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Dicky Barrett talks new music and gets a surprise for his Birthday Bash June 21

The surprises have already begun for lead singer of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dicky Barrett’s Birthday Bash.

(From L to R) Jimmy Kimmel, Dicky Barrett, and "Cousin Sal" from 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' at the Revere Hotel in Boston Common.
Courtesy of Joe Stella

On Saturday, June 21 at Boston City Hall Plaza, not only will The Phantom Gourmet’s BBQ and Music Festival welcome summer and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones onstage for an exclusive concert, but Jimmy Kimmel and “Cousin Sal” from ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ will be joining in the festivities!

Phantom Gourmet’s first ever BBQ & Music Festival will take place from Friday, June 20-22, with Dicky Barrett’s Birthday Bash on Saturday, June 21 at 6 p.m. Click here for tickets or The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will also be traveling for their ‘Way Out West’ tour in August.

I had the honor of speaking with Dicky Barrett, lead singer of the ‘Mighty, Mighty Bosstones about the event, inspiration behind their songs, and the future.

How do you come up with your songs? My favorite is ‘Where did you Go’ because the stream of consciousness in the lyrics is fascinating.

Thank you so much. I wrote the lyrics. I think that I was trying to capture the feeling of somebody who was suddenly left by somebody they love. When you first realize that in the first 24 hours of that taking place, I think you spend a lot of time doing a lot of crazy things, but also trying to do everything that’s normal. That’s what I was trying to capture in that song lyrically. You’re kind of walking that fine line, it’s like I’m losing my mind. Everything’s fine, I’m doing things just like I always do, so I’m ok with it. In reality, you’re sort of going out of your head. That’s what I was trying to capture.

I had gone through it at that time and that’s what I was exploring. That feeling was fresh. I usually go get the mail right now, ok that’s what I’m doing look at me, I’m fine, but I’m not fine. I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever been asked about that song lyrically.


Yes, in all the time that it has existed. A lot of people have told me that they like the song.

Thank you. You said that you wrote that song, do different members write different songs over the years?

I can’t think of any song that I didn’t write lyrically for the Bosstones. It’s something I do ok, and the band has accepted that. I had an English teacher that found out that I enjoyed writing poetry and supported that and encouraged me to write poetry and thanks Mr. Powell, and so I did. He gave me notebooks and I filled them with poems and thoughts and lyrics.

I was writing, although I never thought that I would use them, but he encouraged that. The band accepted me as being good at it and they focused on writing music. So that’s sort of how the process works with us.

I know your last album was the ‘Magic of Youth’ album. I was going to ask you if you have any plans for new music in the future. I know that was back in 2011.

Yes. We’re being a little bit lazy a little bit lackadaisical, but we want to make a really good record. We’re writing songs and putting together lyrics and music currently and we’re trying to figure out the approach, what is the animal that we want to create.

We make our records for the people who like Mighty Mighty Bosstones music. They’re patient, they trust us and they know that we’ll deliver them something that’s not mediocre.

Definitely not. How do you think the landscape of ska has changed over time? There aren’t many venues left for bands to “cut their teeth.” A lot of it is commercialized now. What do you think about that?

There are so many entertainment options for young people these days. It was starting a band when we were kids or sit around. Today, there are just so many options before the internet and before video games became what they are. It was the way that we unified as friends and said this is who we are and other people were doing it at the time. That had been going on for a while.

I don’t know what the landscape is. I know there are bands being created all the time, ska bands, and that’s a good thing. I hope it continues, but I know how we did it and I don’t think that that could be done again. I don’t think the times call for it. We didn’t have a Facebook page. We went out on the streets and put fliers in mailboxes. That’s how we posted things.

The way we started, we hit the ground, it was a military action. We got out on the streets and spread the word and let people know and played shows which you don’t have to do. If we got 300 people in to a room, it was a very exciting time. Now you can get 300 people to look at you just if you post it on Youtube.

The first ever ‘Phantom Gourmet BBQ & Music Festival will take place on Friday, June 20 with Dicky Barrett’s Birthday Bash on Saturday, June 21. Get tickets by clicking here or by visiting

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