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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 the New York City band The Dictators.

Richard Manitoba
Handsome Dick Manitoba at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Manitoba at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Background information
Birth nameRichard Blum
Also known asHandsome Dick Manitoba
Born (1954-01-29) January 29, 1954 (age 65)
The Bronx, New York, United States
GenresPunk rock
Occupation(s)Singer, radio personality
Years active1975–present
Associated actsThe Dictators, Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, MC5, Manitoba NYC



Manitoba is Jewish,[1] and was born in The Bronx, New York, 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 sang more lead 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 almost all the tracks. The Dictators disbanded in late 1981.[3]

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

The Dictators reformed in 1991 from the ashes of Manitoba's Wild Kingdom.

Current activityEdit

Manitoba appeared in the 2004 documentary Kiss Loves You.[4]

In 2004, Manitoba began hosting "The Handsome Dick Manitoba Radio Program" in Little Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage channel, on Sirius XM Radio.[5] In 2005 the Village Voice awarded him "Best Satellite Radio DJ".[6] The show continues to this day.[7]

In 2005, Manitoba joined the reformed MC5 on vocals, replacing original singer Rob Tyner, who died in 1991. The band broke up with the death of bassist Michael Davis in 2012.[8]

In 2007, Manitoba co-authored, with Amy Wallace, The Official Punk Rock Book of Lists (Backstreet Books).[9]

A re-formed Manitoba's Wild Kingdom played at the 2008 Joey Ramone Birthday Bash.[10]

In January 2012 the band Manitoba, with members 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.[11] After a couple more shows, in September 2012, the band toured Europe.[12] In April 2013 the band name was changed to The Dictators NYC.[13] 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.[14] 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".[15]

As of late Mr. Manitoba has been busy writing songs with his songwriting partner Jon Tiven. Handsome Dick went down to Jon's home studio in Nashville Tennessee and recorded 18 songs in 4 1/2 days. Thirteen of them made the soon to be released album, titled 'Born in the Bronx' , expected to be released in 2018. This will be Handsome Dick Manitoba's first solo album.[16]

Handsome Dick owns and runs a bar, Manitoba's in the East Village, Manhattan in New York City. Dick pled guilty to disorderly conduct 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.[17]


  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 January 31, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Doug Stone. "Handsome Dick Manitoba". AllMusic. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "Dee Snider & Handsome Dick Manitoba (KISS Loves You Outtake)". November 14, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2013 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ 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 January 14, 2013.
  6. ^ "New York Best Satellite Radio DJ – Handsome Dick Manitoba – Best of New York". The Village Voice. June 30, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  7. ^ "Underground Garage – Coolest Rock n' Roll Picked by Little Steven Van Zandt – SiriusXM Radio". Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  8. ^ "MC5 Bassist Michael Davis Dead at 68". Guitar World. February 19, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  9. ^ The Official Punk Rock Book of Lists – Amy Wallace, Handsome Dick Manitoba – Google Boeken. November 1, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  10. ^ "Manitoba's Wild Kingdom at Joey Ramone's Birthday Bash 2008". October 3, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2013 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ Rainone, Phil (January 2012). "Asbury Lanes Lights Up For January: Two Nights of Light Of Day Benefits". Jersey Beat. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  12. ^ MANITOBA CROSSES THE SEA! announcement September 24, 2012.
  13. ^ COMING SOON…..“THE DICTATORS NYC” April 29, 2013
  14. ^ SUPPLY AND DEMAND by The Dictators NYC November 6, 2015
  15. ^ Manitoba Breaking News July 5, 2017.
  16. ^ Handsome Dick Fanpage April 4, 2018
  17. ^ Dick Manitoba pleads guilty May 3, 2018

External linksEdit