The temptation when writing about The Dictators "Go Girl Crazy" is to just quote a whole bunch of lyrics from the album like "We knocked em dead in Dallas, and we didn't pay our dues, We knocked em dead in Dallas, they didn't know we were Jews", "And I won't be happy til I'm known far and wide, With my face on the cover of the TV Guide", "My favorite part of growing up was getting sick and throwing up, That's the price you've got to pay for eating burgers every day" and then call it a day. (And who can blame me? Once you've slogged through Chuck Klosterman's review of "Chinese Democracy" Rock Criticism is almost as embarassing as taking your Grandma to the mall to see "Austrailia".) But that would be cheating!
Cause you know what? "Go Girl Crazy" is such a great Rock And Roll record that you can listen to it after hearing all the jokes ten million times and still have a blast! There have been many "Funny" Rock Bands over the years - Mister Bungle, Ween, The Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi (Man, every time I hear that "You live for the fight when it's all that you've got!" on the car radio I have to pull over to the side of the road I laugh so hard!) - But The Dictators are not only the funniest, they are THE ROCKINEST!!! Steven Van Zandt says The Dictators were "the connective tissue between the eras of the MC5, Stooges, New York Dolls and the Punk Explosion of the mid to late Seventies". That's nice but that "connective tissue" kinda gives me the heebie jeebies. I bet after thirty years of working with that damn Springsteen Steven can watch "Cannibal Holocaust" and eat Sushi at the same time. On "Go Girl Crazy" The Dictators have got an authentic Buddy Hackett-Rodney Dangerfield-Mel Brooks New York Comedy thing going with Dee Dee Ramone-Johnny Thunders-Ace Frehley Musical Stylings to save the show from that Paul Reiser-Richard Lewis-David Brenner cheesiness. Culturally significant? Nah. Why you always gotta bring up shit like that?
But who were they, these "Dictators"? What were their dreams? Their goals? Their aspirations? Excuse me, but didn't you get a load of them quotes at the beginning of this mess? Let me guess, a Springsteen fan, right? Why, I oughta . . .
New York, 1973 - The Dictators were created by Lead Singer-Songwriter-Bassist Adny Shernoff. Adny's real name was Andy but he calls himself Adny in his Lifelong Quest to spread Chaos and Confusion Hither And Yon! After "Girl Crazy" Adny quit playing bass to take up the keyboards which made room for Mark "The Very Scarey Animal" Mendoza to join the band. Only thing wrong with "Go Girl Crazy" is that The Very Scarey Animal isn't on it. What a freak! He's so scarey he played in Blackfoot for a while! You got any idea how scarey you've got to be to play in Blackfoot? I saw Blackfoot open for Kiss and they made Gene Simmons look so cute and cuddly I thought he was Linda Ronstadt!
Dictators Roadie Handsome Dick Manitoba also sings on "Go Girl Crazy". This Internationally Notorious Daredevil would eventually become the band's Frontman but on "Go Girl Crazy" he is only credited as The Dictator's "Secret Weapon". His contributions to the album sound like he has broken into the studio during mid take in a deliberate attempt to make the properly socialized break down weeping. If it wasn't for the band kickin' ass you could probably hear Engineers and Producers crying like little bitches "No! Don't go in there, Handsome Dick! Stop it! Stop it, a big moose!! Oh! Oh!!" Hey, that would be a good idea for a Dictators album right there! Someone travel into The Past and get right to work on that.
Who else was in The Dictators? Ross The Boss on Lead Guitar! Top Ten on Rhythm! Stu Boy on Drums! Each and every one of em a TOTAL CHAMP!!! It's a damn shame we didn't have more guys like that around back then. Disco would still have happened but so many Nancy Boys would have been getting their asses kicked outside the clubs no one would have even noticed that Son Of Sam guy.
The only thing that would have made The Dictators even better would have been if they had that little creep from "The Warriors" onstage at the beginning of every set clicking beer bottles on his fingers together and going "Dictators! Come out and pla-a-ay! Dictators! Come out and pla-a-a-ay!!! Dictators!! Come out and pla-a-a-a-a-ay!!!" Okay, so I put that joke in just to amuse me. You don't like it? Kiss my ass.
In time members of The Dictators went on to join such High Class Rock Combos as Twisted Sister, Manowar, and The Del Lords. The Del Lords? A band named after the guy who Directed all the best Three Stooges shorts! You think if Dee Snyder was that sophisticated he'd be reduced to some jack ass reality show on CMT with Marsha Brady and Bobby Brown? Get outta here!
Some people call The Dictators "The 'Tators" but I bet they're the same people who call The Replacements "The 'Mats" which never made a lick of sense to me. I bet you call Lynnyrd Skynnyrd 'The Nyrds"'- You suck!" I mean, no one calls Springsteen "That Guido Fucktard" like I do, why the hell should I go around calling My All Time Favorite Band "The 'Mats"? That's just stupid. The 'Tators? There's nothing potato like about The Dictators. Here's what you get when you allow your fans to come up with a cute abbreviated name for your band - One time The Dictators were on the road opening for Foreignor (No wonder Twisted Sister looked like a good idea) and those British queers in Foreigner rigged a big net full of spuds over the stage to fall right on top of them during their set.
The Dictators still get together for the occasional gig, especially in Spain where they are Big Stars for some Cubist reason. They call Adny "Fracnisco Fracno". Hell, if I was a Big Star in Spain I'd pack up my Bai Ling pin ups and go live over there. "Guernica" looks like Christmas Day at my Parent's house - I'd be right at home!
The highlight of "Go Girl Crazy" is it's final song "Cars And Girls", the chorus of which goes "I live for Cars and Girls! Cars and Girls!" accompanied by a real Beach Boys style "Ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo!" and then "Cars Cars and Girls!" with Adny wrapping it up with "There's nothing else in this Crazy World but Cars and G-G-G-Girls!". Great stuff, but for sheer Rock Anthem Awesomeness even Pete Townsend would go Ga Ga O'Reilly over there's the moment when everybody chants "I wanna drive the fastest car . . . I wanna drive the fastest car . . . I wanna drive the fastest car . . . " and all of a sudden "CARS! GIRLS! SURFIN'! BEER! NOTHIN' ELSE MATTERS HERE!!" Wow! Top THAT, Bono! And just when you think it just couldn't get any cooler Adny comes in after the very last verse to tell us "There's nothing else in this Crazy World than Cars and G-G-G-Good Bye!" and that's it. But don't get bummed out, it's a RECORD! You can play it all over again!
I listen to "Go Girl Crazy" all the time and I recommend you do the same. All that depressing stuff in the News getting to you? Listen to "Go Girl Crazy" three or four hundred times and I guarentee by the time you've heard "Cars And Girls" that many times you won't even know your own name or what year it is - IT'S BEAUTIFUL, MAN!!! Cause just like Adny says - There's nothing else in this Crazy World but Cars and G-G-G-Goddammit, when is that guy next store gonna quit playin' that damn Springsteen CD!?! What a jerk!!
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - email@example.com