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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Punk Precursors

gtrBros14, originally uploaded by Cool Auntie.

I have to admit I never understood the Dictators until about 30 years after they got on the radar. I always thought it was a Dude Band - and I felt the same about hard-core, even though I totally respect Mike Watt.

I'm not too cool however, not to give it up to the Dictators for being the first guys who played loud, fast, hard rock in homage to the MC5, Stooges, New York Dolls and the handful of other punk precursors and godfathers out there. They were the first band after the NY Dolls to get a major record deal with that loud nasty rock done in the punk-ass vein. Being Bronx Boys, they had a completely different attitude than the British punks, the LA punks and even their fellow 718 area code neighbors, those loveable boys from Queens, The Ramones. They are just as fun as a comic book but had a bit of tough guy stance that, for me, at least was more traditionally rock n roll than punk rock.

But that was just me. Every time I've seen the Dictators - and that goes for back in the day and for now - they make their fans happy with beer-fueled stupidity of an intellectual nature - and it really is a pure punk spirit that booms out of those amps cranked to 11, or even 12. Loud fast and hard with Handsome Dick's smart mouth proud NYer commentary. Yeah, that guy's punk.

Just because I didn't get it doesn't mean other people didn't. My life-long friend, Gary Stewart tried to show me the light with "Go Girl Crazy," but I didn't bite. Not until 2004. Better late than never.

Pictured here: Scott "Top Ten" Kempner and Ross The Boss are a formidable guitar double threat. Last year, they played together for the first time in ages, and while I heard them without seeing them, I can only imagine the hysteria they caused.

1 comment:

Jenny Lens said...

LOVE at first sight! I remember Scott "Top Ten" Kempner walked across the Whisky backstage, hand extended, thanked me for shooting them. He knew my work from New York Rocker. I had arrived, but took 25 years for me to get it. Theresa, Scott and I hooked up at Gary Stewart's party recently. Wowsa!