Photo courtesy of Sandra Billig
We at The DFFD Blog are standing a little taller today: Last night (Nov. 18), our very own Dictators NYC were among the first rock bands to play Paris following the horrific attacks of last Friday. We are bursting with pride at their display of defiance and just general rock awesomeness in the face of ongoing terrorist threats. Not only did the band not cancel the gig, they scrambled to find a new location for the performance after their original venue canceled them. If that’s not badassery, then what the hell is?!
These guys from a town that knows a little something about terrorism restored a bit of normalcy to a devastated city — and were justly rewarded with the gratitude and hugs of the 150 or so fans in attendance at La Mécanique Ondulatoire. A memory never to be forgotten for all present — and a beautiful gesture respected around the entire rock’n’roll universe.
Much thanks to Sandra Billig for the photo of the boys rocking out in Paris last night. And check out some super-rad drawings of the guys playing the show at Blog’n’kor.
We say it all the time (because we’re superfans) but never have we meant this more: D.F.F.D.!!!!
Ugly Things #40 is now available at www.ugly-things.com. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the magazine, it’s a biannual bible of musical history for both the obsessed and the dilettantes. This issue features the first ever interview with Stu Boy King, conducted by yours truly. Stu could not have been more generous with his time and patience for my carpet bombing of questions, and he had a ton of great stories from the GGC days. He also proved to have an amazing memory about stuff that happened 40 years ago.
There were a lot of nerves on both ends of the interview. I’ve never conducted one that wasn’t with a potential new hire, and Stu had never had the opportunity to tell his story. We both worked hard at getting this thing right, and I think the effort paid off in the results.
Here’s a teaser from the interview:
“Our only tour before the album came out was opening for Nazareth. We drove out to Winnipeg to open for them. Hudson and Ford were the middle act. I remember that it was a beautiful venue to play in. We did our sound check, and the acoustics in the place were perfect for the Dics. All the vibrato and feedback made us sound great, we couldn’t go wrong. Nazareth’s LP with ‘Love Hurts’ had just come out, and this was their shot at the big time. They didn’t want anything to interfere with their moment in the sun. We were loud and amped up, and sounding really good. We were jamming to ‘Diamond Dogs,’ me and Ross, and blowing it up. Nazareth saw this, and wanted no part of us trying to steal their thunder. They came in with a tight and precise package, and here come these young, fired up hooligans stirring the pot. We scared them, and got sent home after one gig!”
There are 8 more pages of this kind of insider ambrosia in the mag–order your copy now!
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:
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.”
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.
Bubble gum cards have a long and rich history of being a fun way to waste spare change while indulging our inner desire to collect useless junk for dubious purposes. Who amongst us didn’t spend way too much of their allowances trying to complete that jumbo picture of Curley-Joe (as if there could have been any other kind) on the back of the 3 Stooges cards?
Punk rock’s mainstream exposure was at its apex in 1977, leading to a set of punk rock bubble gum cards foisted on the impressionable youth of the Netherlands. Neder punk seemed to be loosely defined to include no actual Neder bands, but did include Dwight Twilley, Split Enz, and these 2 shots of our boys. Go figure.
It’s obvious to me that whoever made these was not a baseball card guy. They left the backs of these things blank, and missed the priceless opportunity to post useless filler on the back of these as my old baseball cards used to have, such as “Eddie was voted Most Likely to Die a Fiery Death in high school,” or “Young Johnny Rotten was voted Most Vile by his peers in 1st tier.”
The problem with buying bubble gum cards is that the companies always salted the packs with a zillion copies of nobodies, the Joe Schlobotniks of the world, thereby forcing you to buy a lot of packs to find the stars. Judging from my stack of approximately 75 1968 John Bocabellas that were accumulated while searching for that Nolan Ryan rookie card, if my luck with punk rock cards held true to form, I would have wound up with 65 Babys and zero Sex Pistols.
Please tell me that these came with beer-flavored gum!
— Salvi C.
March 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of “The Dictators Go Girl Crazy.” Ignored and/or ridiculed at the time of its release, it’s since grown to be rightfully seen as a classic smart-azz manifesto.
It’s impossible to overstate the influence the lp had on me, and probably on you, our loyal audience, as well. This blog would not exist if not for GGC.
Reams of praise have been written about the album over the years, all if it deserved. Hell, we devoted a full week to its 35th anny back in 2010 (read it all here). Rather than try to come up with more in the same vein, we here at the DFFD Blog, in the style you’ve grown to know and tolerate, have come up with a new perspective on that mysterious, embryonic era of the band. Starting very soon, we’ll be running a multi-part interview with — wait for it — Stu Boy King. Believe it, Baby!
— Salvi C.
Photo by Adam Gerstein
Still bringing it, at 61 years of age.
Except for the weather, the scenery, and the girls, there are hardly any reasons to be jealous of life on the West Coast. The Dictators NYC’s current tour is one of the rare exceptions. By all accounts, they are thrilling both diehards and newbies alike, and with the added bonus of JP stepping up front as a guest vocalist for the opening band, there’s only one place I’d like to be tonight!
— Salvi C.