Handsome Dick Manitoba
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Handsome Dick Manitoba

Richard Manitoba
Manitoba in 2009
Manitoba in 2009
Background information
Richard Blum
Handsome Dick Manitoba
Born (1954-01-29) January 29, 1954 (age 66)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
GenresPunk rock
Singer, radio personality
The Dictators, Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, MC5, Manitoba NYC

Richard "Handsome Dick" Manitoba (born Richard Blum; January 29, 1954) is an American punk rock singer and radio personality, best known as the lead singer of New York City-based band the Dictators.


Manitoba is Jewish,[1] and was born in the Bronx, New York City, in 1954. He started out his singing 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.[2]

The band's first major-label album, The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! (Epic Records, 1975), featured his picture on the cover and he was listed as the "Secret Weapon".[3] While he sang some lead and some background, he was still considered a "mascot" of the band.[2] He took on a larger singing role 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 vocals on most tracks. The Dictators disbanded in late 1981.[3]

In 1986, Manitoba, along with other former members of the Dictators, formed Wild Kingdom. In 1989, the band rebranded itself to Manitoba's Wild Kingdom and, in 1990, released an album ...And You? on MCA Records.

The Dictators reformed in 1991.


In 2004, Manitoba threatened to sue independent electronic musician Dan Snaith for using the band name "Manitoba." Snaith changed his musical name to Caribou.[4]

Manitoba appeared in the 2004 documentary Kiss Loves You.[5]

In 2004, Manitoba began hosting "The Handsome Dick Manitoba Radio Program" in Little Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage channel, on Sirius XM Radio.[6] In 2005 the Village Voice awarded him "Best Satellite Radio DJ".[7] Manitoba's gig on the Underground Garage continued for 14 years. Soon after the program was terminated, Manitoba moved on to other projects.[8]

In 2005, Manitoba joined the reformed MC5 on vocals, replacing original singer Rob Tyner, who died in 1991. The band split up with the death of bassist Michael Davis in 2012.[9]

In 2007, Manitoba co-authored The Official Punk Rock Book of Lists with Amy Wallace.[10]

A re-formed Manitoba's Wild Kingdom played at the 2008 Joey Ramone Birthday Bash.[11]

In January 2012 the band Manitoba, featuring Manitoba, Ross the Boss, Dean Rispler (ex-Murphys Law), JP Paterson, and Daniel Rey, was formed to play the Light of the Day Festival in Asbury park, a benefit for medical charities.[12] After a handful of shows, in September 2012, the band toured Europe.[13] In April 2013, the band name was rebranded to The Dictators NYC.[14] Further tours of the US and Europe followed in subsequent years.

A single Supply and Demand, composed by Boss, Manitoba, and Manitoba's son Jake, and backed with a live version of the MC5's Kick Out the Jams, was released in November 2015.[15] In July 2017, it was announced that the band name would be changed back to Manitoba, "due to legal threats by ex-bandmates, Andy Shernoff and Scott Kempner".[16]

Manitoba's first solo album, Born in the Bronx, was released November 2019, on Liberation Records, distributed by MVD. [17]

Manitoba owned and ran a bar for over 20 years. Manitoba's opened January 14, 1999 in the East Village, Manhattan in New York City and closed June 25, 2019.

Manitoba pled guilty to disorderly conduct, in New York State on May 3, 2018, after initially being charged with assault, obstruction of breathing, attempted assault, and harassment in an incident with his then-girlfriend, Zoe Hansen.[18]

In February 2019, Manitoba started his own podcast, "You don't know Dick." He also has a Youtube channel.


  1. ^ Ralph Blumenthal (June 12, 2009). "Punk, and Jewish: Rockers Explore Identity". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "About 'Richard Manitoba'". Manitobas. January 29, 1954. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ a b Doug Stone. "Handsome Dick Manitoba". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Manitoba Changes Name Fearing Lawsuit From Some Dick". October 7, 2004. Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "Dee Snider & Handsome Dick Manitoba (KISS Loves You Outtake)". November 14, 2008. Retrieved 2013 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ Regis Behe (July 18, 2004). "Handsome Dick Manitoba Steps Behind a Different Mike". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "New York Best Satellite Radio DJ - Handsome Dick Manitoba - Best of New York". The Village Voice. June 30, 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Manitoba, Richard. "The End: The Handsome Dick Manitoba Radio Program on Sirius XM Satellite Radio Gets Murdered!". Handsome Dick Manitoba. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "MC5 Bassist Michael Davis Dead at 68". Guitar World. February 19, 2012. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ The Official Punk Rock Book of Lists - Amy Wallace, Handsome Dick Manitoba - Google Boeken. November 1, 2007. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ "Manitoba's Wild Kingdom at Joey Ramone's Birthday Bash 2008". October 3, 2008. Retrieved 2013 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Rainone, Phil (January 2012). "Asbury Lanes Lights Up For January: Two Nights of Light Of Day Benefits". Jersey Beat. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ MANITOBA CROSSES THE SEA! announcement September 24, 2012.
  14. ^ COMING SOON....."THE DICTATORS NYC" April 29, 2013
  15. ^ SUPPLY AND DEMAND by The Dictators NYC November 6, 2015
  16. ^ Manitoba Breaking News July 5, 2017. In December 2019, Kempner, Friedman and Shernoff, demanded that Mr. Manitoba give up 25% ownership in the band.
  17. ^ Handsome Dick Fanpage, Facebook.com, April 4, 2018
  18. ^ Jacobs, Shayna. "Punk legend Handsome Dick Manitoba pleads guilty to violation, feels 'ecstatic' about going home". Nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2020.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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