The Dictators

In the annals of late-1970s New York City rock -- as fertile a place and time as ever existed -- this is the band that never received its due. The Dictators were just as creative as any of their now-better-known contemporaries (Patti Smith, Blondie, Talking Heads) and far more gloriously raucous. Like the Ramones, their musical cousins from Queens, the Dictators worked outside the confines of what was considered hip at the time. With a steamrolling hard guitar sound, shaggy rocker hair and a street-tough Bronx-boy sensibility, the Dictators didn't create music with arty aspirations. Instead, they morphed rock clichés to celebrate the music's proletarian base. After the band's breakup, the Dictators commanded various groups -- the Del-Lords and Wild Kingdom, to name a couple -- and played a few reunion shows. The success of those get-togethers planted the seed for this tour, and today they can still rock with more muscle and finesse than almost any younger act under the modern rock banner.
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Rob Patterson