He is a founding member of The Dictators, one of the original New York punk bands, in which he wrote nearly all of the songs, played bass guitar and keyboards, and sang backing vocals and occasional leads. He has been involved with a variety of other musical projects, most notably the heavily Dictators-populated Wild Kingdom and Joey Ramone‘s sole solo studio album, Don’t Worry About Me. Shernoff’s current projects include garage rock band The Masterplan, featuring members of The Fleshtones and the Waxing Poetics. In the fall of 2009, he embarked upon a series of solo shows playing songs he wrote or co-wrote and telling the stories behind them. In the spring of 2010, those shows would become “When Giants Walked the Earth – A Musical Memoir” with 50 tour dates in the Eastern U.S. and Canada. Shernoff sang “California Sun” in the official Major League Baseball promotional video for the 2010 All-Star Game. On March 24th, 2012 Andy played the Reason Rally, the largest secular gathering in American history, on the National Mall in Washington DC. He released his first solo EP “Don’t Fade Away” in October 2012 and his second solo EP “On The First Day Man Created God” is scheduled for a June 2013 release.
Shernoff grew up in New York City, in the Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights. He attended elementary school PS 148 with Johnny Thunders and Flushing High School with Peter Zaremba and Keith Streng of the Fleshtones. After high school, he attended the SUNY New Paltz Music Department. There he started the music magazine The Teenage Wasteland Gazette, known for its sarcastic, wise-guy attitude. The publication’s contributors included famed rock critics Lester Bangs, who invited Andy to write for Creem magazine and Richard Meltzer. Attracted by the free records, Shernoff’s early profession of choice was rock journalist.
As both a journalist and a musician, Andy Shernoff is often credited as “Adny Shernoff,” a deliberate typo transposing the second and third letters of his name.
While at the State University of New York at New Paltz, Shernoff met Ross Friedman, aka Ross the Boss and they decided to start a band with Scott Kempner. (Later members included roadie turned singer Handsome Dick Manitoba and several different drummers.)
The band then linked up with Blue Öyster Cult‘s management/producers Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman to record the first Dictators album, The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! for Epic in 1975. Shernoff penned all of the songs, a pattern that would continue throughout the group’s career. Lauded by Trouser Press as a “wickedly funny, brilliantly played and hopelessly naïve masterpiece of self-indulgent smartass rock’n’roll,” the album nonetheless failed to connect with the general public at the time and Epic dropped the band.
Disillusioned, Shernoff left the Dictators for a short time and was replaced on bass by Mark “The Animal” Mendoza before returning to the band, on keyboards. The group was signed to Asylum Records and released its second album, Manifest Destiny, in 1977. The album, also produced by Pearlman and Krugman, featured a more mainstream sound than The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! but once again the band failed to find an audience.
Shernoff was back playing bass in 1978 after Mendoza left the band, and the Dictators recorded their third album with Pearlman and Krugman, Bloodbrothers. Mainstream success continued to elude the band, and the members took a long break, reuniting occasionally for live concerts. Live recordings during this time were captured in the cassette-only Fuck ‘Em If They Can’t Take a Joke (ROIR, 1981), later released on CD as The Dictators Live, New York, New York (ROIR, 1998).
In the late 1990s, the Dictators began recording a new album, which was eventually released in 2001 as D.F.F.D. The album was named on several critics’ Top 10 lists for the year, including the Denver Post and the Boston Globe. The band later released the live album Viva Dictators (2005) and the rarities compilation Every Day Is Saturday (2007).
In the late 1980s, Shernoff formed Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom with his Dictators bandmates Handsome Dick Manitoba and Ross the Boss. He wrote and produced the band’s 1990 MCA Records debut, …And You? which received warm reviews, national radio airplay and regular airplay on MTV for the video “The Party Starts Now!!”.
Shernoff’s side project with the Waxing Poetics’ Paul Johnson and Fleshtones Keith Streng and Bill Milhizer, the Master Plan, released its first album, Colossus of Destiny, in 2003. The band’s second album, entitled Maximum Respect, was released in November 2009 in Europe by Nicotine Records and was released in the U.S. in May 2010 by Steel Cage Records. The band continues to perform in the United States and Europe. They toured Scandinavia in August 2012 including Denmark’s Gutter Island Festival on August 25th , 2012
Shernoff has also been a member of the bands The Resistance with Joey Ramone, The David Roter Method with Albert and Joe Bouchard, Andy Shernoff’s Maximum R&B and The Bel-Airs. He has appeared as a guest musician on albums by the Ramones and the Fleshtones, as well as Joey Ramone’s solo album.
