The Dictators Unearthing Rarities Album
Work has begun on assembling a single disc of demos, outtakes, and other previously unreleased bits from veteran New York proto-punk act the Dictators.Work has begun on assembling a single disc of demos, outtakes, and other previously unreleased bits from veteran New York proto-punk act the Dictators. In the early days of CBGB, the group frequently shared the stage with like-minded acts such as the Ramones and the Dead Boys,
"We're going to do one more Dictators record, which is our demos from 1973, which sound great," bassist Andy Shernoff tells Billboard.com. "And outtakes and songs here and there that never made it onto record over the years."
While no track list is confirmed, Shernoff has a good idea of what will ultimately make the cut. "Dictator classics like 'Backseat Boogie' and 'Fireman's Friend' -- based on the 'Superman' episode which you probably never saw," he says. "I'm going to put on some of those wacky, extended remixes -- almost dub kind of mixes. Then we've got some rehearsal tapes -- interesting things. It's not going to be all hi-fi, but it's going to be for the fans of the band."
Longtime fans will be most interested in finally hearing the group's original demos, of which some re-recorded versions "made it onto the first record, and some didn't," Shernoff says. "I really got a kick hearing them. And I think a lot of the people that like the Dictators are going to get a kick out of what we were doing in 1973." A cover of the Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer" is also in the hopper.
Shernoff expects the as-yet-untitled collection to be released by Norton, which is home to albums by the Sonics, the Flamin' Groovies and Link Wray, among many others. "Billy Miller and Miriam Linna, who run the label, are very good friends of mine," he says. "It seems like they're the right vehicle."
Until then, fans can check out the just-released live set, "Viva Dictators," recorded at recent reunion shows at Maxwell's in Hoboken, N.J., and the Bowery Ballroom in New York. "It's got a little more energy maybe, because we had time to figure out the best way to play the songs," Shernoff says. "The arrangements are sleeker. It's pretty much a 'greatest hits' record, as much as we'll ever have."