Handsome “Dick” Manitoba Of The Dictators On Non Visual Radio FriFrom 8-9 p.m. on www.activatemedia.org
By Ed Wrobleski
This week on non visual radio host Joe Viglione will be talking with Handsome “Dick” Manitoba of the 70s punk rock band the Dictators.
He started out his singing career as a roadie for The Dictators. He made his “official stage debut” with The Dictators at Popeye’s Spinach Factory in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, in 1975.
The band’s first major-label album, The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! (Epic Records, 1975), featured his picture on the cover and he was listed as the “Secret Weapon”. While he sang some lead and some background, he was still considered a “mascot” of the band. He sang more lead on The Dictators’ second offering, Manifest Destiny, a 1977 release on the Asylum label. On Bloodbrothers, the third and final Dictators studio recording from the 1970s (also on Asylum, 1978), Manitoba sang lead vocals on almost all the tracks. The Dictators disbanded in late 1981.
In 1986 Manitoba along with former Dictators formed Wild Kingdom. In 1989, the band changed the name to Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom and, in 1990, released an album …And You? on MCA Records.
Manitoba appeared in the 2004 documentary Kiss Loves You.
In 2004, Manitoba began hosting “The Handsome Dick Manitoba Radio Program” in Little Steven Van Zandt’s Underground Garage channel, on Sirius XM Radio. In 2005 the Village Voice awarded him “Best Satellite Radio DJ”. Manitoba’s gig on the Underground Garage continued for 14 years. Manitoba has expressed some anger at the termination of his show.
In 2005, Manitoba joined the reformed MC5 on vocals, replacing original singer Rob Tyner, who died in 1991. The band broke up with the death of bassist Michael Davis in 2012.
In 2007, Manitoba co-authored, with Amy Wallace, The Official Punk Rock Book of Lists (Backstreet Books).
A re-formed Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom played at the 2008 Joey Ramone Birthday Bash.
In January 2012 the band Manitoba, with members Manitoba, Ross the Boss, Dean Rispler (ex-Murphys Law), JP Paterson, and Daniel Rey, was formed to play the Light of the Day Festival in Asbury park, a benefit for medical charities. After a couple more shows, in September 2012, the band toured Europe. In April 2013 the band name was changed to The Dictators NYC. Further tours of the US and Europe followed in subsequent years. A single Supply and Demand, composed by Boss, Manitoba, and Manitoba’s son Jake, and backed with a live version of the MC5’s Kick Out the Jams, was released in November 2015. In July 2017 it was announced that the band name would be changed back to Manitoba, “due to legal threats by ex-bandmates, Andy Shernoff and Scott Kempner”.
As of late Mr. Manitoba has been busy writing songs with his songwriting partner Jon Tiven. Handsome Dick went down to Jon’s home studio in Nashville Tennessee and recorded 18 songs in 4 1/2 days. Thirteen of them made the soon to be released album, titled ‘Born in the Bronx’ , expected to be released in 2018. This will be Handsome Dick Manitoba’s first solo album.
Handsome Dick owns and runs a bar, Manitoba’s in the East Village, Manhattan in New York City. Dick pled guilty to disorderly conduct on May 3, 2018, after initially being charged with assault, obstruction of breathing, attempted assault and harassment in an incident with his then-girlfriend, Zoe Hansen.
So please tune in on friday night from 8-9 p.m. to hear some great rock and roll stories from the days of the Dictators and right up to his radio show days on Sirius XM radio on:
Handsome Dick’s Official Website: