The Dictators are an American punk rock band formed in New York City in 1973. Critic John Dougan said that they were "one of the finest and most influential proto-punk bands to walk the earth." The Dictators are represented in the "Punk Wing" of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, Ohio. Steven Van Zandt called them "The connective tissue between the eras of The MC5, Stooges, NY Dolls, and the punk explosion of the mid to late 1970s"
The original recording line-up consisted of songwriter/vocalist/bassist Andy "Adny" Shernoff, lead guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman (aka Ross Funicello), rhythm guitarist Scott "Top Ten" Kempner, and drummer Stu Boy King. It was this line-up - along with roadie/occasional vocalist and "Secret Weapon" Handsome Dick Manitoba - which recorded the band's 1975 debut album, The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! for Epic Records, produced by Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman (best known for their work with Blue Öyster Cult). The album sold poorly at the time but is now considered to be the starting point for American punk rock . Entertainment Weekly wrote "Go Girl Crazy's junk-generation culture and smart-aleck sensibility did provide an essential blueprint for '70s punk. With its TV references and homely vocals, this ground-breaking and long-unavailable album continues to inspire underground groups everywhere."
Village Voice Concert Review (Date N/A) - by Kirby
"Dictators(4)-Songs-48Mins.Coventry, Sunnyside, LI, NY"
The Dictators, from the Bronx, are one of Gotham's better and most ear-shattering of rock combos. Quartet, ages 19-22, have been together for about a year and already have a disk pact, being signed by Epic.
Volume sometimes impedes vocal clarity but the Dictators never flag in excitement. Lead guitarist Ross Friedman and bass guitarist Andy (Adny) Shernoff impress in their instrumental work with strog support from drummer Stu Boyking and rhythm guitarist Scott Kempner.
Shernoff also capably handles vocal lead with support from Friedman and Kempner but the voices at times have to battle the instrumental power. Set moves. A novelty has a roadie joining the group to sing early rocker, "Wild Thing." The Dictators could do it.