Richard "Handsome Dick" Manitoba (born Richard Blum in [The Bronx, New York, January 29, 1954) is a Jewish American punk rock musician and radio personality, best known as the lead singer of both the New York City band The Dictators for thirty years and the reformed MC5 since early 2005.


Manitoba started out his music 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. On their first major-label album, The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! (Epic Records, 1975), he was listed as the "Secret Weapon". This is because he sang some lead and some background, but 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 on almost all the tunes.

The Dictators disbanded in late 1978, but played reunion gigs occasionally until 1996, when they started to play again regularly. In 1989, Manitoba — along with Andy Shernoff (bass, songwriter), JP "Thunderbolt" Patterson (drums) and a man known as the "fifth Ramone", Daniel Rey (guitar)—released an album under the name Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, on MCA Records. Ross the Boss, the original lead guitarist for The Dictators, eventually replaced Rey.

On January 14th 1999 Handsome Dick opened his own bar in the East Village in Manhattan, simply called Manitoba's, where the customers can find "no trendy bullshit", just "good beer and a killer juke-box" and plenty of rare punk gigs posters and rare pictures on the walls.

In 2001, The Dictators released their first studio album in twenty-three years, D.F.F.D, on their own label, The Dictators Multimedia. A live album, Viva! Dictators, was released on the Escapi Music label in 2005.

A new Dictators record, Everyday Is Saturday, came out in 2007 on the Norton record label. It is a collection of demos, B-sides, out-takes, and old radio commercials for the band. The band and crew contributed the liner notes for the record.

Life with MC5

Since February 2005, Manitoba has been singing lead with the MC5, a Detroit band who were progenitors of American punk. Manitoba also has his own show, "The Handsome Dick Manitoba Radio Program" on Little Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage channel, on Sirius XM Radio.


  • Kiss Loves You (2004)


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Richard Manitoba. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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