This is already making the rounds, but being that I’m a slavish fan of The Dictators (that’s them below, captured by the great Ebet Roberts circa 1978), legendary lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba and the bar that bears his good name on Avenue B, Manitoba’s, it seemed worth throwing in my paltry two cents.
Manitoba’s has been having trouble with its neighbors for a long time now. I first mentioned it here on Flaming Pablum as far back as 2007. I’m relatively certain this is about the same neighbors, but Handsome Dick’s establishment was just forced to settle a case with an individual for an unwieldy amount of money that might ultimately spell the demise of the fabled bar.
If you’re unfamiliar with Manitoba’s (I dunno, maybe you’re from out of town?), it’s one of the last strongholds of legitimate New York City punk rock left in Manhattan. But even if you’re not a fan of gritty, unfettered, high decibel rock and its accompanying `tude, Manitoba’s is just simply a great, cool, intimate bar. Being a father of two little kids, I’m not let off my leash to go to the bars all that often, but when I am, Manitoba’s is usually high up on my list of necessary destinations.
In any case, as a result of their unfortunate circumstances — and listen to me, in the wake of 2014, I know all about unfortunate circumstances — Manitoba’s is reaching out to its fans and supporters and asking for a little helpful appreciation for their efforts in the form of some cash donations. Check out their indiegogo page.
Do the right thing and help out if you can, or Manitoba’s may tragically join the ranks of Max Fish, the Mars Bar, CBGB and countless other places of genuine NYC character that are no longer on our map.
My favorite Dictators track….