Happy New Year to one and all. Here’s hoping the new year finds you all well and swell.  This is gonna be a good year, I predict. At least, by Del-Lords standards. In a coupla weeks I head back to NYC to do some more work on the record we began last year. There is however one big change. From this day forward we proceed without Manny. Eric, Frank and I remain resolute and en point, but we must now do it without the services of Manny Caiati.

Manny has a very full plate, doing remarkable work we’re all real proud of, practicing family law in Houston, with particular attention to cases and situations involving children at risk. Tough, sometimes heartbreaking work, but also rewarding and vitally important. The world does need do-gooders, and Manny fits that bill. Besides his wife, Cassie and their two boys, Jeremy and Christopher, there’s now two young ‘uns that they have adopted. Yes, a full plate, indeed.

We have Manny’s blessings, as he has ours, and spiritually he will always be a part of this, as he has since the very beginning. Once upon a time there was an insecure, shy, songwriter, unsure of his worth, and even more unsure of the worth of the songs he had been writing over the previous year or so. Yeah, that was me. Then, along comes Manny Caiati, and Me becomes We. The Del-Lords were born at that moment, even if it still took another year or so to find Frank and Eric, thereby cementing the bond that we have found still holds to this day. Manny provided the companionship, a shared passion, the belief in me that I didn’t quite allow myself to that point, and he also had abilities as a bass player, a producer and an engineer, and a shared vision of what rock’n’roll was/is and needed to be. Without Manny, who knows if the Del-Lords ever happen at all. His support and talent and friendship has been one quarter of what this engine has always run on, and the Del-Lords will forever be touched and informed by his contributions, and although we carry on without him, as is the only option for us, Manny can never really be replaced. We are forever bound by shared experience. And, to once more quote the great philosopher, The Outlaw Josey Wales, “I rode with him, and I have no complaints”.

I’ve been working on a few things, including the reissue of my first solo record, TENEMENT ANGELS, recorded with America’s best kept rock’n’roll secret, The Skeletons a while back, and unavailable for about a month less than that. Thanx to my pal, Gary Borress, the Cool Rockin’ Daddy G, we got an LP, a cd, and even a .45 on the way, including a version of the Del-Lords Christmas tune MERRY XMAS, BABY!, that I recorded with The Skeletons, as well. Should be available by March 1st.

I’ve  been working on another batch of songs for the Del-Lords, including some stuff  I’ve been working on with Eric and I’ve also scoured some old notebooks and found a few that I was perhaps a bit hasty in discarding  for one reason or another back when they were new. So, with all that, we should have a pretty strong selection of songs to choose from, and then, of course, we must get out there and sell our wares, sing for our supper, raise a little righteous musical fury, and deliver the message to the masses.

So, it’s onward and upward for the Del-Lords. Despite some tough personal times for us this past year, and although we have withstood some heavy losses, there has only ever been one choice and one direction for us. Frank, Eric and I have a newfound appreciation and enthusiasm for our band, and the work we did, as well as the work that lies ahead. These posts will become more frequent in the weeks and months ahead, as well. I want to thank everyone who have supported the band in the past, and remain interested in what we’re doing now, and a big Welcome Aboard to all our new fans and friends, including those we will soon be meeting when we hit the boards once more. Stay strong, stay informed.



As the dog days of August have come to a close and  the heat remains, sometimes the summer feels like it’s here to stay. But, soon the air conditioners will be turned off and we’ll be complainin’ about the cold. Well, not me, I live in Southern California near the ocean, but for most of you. Anyway, I feel your discomfort. Things have been relatively quiet for the Del-Lords as we clear the decks of our respective obligations and such so that we may continue what we started some 28 years ago and picked up again last September.

We’re probably a couple more months away from rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands and minds dirty again. In the meantime, I’ve been writing, and scouring the junkyard that is my coupla dozen notebooks I’ve filled over the years, looking for songs forgotten & discarded to see if there’s any gems that mistakenly got relegated to the Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You pile, or maybe some spare parts that can be cannibalized and brought to life. I’m like Dr. Frankenstein waiting for the lightning storm. We’ve got around twenty songs we’re working on, and we are all very excited and grateful to have given ourselves another shot at taking care of some unfinished business.

I’ve been avoiding the news lately, as I tend to get too caught up in it, politics especially, and it swallows me whole. The dialogue out there is repugnant, full of lies, disunity, accusations, and somewhere there’s an unseen hand pouring fortunes into perpetuating this situation. I know I sound paranoid, but when I read about the Koch (no, not Ed) brothers, and their history of lavishly feeding the (far right) beast, it all fits.  Always follow the money trail. Americans all should remember: United We Stand Divided We Fall. And, we should look closely and suspiciously at those who would tear us asunder. We won’t get fooled again? Yeah, right. I hope not.

