Underground Greats- The Dictators

Sometimes an album comes along that feels like it was written especially for you.  For me, that album is The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! 


The Dictators were an early New York punk band, roughly contemporary with the Ramones and the New York Dolls.  In the beginning they were fronted by their bass player Andy Shernoff, with former pro-wrestler Handsome Dick Manitoba making scattered appearances as their “Secret Weapon.”  He would later go on the sing full time.

The Dictators had a short career as recording artists.  The followed Go Girl Crazy! with Manifest Destiny, a similarly silly punk album before becoming more of a metal band with Blood Brothers and then breaking up.  Their heyday lasted all of about 5 years.

I’ve said before that I love trashy, I love ridiculous.  Go Girl Crazy has loads of both.  It’s rude, it’s politically incorrect, it’s about young punks making their way in the world.  Half of the album is sung by a pro-wrestler.  It’s about drinking, lazing around, having laughs, chasing girls, driving fast cars, watching TV.  Not even the Ramones could rival their love for throw-away pop culture.

The production on this album is pretty high for what it is.  And while I love the Ramones, they were never this technically gifted:

Two Tub Man begins with one of Handsome Dick Manitoba’s wrestling promos:

Whoever posted some of their songs to Youtube won’t let me embed, so I’ve put up a few links to my favorites, with some choice bits of brilliant lyricism:

Eatin’ eggs all day long

Sleeping with, the TV on

From Teengenerate

Weekend, Bobby is a local punk

Cutting school and getting drunk

Eating at McDonald’s for lunch!

From Weekend

I wish I could put up the whole album, but if you like what I have posted you can track it down.  It’s really a punk rock gem.

The Dictators still play live every now and then.  It’s really a shame they were not better known.


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