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Episode 01 – What About Bob? – Bob Gruen
On the inaugural episode of “You Don’t Know Dick!” we are joined by a good friend, the legendary rock photographer, Bob Gruen. Bob’s life photographing rock n’ roll is nothing short of living, breathing music history.

Episode 02 – Legalities – Frank Rothman
Episode number 2 of “You Don’t Know Dick” The Handsome Dick Manitoba podcast, is up and running and stars the fascinating defense attorney, Frank ROTHMAN,

Episode 03 – Interview with Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith’s guitar player 4 eva!
Such a fascinating living part of Rock’n Roll history, that the interview lasted three hours …we HAD to break it into 2 interviews!

HDM~~~EL HOMBRE

Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba, also known as “The Handsomest Man In Rock & Roll”, and the “World’s Greatest Entertainer” (at least since Sammy Davis Jr. left us) was born Richard Blum in The Bronx, New York, January 29, 1954. Richard is a musician, most well known for being the lead singer (for most of 45 years) with the New York City legendary punk band, THE DICTATORS.

MR. MANITOBA also spent 14 years (starting around 2004) on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, hosting “The Handsome Dick Radio Program“, a national show, 5 nights a week in Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

And that ain’t all folks!. Handsome Dick has owned the coolest rock ‘n’ roll tavern in the Western Hemisphere for just about 20 years now. Oddly enough, it’s called Manitoba’s Bar and it’s located at 99 Avenue B between 6 and 7 Streets in New York City’s, East Village, on…the lush beautiful island of Manhattan.

HDM occasionally sang lead with the MC5 (at the time called DKT/MC5) which included Michael Davis, “Brother” Wayne Kramer and Dennis “Machinegun” Thompson, founding members of Detroit’s legendary MIGHTY pre-punk rock and roll band, The MC5.

MR. MANITOBA was a guest on his pal, Jimmy’s television program, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon“. HDM was a major character on an ill-fated, half hour reality show called Barmageddon. He proudly sat with the late great chef, Anthony Bourdain chowing down on White Castles at MR. MANITOBA’S childhood Bronx White Castle.

HDM recently traveled to Nashville, TN to work on an album with the legendary Jon Tiven, recording 18 songs in 4 1/2 days with some of Nashville’s finest musicians.

“We feel confident the album will be released in 2019…. it’s called “Born In The Bronx”.

MR. MANITOBA has a new podcast:  “You Don’t Know Dick!” with Handsome Dick Manitoba. It’s available on itunes, Google Play & Stitcher.

“A podcast can reach an infinite amount of people…. because you don’t have to buy anything! All you have to do is turn on your cell phone AND SUBSCRIBE!!! AND PLEASE GIVE US A 5 STAR RATING AND GIVE US A NICE LINE OR TWO IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

When was the last person you met that didn’t have a cell phone?…or an iPad…or a computer?…the world over… It’s all you got to do, turn it on, subscribe to it for FREE. Not only that, I’m not part of somebody’s idea, passion & dream.

I’m not filling in the holes/spaces of what somebody else has invented. I am creating the whole thing that I do. I will live and die with myself, it’s all up to me! I don’t have to push anything I don’t want to push. I don’t have to shill for a record label, for example.

I am no longer an actor in somebody else’s movie I am the director of my own movie”

HDM ~ HANDSOME DICK MANITOBA ~ 01/2019

WHASSUP??!!

The young boy named Richard Blum had not yet morphed into Handsome Dick Manitoba, which was to become his stage name starting in 1973, for all eternity.

One of RICHARD‘s great joys growing up in the Bronx was coming down on the #2 train with his father and proudly calling out the name of every train stop before they got to the stop. “Dollar Bill” Blum, (Richard’s father‘s nickname) and his beloved son would head down to Midtown Manhattan to walk around and see what Broadway had to offer.

One of the places was Jack Dempsey’s Broadway Bar and Restaurant. Jack was the former heavyweight champion of the world, and Dollar Bill’s favorite when he was a boy.

On this day, father and son passed by Jack Dempsey’s. Jack was sitting in the window doing some paperwork when Richard’s dad tapped on the window and Jack waved to them. The young boy (future Handsome Dick Manitoba) was beyond impressed and excited.

The large Broadway bar & restaurant centered in the middle of the excitement of Broadway, Midtown Manhattan, with Jack’s name, a very large sign sitting atop the restaurant was enough to send chills up young Richie Blum’s spine. He didn’t know he would turn into a performer and egomaniac, a guy who wanted to take big bites out of life until later, but he knew deep in his gut, he wanted something close to Jack Dempsey‘s.

The restaurant, with the Broadway lights and the buzzing of the people walking up and down Broadway made Richie realize “I want to have a place like this of my very own one day”.

It was later in the young boy’s life that he realized the BRILL BUILDING, which produced about 5 million hit songs was right next-door to Jack Dempsey‘s. The stories he heard from the legendary Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las included history of the Brill Building, Jack Dempsey’s addition of the boxing, rock ‘n’ roll folklore and overall love of the area.

Let’s move the clock up about 36 years. The now man known as Handsome Dick Manitoba got his dream. Was it as big and mighty as Jack Dempsey‘s bar and grill on Broadway? Of course not! You could not have a place that big on a narrow Avenue in the East Village neighborhood of New York City. It’s a little neighborhood upstairs and downstairs rock ‘n’ roll bar in the aforementioned East Village called surprisingly enough, MANITOBA’S.

The funny thing about the bar, is there is a gigantic sign on top of the bar: “MANITOBA’S”, a sign so big it isn’t befitting to the size of the bar below. So yes, the young Richie Blum did get his bar, a smaller bar, but he got his sign, a gigantic sign and that was enough of the dream to fulfill him for years to come.

As of this writing, the bar has been open about 20 years. 20 years ago, this neighborhood was a different world.

Based on how valuable real estate has become in this neighborhood, I don’t know how long we will be open…. but I can tell you this…. for just about 20 years, people all over the world and all over America have come to visit one of the last remnants of rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock in NYC…We have actually become a stop off on people’s lists of things to do in New York City….. a neighborhood bar saving a culture, OUR culture!

I hope we’re here many many more years. I really love this place.

It’s location: 99 Avenue-B, between 6 and 7 streets on the lovely, beautiful green lush island of Manhattan.

Thank you all for your support, and coming to visit Manitoba’s.

– HDM

PHOTOS