About The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones is an American ska punk band from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in 1983. Since the band's inception, lead vocalist Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe Gittleman, tenor saxophonist Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton and dancer Ben Carr have remained constant members. The line-up also includes drummer Joe Sirois, saxophonist Leon Silva, guitarist Lawrence Katz and trombonist Chris Rhodes.
The Bosstones are often credited as one of the progenitors of the genre of ska punk and the creators of its subgenre ska-core, which mixes elements of ska with punk rock and hardcore. Since the release of their 1989 debut Devil's Night Out, the band toured and recorded extensively throughout the 1990s, becoming influential in the development of the American third-wave ska scene and one of the first bands to popularize the genre in the musical mainstream. They reached their commercial peak with their platinum-selling 1997 album Let's Face It and its hit single "The Impression That I Get". The band had released seven studio albums, three EPs and a live album by the time they announced a hiatus in December 2003. In 2007, the Bosstones reunited to resume recording and touring, and have since released three more studio albums.
From 1994 to 2002, and since 2007, they have hosted the annual Hometown Throwdown music festival, held annually around Christmas time in Downtown Boston.
The band's roots lie in the hardcore scene of the early 1980s, along with a strong influence from the British 2 Tone ska scene of the 1970s. Bassist Joe Gittleman played with local hardcore band Gang Green, while vocalist Dicky Barrett was a member of Impact Unit and, later on, Cheapskates. The Cheapskates lineup went through frequent changes and would feature members of Gang Green on occasion. It was through Cheapskates that a core lineup coalesced around Barrett, Gittleman, Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton , Nate Albert , Josh Dalsimer , Tim Bridwell and Ben Carr . The group decided on the name, "the Bosstones" as a reference to the city near their hometowns. While some of the band members were influenced by bands such as AC/DC, Social Distortion, Motörhead, The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers, Barrett had become enthralled with 2 Tone ska, which was in the tail end of its prominence.
In 1987, the Bosstones made their recorded debut when they were featured on the Mash It Up ska compilation. The Bosstones' contribution was "The Cave", and "Ugly". Another early recording, "Drums and Chickens," appeared on the 1989 ska compilation Mashin' Up The Nation. By the time Mashin' Up The Nation was released, the Bosstones had temporarily disbanded in order for Albert and Gittleman to finish high school. After their graduation, the band reunited. Around this time, it was brought to the band's attention that an a cappella group, The Bosstones, had already used the name during the 1950s. A bartender friend arbitrarily suggested that they become the "Mighty Mighty Bosstones", in order to avoid any possible legal hassles, to which the band agreed.
Despite not consistently drawing large crowds at their live shows, the Taang! record label gave the band a recording contract which would result in the Devil's Night Out album, produced by Paul Q. Kolderie. The album was released to positive local and lukewarm national reaction during a time when ska was struggling to move out of the American underground. The band found resistance from ska purists who did not like that the band were not playing traditional ska while hardcore fans were against the ska and heavy metal elements in the music. Despite the initial reaction, Devil's Night Out has gone on to become one of the band's most popular albums.
It was during this time that the band's trademark plaid clothing came to be. After a show where Barrett wore plaid, fans started to show up wearing it as well. It was noticeable enough that the band was approached by the Converse sneaker company to promote their new line of Chuck Taylor sneakers. The band accepted the proposal and were seen in several television commercials promoting the sneakers.
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