Scott Kempner

Location: Bronx, NY

Scott Kempner

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I was born in the Bronx in the year of Rock'n'Roll, in the shadow of Yankee Stadium and within earshot of the Birth of Doo-Wop, Bronx Soul Music. I mention this because it goes a long way towards explaining who I am and what makes my music my music. These things cut me deep at a young age and have continued to resonate in my heart and soul to this day, as I am sure they will for the rest of my days. I was born again on the night of February 9th, 1964, THE MOMENT. After The Beatles there was never again anything else in my life besides the dream they dreamed for themselves and the dream my generation dreamed for itself as well as the one which was awakened in me. It was a dream and a promise. The promise of nothing less than a whole new world, a new way to live and think, and walk and talk, and for me that meant only one thing. Yes friends, from here on out it's nothing but ROCKROCKROCK'N'ROLL!

In the frozen void that was January of 1973, I left my home, school, and THE PLAN (my parents' plan, that is) and, with two like minded Rock'n'Roll freaks named Andy Shernoff and Ross the Boss, moved into a house in the middle of Nowheresville in upstate New York, and started THE DICTATORS, a band that was Punk before there was Punk, and Rock'n'Roll long after almost everyone else had given up the ghost. By this time, the Dream was indeed, over. For some. But, not for us. We went on to help inspire as well as eventually become a part of the Punk Scene that had germinated and festered in CBGB's, the greatest Rock Club ever, during the second half of the 70's. I played rhythm guitar with THE DICTATORS over three albums in the 70's as well as two in the last buncha years. I still do. Little Steven says that it's THE E STREET BAND, AEROSMITH and THE DICTATORS that have the longest running basically stable line-up of any band here in the grand old U.S. of A. Could be.

It's the early 80's, I'm outta work, there's a Republican in the White House, there's MTV, and all kinds of nonsense, and I gotta do something. I mean, somebody's gotta do something! Like, now! So, I start writing my own songs - Rock'n'Roll the way I wanna hear it, songs about what I wanna say - and I even get to do it with kindred souls, lost believers who still held the faith in Rock'n'Roll, the beautiful original idea of the U.S. of A., and guitars. Two guitars, bass and drums, to be exact. That would be Eric Ambel (guitar), Manny Caiati (bass) and Frank Funaro (drums). I wrote and recorded four albums with THE DEL-LORDS over the next 9 years, toured the world, made grown men weep and women dance, the whole shebang, before we called it quits.

I released a solo album called TENEMENT ANGELS in the early 90's with the other greatest band in America (the one nobody knows about), THE SKELETONS. We toured a bit and then that was that until... DION calls me outta the clear blue one day with the idea of working together. He had heard the last DEL-LORDS album (actually named for a Dion song, LOVERS WHO WANDER) and TENEMENT ANGELS and wondered why his records didn't sound like this. Well, to say you coulda knocked me over with a feather is to say well, you coulda knocked me over with a feather. My childhood hero. My childhood neighborhood hero, no less.
Well, very long story very short he moves back to NYC, we write songs for six months (yeah, little me and Dion DiMucci!!), we put together a band, two guitars (he and me), bass and drums. We recruit my friends Mike Mesaros from THE SMITHEREENS and my old pal Frank Funaro from the DEL-LORDS. Together we are LITTLE KINGS. That ended up in a buncha great gigs, a live album on ACE Recods in the UK, and a few odds and ends, including HEARBEAT OF TIME, one of the songs I wrote with D at the time, and now appears on the new album with a great guest spot by my old Italian pal.

So, much time, mayhem romance, blood, sweat, tears, food, naps, more food, water under the bridge, and millions and millions of notes performed in the service of ROCK'N'ROLL, my true religion, and here I am on the eve of a new album, the first one under my own name in many moons. It's called SAVING GRACE, and I stand by every note and I stand by every word.