As producer he has worked with The Dictators, The Master Plan, Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom, The Figgs, Sin City Six, The Kowalskis, The Golden Horde, The Barracudas, The Untamed Youth, D Generation, Skrap, Adrenalin OD, The Electric Playboys, The Smithereens, Prisonshake, Guided by Voices, The Waldos, Amphetamine Discharge, The Bonzos, The Blue Chieftans, Tongue Fu, The Blood Drained Cows, Metadona, Alter Boys, Riff Raff, Stop, David Roter Method, Sibling Rivalry with Joey Ramone & Mickey Leigh, The Zantees with Billy Miller and Miriam Linna, Wheelers and Dealers, Sic F*cks with Tish and Snooky, and The Cyclones.
Andy’s songs have been recorded by The Dictators, The Master Plan, Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom, The Ramones, Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone, Mary Weiss, Dion DiMucci and The Little Kings, Blue Coupe, Carolyne Mas, Turbonegro, The Hellacopters, Drivin ‘N’ Cryin, Baptized By Fire with Jesse Blaze Snider, The Del-Lords, Toilet Böys, Young Fresh Fellows, The A-Bones, The Nomads, The Untamed Youth, The Dahlmans, 69 Eyes, The Sponsors, The Golden Arms, The Pleasure Fuckers, The Fastbacks, The Vikings, The David Roter Method, The Streetwalkin Cheetahs, Teengenerate, Texas Terri, Tom Clark, The Screaming Tribesman, The Smugglers, The Meatmen, Sex Museum, The Sons of Hercules, Electric Frankenstein, The Prissteens, Park Central Squares, The Alter Boys, The Hudson Falcons, Metal Mike, Tesco Vee, The Mighty Ions, Sismicos, Lawn Vultures, The Statics, The Persuaders, The Scared Stiffs, Furious George, Powder Monkeys, Parasites, Wanda Chrome & The Leather Pharaohs, Los Vivos, The Phanthom Fliers, Labanak, The Wretched Ones, Government Cheese, Angel Corpus Christi, Rick Blaze & The Ball Busters, Asteroid B612, Fifi & The Mach III, The Vacant Lot, Jeff Dahl, The Loved Ones and Shock Treatment.
His songs have been in the following movies and television shows: Kindergarten Cop, Boys Don’t Cry, Garage Days, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dance Me Outside, Mondo New York, Final Rinse, Convenience Store, Alone in the Dark and The Way of the West.
Shernoff is a source in the following books:
|The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!||1975||Epic Records|
|Manifest Destiny||1977||Asylum Records|
|Fuck ‘Em If They Can’t Take a Joke||1981||ROIR|
|The Dictators Live, New York, New York||1998||ROIR|
|Viva Dictators||2005||Dictators Multi/Media|
|Every Day Is Saturday||2007||Norton Records|
|…And You?||1990||MCA Records|
|Colossus of Destiny||2003||Total Energy|
|Maximum Respect||2009||Nicotine Records|
|Andy Shernoff/Joey Ramone||Are You Ready To Rapture/Make Me Tremble – single||2011|
|Andy Shernoff||Don’t Fade Away – EP||2012|
|Andy Shernoff||On The First Day, Man Created God – EP||2014|
|The Ramones||Brain Drain||1989|
|The Ramones||Mondo Bizarro||1992|
|Joey Ramone||Live at the Bottom Line||1994|
|Joey Ramone||Don’t Worry About Me||2002|
|“Master Race Rock”||The Dictators||The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!||1975|
|“Sleepin’ With the TV On”||The Dictators||Manifest Destiny||1977|
|“Stay With Me”||The Dictators||Bloodbrothers||1978|
|“The Party Starts Now!!”||Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom||…And You?||1990|
|“I Won’t Let It Happen” (co-writer)||The Ramones||Mondo Bizarro||1992|
|“Chinese Bitch” (co-writer)||Dee Dee Ramone||I Hate Freaks Like You||1994|
|“Find Something Beautiful” (co-writer)||David Roter Method||Find Something Beautiful||1997|
|“Who Will Save Rock and Roll?”||The Dictators||D.F.F.D.||2001|
|“Stop Thinking About It” (co-writer)||Joey Ramone||Don’t Worry About Me||2002|
|“Kickin’ It Old School”||The Master Plan||Colossus of Destiny||2004|
|“You’re Never Gonna See Me Cry” (co-writer)||Mary Weiss||Dangerous Game||2007|