Maybe it’s the brilliant social commentator, and even more brilliant songwriter, who, in his most recent master class on songwriting, HARPS AND ANGELS, has gotten the closest to what’s happening out there. He’s got this song called A FEW WORDS IN DEFENSE OF OUR COUNTRY. Randy sings: The end of an empire/Messy at best/This empire’s ending/Like all the rest. Is that what we’re looking at? I dunno, but all the signs are there. One thing  I know is the world, like the clock on the wall, is not going to start miraculously spinning backwards. We are heading towards a time, just a coupla decades away when white folks will no longer be the majority in America. Non-whites will. That’s gonna happen. And there are those who are very upset about this. And, not just that. The economic supremacy of the USA in the world is slipping away, as Japan & China are fast becoming the stronger and larger economies. Japan, ironically enough, is prospering in part because they recognize that their own stimulus package was “too timid”, just as we were told by hundreds of economists ours was. Words like Socialism are being bandied about in a funhouse mirror description of what our president is engaged in trying to accomplish, yet the proof suggests otherwise, unless that proof would also include those bastions of Socialism like Medicaid, Public Education, Social Security, etc. Then yes, we do have some socialist institutions here in the USA. It’s an ugly scene out there. But, I got my band. I wish you all had one. It’s a great refuge as well as a place to take a stand and be counted.

And, of course, it’s baseball season. We’re winding down, and despite a troubled year, too many underachievers, and pitching mysteries (Hi, AJ), we have the best record in the Bigs. Of course, I am talking about my beloved New York Yankees. Manitoba and I text like teenagers regularly throughout every single Yankees game. It’s a big thing for us Bronx people, you know. So, I got my band and I still got a pennant to win. That’s enough to keep me busy. Can’t wait to see Eric and Frank and Manny, and turn our Pro Juniors up to 6 and do a little damage.

Ok, it’s game time, I gotta go get my show head together. I do have this pennant to win. Man, I’ve seen all but maybe ten games all season. This is serious business for me. It’s just something you’re born into when you’re born in the one borough that is attached to the mainland. Uh oh, it’s AJ Burnett!! Ok, gotta run. I hope I’m having fun.


We’ve been home over a month now, baseball season has started, the Yanks are off to their best start in ages, my body is back on California time, and I’ve been listening to the new Buddy Holly box set, a lot. Everything is in kind of a holding pattern as we wait for another break in the clouds that is everyone’s schedule, so we can land the tin can that is our band and get back to it. As for me, I’m still spinnin’ with the whole idea of a new Del-Lords record. (Spinnin’-record, get it? I did NOT do that on purpose, I swear! Just some kinda crazy songwriter third-eye Kundalini shit. And now, for my next trick.)

I am also trying very hard to avoid the news for a bit. I get so fuckin’ pissed off, I, I, I ….well, actually first, yes, I get mad, then I get a bit incredulous at the things you can get fairly large numbers of people to believe if it confirms something they feel real hard deep inside but cannot express because well, society sort of frowns on ya know, calling them people THAT word, and now that one of THEM is in the White House, and he’s a Muslim terrorist, ya know, and a Socialist, and I sure hate Socialists, that’s evil shit, friend, and he’s got these Death Panels, too, and did you know he hates white people, and he…he…he… it ain’t good! It’s bad. It ultimately makes me very very sad for our country. And, that’s because it has exposed such unbelievable anger, and racism, and frustration, and, willful ignorance of information, and all the reasons I really never thought we could elect a black man in the first place, coming back, rising up in a firestorm of barely contained and impending violence. The exposition of it is not the reason to be sad, it’s the seemingly unstoppable nature of it this time. That’s what worries me. Someone on the right needs to step into the breach, step the fuck up, and be the voice of reason here because the price not to is too fucking high to pay.

