It all started with a post on The DFFD Blog about Top Ten and the Del Lords doing a “secret” gig at the Lakeside Lounge in NYC, as a warm up to their Spanish shows. Actually, no, it all started when my ex-boyfriend’s band did a co-headlining gig with RTB’s German band in Brooklyn in 2009 … but that’s a story for another day. I had already met 3 current Dictators (the aforementioned RTB, JP Patterson, and Andy Shernoff) and had only two to go. This was my chance to hopefully cross at least one more off my list!! Since I had already friended Scott on Facebook, I sent him a short note asking if the secret gig was still on, and explained that we had a mutual friend so he wouldn’t think I was a stalker. He was kind enough to write back a few hours later to confirm.
Flash forward to 7 o’clock that night, a friend and I are sitting at the bar when, in hushed tones, a gentleman to my right asked the bartender how things were going to work for the gig tonight, as the bar’s website mentioned a $20 “donation.” This sparked a conversation about how we were both huge Dictators fans and were psyched to see one of them in such an intimate venue. He had heard about the gig the same place I had, through Salvi and The DFFD Blog. A few more people trickled in, and we made our way over to the stage area in the back of the bar. My friend and I snagged primo seats, and as I was settling in, I looked over and there was Scott Kempner and his guitar, setting up. I quickly introduced myself to him, we shared an inside joke about someone’s extreme and baffling political views, and I let him mingle with his friends and family.
As I was patting myself on the back for appearing so calm and collected, I spotted a familiar looming figure. It was Andy Shernoff shaking hands with the crowd. Apparently the people at the next table from us were who he was there to meet, and the next thing I knew he was sitting next to me, and he remembered me. More back patting ensued. Andy’s friend introduced himself to me as one of his oldest friends, back from the days of New Paltz and the Teenage Wasteland fanzine, Bobby “the Brain.” He told me how they used to print the fanzine by hand on mimeograph paper. I was truly in awe of being surrounded by Dictators history.
On the 33rd anniversary of the death of Elvis, let us quote the immortal words of the Bard, Sir Scott of Kempner, which are from the Dictators’ Palladium show on 8/24/77:
“For the first time in a long time, rock & roll is without a King. The Dictators want to hereby commemorate, and dedicate, this set and every set from now on, to the King, Elvis Presley. Now, and forever.”
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
3. Folsom Prison Blues
5. Jumping in the Night
6. Bartender Blues
7. Love Among the Ruins
8. Hand to Mouth
9. Drug Deal
10. Double Life
We’ve stumbled across lots of news bits to share, which means it’s time for another edition of ‘Tators Tracker. Here goes:
* HDM, Andy and J.P. have all taken part in a new Joey Ramone solo album. More info as we get it.
* Andy’s heading out on tour with the can’t-miss “When Giants Walked the Earth: A Musical Memoir” show. First stop: a guest appearance at tonight’s Carla Rhodes show in Brooklyn, then a very special opening slot for David Jo at New Jersey’s Brighton Bar tomorrow night (more info). During the next few weeks, he’ll hit Tennessee, Canada, Pennsylvania, NYC, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Details here.
Scott discusses everything from the Del-Lords reunion, politics, the Yankees (14-7) and the Buddy Holly box set in his latest blog entry on the Del-Lords official site.
He also talks the prominent mention he and the Dictators got at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony last month, courtesy of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong:
I got more phone calls and emails in the next coupla weeks from that little incident than I think I had in any two week period of my life. I heard from folks I hadn’t heard from in 20 years! This one from here, and that one from there, and another one, and a cousin and….Oy, vey!