Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Five Questions With... Ross the Boss Friedman

This is the premier post of a new segment that will appear on the Bigfoot Diaries. It's called Five Questions With... In which I will pick a person of interest and ask them five random questions. Actually the five questions will be pertinent to what that person signifies, and a sixth bonus question will be more random.

To get the ball rolling I was able to track down Ross (The Boss) Friedman, best known for being the co-founder of The Dictators and Manowar. Other acts he has been associated with are the Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, Brain Surgeons, HeyDay, The Spinatras, Fabienne Shine, and Shakin' Street.

Most recently you can hear Ross The Boss on Fox's new commercial for the 2010 baseball All Star Game. The soundtrack is the Dictator's version of California Sun, cut with a nice edit to Ross's blistering and unmistakable guitar solo.

He has played all over the world, from the mythical CBGBs in New York City to European monster rock festivals. His legendary guitar style is and has been appreciated by fans and musicians alike, but it's not over-shadowed by his humbleness. When his band Shakin' Street opened for Black Sabbath in 1980 on their Heaven and Hell tour, he was shocked that one of his own idols, Ronnie James Dio knew who he was and was a fan of the Dictators.

He comes across as such a normal dude that it is hard to put the rock star label on him... Not in the sense that he is not a rock star, but in the sense that he is a big brother type who hasn't let fame go to his head. While his electrifying guitar solos take you to the outer edges of the stratosphere, his personality remains grounded.

With out further adieu, Five Questions with Ross The Boss

1. The guitar intro to Who Will Save Rock and Roll from the DFFD album is ridiculous. In my opinion it is the single greatest guitar riff to ever open a rock record... Especially given the fact that the Dictators hadn't put out an album for a number of years. How did that riff come about?

Actually Andy had it on his demo, I only jacked it up in my own imitable way!

2. What is one of your best memories from when you toured with Dio's Black Sabbath on their Heaven and Hell tour in 1980 with your band Shakin' Street?

The fact that I was playing with my idols. Black Sabbath and Ronnie Dio was the high point, I was in awe of those guys! Still am.

3. You played CBGBs quite often and lived to tell about it... What was playing at that legendary place like, especially behind the scenes?

CBGBs behind the scenes was amazing .Everyone knew everyone , we were all very friendly and out of our minds ! If you know what I mean.

4. How did the Dictators who are notoriously a New York band end up playing the soundtrack for a commercial for the 2010 baseball All-Star game which is being played in Anaheim?

Basically our label Norton records had the contact with Major League Baseball I believe, pretty damn cool eh?

5. Your bands have played all over the world. Is there one place that sticks out as your favorite venue?

I loved CBGBs. It was a dump but our dump. Ha ha! RIP.

(Bonus question): Bruce Springsteen is a huge fan of the Dictators. Do you and he argue over who is the real Boss?

I constantly kick Bruce's ass over the name but you know, who can argue with him? Ha ha... I love Bruce!!

Thank you very much, Ross... Too bad ALL bosses couldn't be as cool as you are.


Anonymous said...

Awesome!!! I can't wait for the next edition of Five Questions With...

Shep said...

Yet again, you deliver the goods. Bruce who?