I think everyone who has ever listened to us knows where I stand, and I don’t make a secret of it. I have to say though that I’ve never seen anything quite like the political climate we’re experiencing right now. My anger at the Rebublicans  and their refusal to even join the discussion, offer something, anything, besides obstruction, lies, implicit and explicit encouragement of violence, explicit and implicit racism, not to mention demonizing a mild first-step Health Care Bill that is more similar to what was proposed by the GOP during Clinton’s tenure than anything the Left wanted that they want to describe as Socialist, is at boiling point. I do feel that although there are several folks I dislike almost as much on the other side of the aisle, at least the Dems are willing to argue, compromise, disagree, and put some effort into running you know, the country. We NEED to talk to each other. I mean, this word they throw around, Socialism, don’t they even know what Socialism means? If not, they can examine Unemployment Insurance, Medicare & Medicaid, and Public Education as thriving examples of Socialism and see if they wanna tear them down, too.

I wonder if those Tea Party saps will have a problem with police stopping folks on the street in Arizona and demanding to see their papers, like the Gestapo in a WWII movie. I mean, they should it would seem, shouldn’t they? Isn’t that an infringement of somebody’s rights? Ya know, the country they want back  (psssst! the white one), it ain’t a-comin’ back. Ever again. We are becoming more non-white as a nation every day, and in forty years or so, non-whites WILL be the majority of the population. And, THAT’S what’s really  going on here. Does anyone REALLY not know that? Ok, I’m done. Thank you for reading and I apologize for ranting a bit, but I can be that way, I guess.

Ok, what else? Let’s see. What have I been doing with my time off? Well, the Yankees first & foremost. My goal every season is to see every single inning of every single Yankees game. I know I will fail at doing so but it is the goal and I try and come as close as I can. I do have my MLB cable package so I can even hear my own YES Network (for those who don’t know, YES stands for Yankees Entertainment Network. I had a dream when I was about eight years old about an all Yankees TV network, and doncha know, forty years later I got my wish.) broadcast team So far so good. I have really been digging the Buddy Holly box set, which is the non-stop musical equivalent of pure happiness. Such a magical sound. And, so much output in such a short time. AND, it’’s all great! I listen to a half hour or so pretty much everyday.

Funny thing happened a few weeks ago. During the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame inductions, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (whose incognito Garage rockin’ Foxboro Hot Tubs record I absolutely love, with its super cool rewrites of You Really Got Me, I Need You, Tired Of Waiting, as well as a few My Generation LP rewrites for good measure) inducted The Stooges, one of my all-time favorite bands into the Hall. He began his speech, much to my amazement, with a quote of mine (!!???) I had given to Legs McNeil for his & Gillian McCain’s punk opus Please Kill Me. It was a description of the first time I saw The Stooges, which was the summer of 1970, a month or so before the release of FUN HOUSE, and also the night I first met Richard Meltzer, the Dictators’ Godfather. The quote seemed to go over well with the audience, including the Ig himself. Even my name, and the Dictators name got a nice little hand. Well, I got more phone calls and emails in the next coupla weeks from that little incident than I think I had in any two week period of my life. I heard from folks I hadn’t heard from in 20 years! This one from here, and that one from there, and another one, and a cousin and….Oy, vey!

So, back to the holding pattern for a while. Try to stay busy. Try not to jump out of my skin. I am so excited about the band again, that it’s like the minutes, hours and days are just crawling by. I have been writing a bit, which is my way of keeping my hands and mind occupied. Ok, I gotta get going. the Yanks are on in about an hour. They’re in Baltimore, fresh from meeting President Obama at his pad yesterday. I’ll be checkin’ in in a few weeks, see how youse are doin’. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and please take care of each other, as we will certainly need each other before long .



The Del-Lords returned to American soil last Sunday, fresh (well, maybe not exactly fresh) from an eight-cities-in-nine-days tour of Spain. We covered quite a bit of Espana, to and fro, hither and yon. The tour, in a word, was great. The band played better and better as the tour went on. The band got closer and closer as the tour went on. We had a fantastic time on-stage and off. I really felt in moments, that no time had elapsed from the days when we did this everyday of our lives. The camaraderie was high, the laughs were deep and long, and the food, ah yes the food was fuckin’ great. To all those who have been following our posts on Facebook, you have seen all the food photos that Roscoe (the Scavullo of food photography) was posting. And now we are home. Let the diets commence.

The Spanish audiences were as enthusiastic about us as they are about their food, wine and cigarettes. Maybe even more so, if that is even possible. And, Javier, our Spanish brother who has been part of our family for over a decade, was with us. It would not have been the same, or even kosher (an odd choice of words considering the amount of various types of ham yours truly, the Bronx jewboy himself, managed to eat) without Javi. He’s a brother to us, and can work miracles when necessary. And, sometimes, when amps would give up the fight in the face of our onslaught, a miracle or two was required.

