haircut and Attitude,” “Pu**y and Money” and “American Beat” are on the bench. (The lobbying committee to add “Master Race Rock” and “Cars and Girls” meets on Wednesdays at DFFD HQ. All are welcome. Conference Room B, bring a snack.)
• Having Dean do the perverted whispering BV during “Minn Strip,” and never go near the mic for the rest of the show, is genius.
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.
Can you imagine how great this might have been? When two guitar monsters face off, declare “we don’t need no stinking vocal mics” and rip through instrumental versions of “Rambling Rose” or “Science Gone Too Far?” Maybe they trade off on the long instrumental break that used to be the prelude to “Two Tub Man,” or dust off “Interstellar Overdrive.”
It could have been a gig for the ages. Unfortunately, Reality kicked Imagination’s a** yet again, and it was merely your garden variety rent party. Brother Wayne had just left Gang War, and was in dire straits financially, allegedly reduced to sleeping in abandoned cars on the LES. Ross had just left Shakin’ Street, and the Dictators reunion, which had kicked off the previous November, was on hold for another few weeks until Richie Teeter cleared his calendar.
RTB’s recollections of the night were succinct — “Wayne did most of the singing. We did some MC5, some reggae.”
— Salvi C.
Forget Springsteen, forget Diana, forget the Donald. There is only ONE Boss.