Worst Gig Ever

Worst Gig Ever

I paid a visit with Geoff Garlock and Mike Pace on the Worst Gig Ever podcast to discuss penis implants, the real rock and roll high school and the day the German police mistook the Dictators for Communist terrorists…. check it out!!

2012 – The Year in Review

2012 – The Year in Review

As I look back on 2012, I see the usual line-up of records, videos and live shows. However they all fall to the wayside in the shadow of one event … performing at the Reason Rally on the National Mall in Washington DC.  It was a once in a lifetime experience to share the stage with the amazing Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Kraus, Tim Minchin, Eddie Izzard, Bad Religion and the dozens of other thinkers and artists I admire. This was the largest atheist event ever held and I honestly felt as if I was taking part in an transformational moment in American history.

If you’ve been out of the loop, here are the highpoints for the rest of  2012 ….

  • My first solo EP Don’t Fade Away
  • The video for my song Let’s Get The Band Back Together
  • The animation for my song Are You Ready To Rapture earning a finalist nomination in the Atheist Film festival.
  • Playing the Gutter Island Festival in Denmark and touring Scandinavia with The Master Plan
  • Playing bass on the posthumous Joey Ramone release “….Ya Know” which also included a song I co-wrote with Joey 20 years ago.
  • Touring Canada with Walter Lure from the Heartbreakers and The Waldos.
  • Placing two of my songs in the movie about CBGB’s tentatively titled CBGB –The Movie
  • …and finally releasing the Christmas classic for heathens “Fuck Christmas

…. more music and more videos coming in 2013!

Your Friend,

Happy Holidays!!

I want to wish everybody all the best during the holidays. Please enjoy my video Christmas card and feel free to share it with your loved ones…. Happy Holidays everybody!!

My new EP will make a delightful Christmas gift …. Click here.

“The Dictators Go Girl Crazy” in The New York Times

“The Dictators Go Girl Crazy” in The New York Times

Atheist Film Festival PT 2….

Just got my official certificate from the Atheist Film Festival. This was my first attempt at creating a video for one of my songs, so it’s very fulfilling to see the acceptance it has received…. Working on a Christmas video as we speak.

New EP – ‘Don’t Fade Away’

It’s not the destination it’s the ride and crafting my first solo EP has been a resoundingly, satisfying trip. From working out the tunes with Tricia Scotti and Brian Hurd at The Lakeside Lounge (RIP), to recording in Springfield Missouri with the incredible Skeletons, to mixing with Vance Powell (former Skeletons soundman), right up to shooting the video two weeks ago with Geoffray Barbier, Travis & Jonathan and Dave Hill it has been an absolute ball!!!

People always want to know the story behind the creation of the songs, so here goes….

Let’s Get The Band Back Together

In the fall of 2011 I saw my buddy Jesse Bates perform an early version of Let’s Get The Band Back Together at Tom Clark’s Treehouse. I had a good laugh but when I went home I couldn’t get the tune and concept out of my head. I asked Jesse for permission to re-work it and he enthusiastically agreed. So I sprinkled a little Shernoff ‘magic, fairy dust’ on it, added it to the set and found that people responded to it with the same enthusiasm I did.

To be honest my goal is to make “Let’s Get The Band Back Together” the new national catch phrase. Your boss calls a meeting – ‘Let’s Get The Band Back Together!!’…. you catch up with old friends – ‘Let’s Get The Band Back Together!!’ ….. C’mon people, we can make it happen. …. go Team Shernoff!!

Laugh and Walk Away

In January of 2012 I went to Springfield, Missouri to record four songs with The Skeletons. I could have rounded up some great musicians and recorded in New York but I was looking for the feel of an actual ‘band’ as opposed to a bunch of musicians thrown together for a session. I also wanted guys who were studio savvy and had the capability of playing a variety of musical styles. The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section would be the model and The Skeletons are the living, breathing example. Very early on in the session it became obvious that The Skeletons knew my musical references and had the skills to help me navigate my musical vision. I decided to take advantage of my time in the studio and throw a few more tunes at them. One was a chord progression in open G tuning that I was fooling around with. Those chord changes quickly fell together and became Laugh and Walk Away, the only song I have ever written in a recording studio and my favorite song on the record……….I also came home with seven songs.

Hey Boys

In 2011, from May thru December I played almost every Wednesday at Eric Ambel and James Marshall’s late and lamented Lakeside Lounge. I relished the challenge of playing a residency as I knew it would force me to be creative and come up with song ideas. I brought in new things almost every week but I also experimented by reinventing old Dictators songs. I would change a melody or reconfigure chord changes to make things interesting. Hey Boys is one result of that process. I like to think of it as The Everly Brothers recording in Bakersfield with Don Rich on guitar…. that’s the record geek in me, but I truly love the way it came out. Tricia Scotti is doing the harmonies and here’s a fun fact. Hey Boys is the first song my Dictator/Del Lord brother Scott Kempner ever wrote.

Don’t Fade Away

I had the melody and title for Don’t Fade Away for a few years but was always stumped on lyrics. My mother passed away in November of 2010 and after the dust settled, the lyrics came fast and furious. It chronicles our relationship as she slipped into Alzheimer’s disease. The song quickly became a staple of my acoustic show. An interesting pattern also started to emerge, after almost every performance somebody would come up to me, often with tears in their eyes, recounting similar experiences with a close relative. The purpose of songwriting is to communicate so when I see one of my songs visibly touching people, it is very gratifying. We are all in this together and music can be the glue.

So that’s the story, I know the sound of this EP doesn’t have the hard edge I built my ‘reputation’ on but I wanted to record songs in a classic, timeless style without the restrictions of genre. I feel very satisfied with the results and think the quality will overcome any unreasonable expectations. However if anybody feels this EP is not up to my past standards. I will refund your money! … Can’t beat that, a musical money back guarantee!

The EP is available for download if you click on Shop on the menu to the left on my website.

Now I start working on my next project, a very special Christmas single and another EP for March release. It has been a blessing to make music for my entire adult life and if I have learned anything over the years it is – everyday I make music is a good day!!

Video Killed the Punk Rock Star

I gathered a few friends together the other day and shot a video for my new EP. We had so many laughs making it I’m confident the fun will shine through in the finished product. Kudos to director Geoffray Barbier, Dave Hill, Travis Harmon, Jonathan Shockley, the fabulous Carla Rhodes and my two beautiful divas Tish and Snooky for Oscar worthy performances.

Atheist Film Festival

Atheist Film Festival

I am proud to announce that the animation for my song “Are You Ready To Rapture?” is a finalist in the Atheist Film Festival.

Many of you know me as the “Christopher Columbus of Punk Rock” others know me as the “Punk Rock Sommelier”…… From this moment on I request that everyone please refer to me as – “The Punk Rock Auteur”


CBGB’s Theater



1970’s Punk

From Lou Reed's Alice Tully Hall show on the release of Transformers. This is a huge poster 30" x 44"

Early Generation X poster

1977 - Blondie in Germany

1977 - Dead Boys on tour with The Damned

Generation X at the Roundhouse

Boomtown Rats

Elvis Costello