The Mighty Mighty BossToneS' Dicky Barrett On Boston Sports & More
Formed over 30 years ago in Boston, few ska bands crossed over to the mainstream like The Mighty Mighty BossToneS did. With an arsenal of international hits -- including "The Impression That I Get," "Someday I Suppose," "Where'd You Go?" and "The Rascal King" -- the BossToneS is an ideal band to catch at a festival. The forthcoming While We're At It is the latest studio album from the group -- which consists of Dicky Barrett, Joe Gittleman, Chris Rhodes, Tim Burton, Joe Sirois, Leon Silva, Ben Carr, Lawrence Katz and John Goetchius -- and is considered to be the third full-length in a trilogy that started with 2009's Pinpoints And Gin Joints.
Beyond his work with the BossToneS, frontman Dicky Barrett is the announcer on the popular U.S. talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live; he has also worked in radio in recent years. I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Barrett, both about the BossToneS and his love for Boston sports, even though he has been based in Los Angeles for many years. More on Barrett, the BossToneS and While We're At It can be found online at www.bosstonesmusic.com.
Are you a follower of all the pro teams from Boston? Or mainly the Red Sox and Celtics?
Dicky Barrett: I love all teams and things Boston -- the Celtics, the Red Sox, the Bruins, the baked beans. I actually rooted for the strangler. (laughs)
The Patriots have been giving me a great deal of joy since 2001 with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Growing up I had Pats season tickets in the "nosebleeds on a cold bench" section. We lived near Foxboro and got to see a lot of bad football.
Of course, I love the Boston Celtics. Larry Legend was a god in our house. His picture hung between JFK’s and Bobby Orr’s. And the Red Sox are out of the gate like gangbusters the season.
Is it tough to be a Boston sports fan in Los Angeles?
Dicky Barrett: No, actually it is really easy to be, especially when the Lakers suck, I mean "are rebuilding." They have Boston-themed sports bars in L.A., more than just one. Sonny McLean’s, in Santa Monica, is a world-class Red Sox bar. A Dodgers bar in Boston wouldn’t last an hour.
I hosted a morning radio show on the air in Los Angeles and for sports, I mostly gave Boston scores. People would call up and say, “hey bro, love all the Boston talk, great show.” On top of that, there are at least a half a dozen Boston guys with me at Jimmy Kimmel Live.
I’d rather be, and I’m sure it’s much easier to be a Boston sports fan in Los Angeles than it is to be a Los Angeles sports fan in Boston.
So there is a big Boston sports community in L.A.?
Dicky Barrett: It seems like it.
Who is your favorite Celtics squad of all time?
Dicky Barrett: The Paul Pierce Big Three era was pretty special. I love and enjoyed those years thoroughly. My dad is partial to the Red Auerbach/Bill Russell days. The truth is and there’s no denying that the Larry Bird Celtics were the Celtic teams that all Celtics teams will be compared to.
Were you happy with the 2017-2018 Celtics season?
Dicky Barrett: Yes, very much so. I love the coaching and I love the way they play the game. I don’t expect them to go to too deep into the playoffs -- they are too banged up -- but the future looks bright.
How often do you get to see the Celtics play in-person?
Dicky Barrett: Not enough. It’s my favorite sport to watch live but I don’t get to as many games as I would like to.
Sports aside, what is coming up for you career-wise?
Dicky Barrett: “Career” (laughs) -- I don’t take what I do in life serious enough to call it a “career,” but I’ll play along. The Mighty Mighty BossToneS have a brand new album coming out called While We're At It. Mark the release date, June 15th on your calendar if you are a fan of The Mighty Mighty BossToneS, great music or both. Jimmy Kimmel Live is still going strong and I’m proud to be the show’s announcer.
As a person with a distinctive voice, who uses their voice to make a living as a singer and a voiceover artist, what sort of upkeep is needed for your voice these days?
Dicky Barrett: Mostly water. Moisturize, hydrate, and lubricate. Enough can’t be said about the power of H2O -- that, Irish Whisky and filterless cigarettes, the three secrets to my longevity and success.
Will there ever be a Dicky Barrett solo album?
Dicky Barrett: Mick Jagger couldn’t get anyone interested in a solo album. Believe me, no one is looking for an album from the least talented member of The Mighty Mighty BossToneS.
Finally, Dicky, any last words for the kids?
Dicky Barrett: Stay in school, don’t take drugs, love one another and look out for each other.