A Saturday night at Davis Square in Somerville is a very trendy thing these days, and tucked away behind an old rail-car cafe called The Rosebud is a unique little room, also called The Rosebud, located at 381 Summer St. in Somerville. Live entertainment is now happening at http://rosebudbardavis.com/ with the great Asa Brebner, former member of The Modern Lovers and Robin Lane & The Chartbusters appearing on July 14th.
But on July 10, 2010 it was the lead singer of The Dictators, Andy Shernoff, who took the stage with a folk guitar and lots of stories of the sordid rock & roll pasts of many of his colleagues, from Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders and Dee Dee Ramone to how record exec Howie Klein got The Dictators their first in-club airplay at an S & M bar. Perhaps the odd thing about this experience was that I was at Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts from July 8-11, a very successful 21 year old Science Fiction/Fantasy book convention created by three veterans of the Boston Rock & Roll scene and there was Samuel R. Delany, the famous critic, author and professor , not talking about science fiction, but reading one of his essays on society and sexuality. Yikes…hey, like many readers of TMR Zoo, I’m no prude, but these X rated stories at Readercon and The Rosebud made it all like some Twilight Zone episode.
That being said, Shernoff – surprisingly – played only a handful of songs and spent most of the night talking. It was an intriguing stroll down memory lane, certainly along the Ray Davies “The Storyteller” lines with decadence, rock & roll and high school memories thrown in to boot.
What was most impressive was the folk version of the song “You’re Never Gonna See Me Cry” that Andy and Billy Miller (or Norton Records) wrote for Mary Weiss of The Shangri-Las.
All in all, a terrific night of story with some songs and a nice reinvention, “artistic renaissance”, if you will, for Andy from the Dictators.