If it’s recognized today that The Ramones were just as influential in their way as The Beatles, where does that leave The Dictators? The ’Tators recorded their version of “California Sun” several years before The Ramones, and the main riff to their hilarious fish-out-of-water tale “Next Big Thing” (“Yeah, I knocked them dead in Dallas/They didn’t know we were Jews”) was shamelessly repurposed in The Ramones’ “I Just Want to Have Something to Do.” Hook-filled Dictators originals such as “Baby, Let’s Twist” and “Stay With Me” would have fit in on a more enlightened version of classic-rock radio. They’re touring here for the first time in a decade, albeit without guitarist Scott Kempner and main songwriter Andy Shernoff. But lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba and insane Manowar guitar shredder Ross “The Boss” Friedman should still save what’s left of rock & roll.

Wed., Jan. 7, 8 p.m., 2015
(Expired: 01/07/15)

LA Weekly