The Dictators

With the Rubber City Rebels and Amps II Eleven. Friday, May 23, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Prefuse 73, with Fourtet and Manitoba Grog Shop, 1765 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights 9 p.m. Monday, May 26, $10, 216-321-5588.
The Dictators need to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As long as the debate between relevance and sales goes on, there will be advocates for the inclusion of Andy Shernoff, Ross the Boss, and Handsome Dick Manitoba. The Dictators influenced dozens of punk and metal bands, from Twisted Sister to the Beastie Boys and whatever's in between.

But as with so many acts ahead of their time, the Dics were prophets without honor in 1975, the year they put out the trashy masterpiece The Dictators Go Girl Crazy. They were too metal for punk, too glam for metal, and when almost every rock band was taking itself seriously, the Dics refused. But these five Bronx bozos knew the score. Rock and roll was never high art. It was muscle cars, neighborhood girls, fast food, cheap wine and beer, menial jobs, parents without a clue, and a culture in which kitsch sells. The Dictators released D.F.F.D. , their first studio record in 22 years, back in 2001. Middle aged? Yeah, but they can still show the Good Charlottes of the world a thing or two about rock and roll.

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