If there was a single highlight, and in truth there were many, it would have to be the Madrid show at El Sol. A packed, screaming, vibrating, rockin’ crowd helped us touch Heaven, or at least helped us see over the wall, in what was maybe the best show we have ever played. After that show I posted on Facebook, the old adage that on any given night some band is the best Rock’n’Roll band on the planet. I really believe that night it was us. I am in awe of my bandmates, as they played and sang better than ever, and Roscoe, every night, was blinding, psychedelic, soulful, and in a class of his own. Frank and Manny laid down a foundation that could have supported a 200 story tower of steel. And everyone sang like angels with the devil nipping at their heels. I know I smiled so hard, so often, that it felt like my face might just break.

And, this is just the beginning, the new beginning. We are knee deep in the recording of the first Del-Lords record in 20 years, and after a spectacular lunch at Pizza Gruppo on Ave. B, on Tuesday, Roscoe and I returned to work on the new disc. We will be knocking that thing out piece by piece, brick by brick, song by song over the next few months, with Scoe behind the board, and I am completely confident that it will be our best one so far.

So, in closing out here, I wanna thank Eric, Frank and Manny for their dedication and commitment to excellence, their undying friendship, their willingness & ability to play my songs better than anyone else ever could, and better than I would have any right to expect. We are back, we are strong, we are ready, willing and able to rock’n’roll all night.

the Del-Lords in Madrid 3.5.10

the Del-Lords in Madrid 3.5.10

KEEPING IT REAL (did I really just say that?)

These are dark, murky times. The country is demanding health care reform, one party is struggling with itself to find enough common ground to move it forward, while the other is outside with its faces pressed against the window sticking their tongues out and name calling, in lieu of actual ideas or participation. We are picking pop stars on game shows. One musician out there has even made the “auto tune” software part of their “style”. Rock’n’Roll has once again had its fangs removed, and put into cages and relegated to the margins. The popular phrase “keep it real” has become one more saleable commodity, and something of a false prophet. As the great philosopher, Lawrence Peter Berra (ok, Yogi) once said, “It gets late early around here these days”.

As for me, I find myself back home, in the city of my birth, huddled together once more in the warm comfort zone of my band for the first time in not one, but two decades. As Yogi also said, “It’s déjà vu all over again”. This is just where we started. That fuck Reagan was in the White House, about to unleash the largest tax cut in history, for the rich of course, to be immediately followed by years of the biggest tax hikes in history, except for the rich, of course. Once again, there’s a job for us to do, and once again, we’re up for it, older, wiser, and stronger and tighter than ever.

The Del-Lords are back in the studio recording, and tonight we hit the stage as a unit, a real (there’s that word) Rock’n’Roll band, two guitars, bass and drums (the way God intended). Somehow we all saw the Bat Signal in the midnight sky from our respective homes in different parts of the country, and now, suddenly, here we are. We have been rehearsing, and experiencing the joy of hearing that sound again, the one that could only come from the four of us, the one that we couldn’t shake if we tried, the one that fills a hole that without it, would remain empty.

Among other things we are struck by the continuing relevance of many of the songs we sang back in the 80’s. I once wrote a song called I’M GONNA BE AROUND. It was a song that made a promise to our audience, our country and to ourselves, that when the darkness comes, we would be there, and if necessary, we would keep coming back, and back. We are here to renew that promise, and without a solid business plan, or any kind of self-conscious overview, we are simply doing what it is we do. Only this time, we are stronger than ever, using the music we make as a map to guide us, and help us keep putting one foot in front of the other. Personal turmoil and one of the toughest New York winters in many years notwithstanding, and nobody shoveling money into the coffers to help keep gas in the tank, we are in forward motion, into the sun, and just as in the darkest days of trickle down economics, and in stark contrast to that fuck Reagan’s cynical manipulation of facts and numbers to disguise the growing economic plight of so many of our countrymen, we do not believe any of us are expendable or merely the price of doing business in America. We stand united and we are gonna be around.

Eric has posted a rough mix of one of our new songs on the site here, and some samples of a few others that are also Under Construction (shameless plug, I admit) for our friends and fans to check out. We are starting pre-sales of an EP of rough mixes of songs from the forthcoming new record; sort of an update of the mom and pop business we always were at heart, except that our dad can kick your dad’s ass. And, I would submit that our mom could kick a little ass herself.

Check it out, let us know what you think. Come see us and say hi when we come to your town, as we will most definitely be coming to your town in the near future. Stay strong, stay hungry, keep fighting the good fight. Our promise is to ALWAYS keep it real. There’s that word again.