Richard Manitoba

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For other people named Richard Blum, see Richard Blum (disambiguation).
Richard Manitoba
Handsome Dick Manitoba at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Manitoba at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Background information
Birth name Richard Blum
Also known as Handsome Dick Manitoba
Born (1954-01-29) January 29, 1954 (age 64)
The Bronx, New York, United States
Genres Punk rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Singer, radio personality
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1975–present
Associated acts The Dictators, Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, MC5, Manitoba, THE DICTATORS 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 the New York City band The Dictators.


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] This is because, 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 activity

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 for Anything Anything with Rich Russo's radio show as part of the Light of Day festival in Asbury Park Manitoba, along with Ross the Boss, J.P. Patterson, Daniel Rey, and Dean Rispler, formed a new group, Manitoba.[11] In May 2013 the group was renamed The Dictators NYC.[12]

Manitoba, along with his wife and bartender Zoe Hansen, currently owns and operates his own punk rock bar "Manitoba's" in New York City.


  1. Ralph Blumenthal (June 12, 2009). "Punk, and Jewish: Rockers Explore Identity". New York Times. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "About "Richard Manitoba"". Manitobas. January 29, 1954. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Doug Stone. "Handsome Dick Manitoba". Allmusic. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  4. "Dee Snider & Handsome Dick Manitoba (KISS Loves You Outtake)". YouTube. November 14, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  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". 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". YouTube. October 3, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  11. Lewis, Steve (January 25, 2012). "Punk Rock Royalty Handsome Dick Manitoba on His Band 'Manitoba' – BlackBook". Retrieved January 31, 2013. 

External links