Summertime in Boston can mean only one thing – outdoor fun and festivals! Kick of your summer holiday on Friday, June 20, as the Phantom Gourmet BBQ & Music Festival gets underway in City Hall Plaza, featuring the best barbecue teams from Australia to Texas to Virginia, plus some amazing summertime foods, three beer and wine gardens, and, of course…live music. On Saturday, June 21, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones take the stage in an all-out bash to celebrate frontman Dicky Barrett’s 50th birthday.
Just announced! An added and somewhat unexpected addition to the show will be Jimmy Kimmel, who arrived in Boston this morning to help Dicky Barrett celebrate his birthday. Kimmel is an accomplished clarinet player and will be joining Dicky and the Bosstones on stage!
Barrett, who for the past ten years has notably been the announcer for ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, recently took the time to chat with the Boston Comedy Scene Examiner about coming home for the big celebration and his experience in the late-night television arena.
BCSE: Hi, Dicky, it's Angie Frissore from Boston. How are you?
DB: I'm good, Angie. How are you?
BCSE: I'm doing well. Let me be, hopefully, the first to wish you a very happy birthday.
DB: You're one of the first.
BCSE: Awesome. I am so looking forward to your birthday bash next weekend. I've been a fan of yours since I was fifteen. A long time now.
DB: How long ago was that?
BCSE: That was twenty-one years ago.
DB: Oh, wow.
BCSE: Yeah, it's funny, when I was fifteen, I sent you a piece of flannel that you graciously signed for me, so thank you for that.
DB: No problem at all. Was it plaid flannel?
BCSE: It was. It was red plaid. I still have it. It's actually framed on my wall.
DB: That's pretty cool. Come to the show, say hello, and I'll give you, fresh piece of plaid – at 50.
BCSE: Oh, that would make my day. Thank you so much. Awesome. So, I'm a comedy critic and journalist, and I love that you ended up on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Tell me a little bit about how you ended up with that gig.
DB: Pretty much it came from being in the Bosstones. Jimmy was in radio, and he still, in his brain considers himself the radio guy. He loves radio and all that is radio. That's how we started out in all different markets in Northwest and Florida and Southwest as well. Just different places that we were touring and we would run into him. We became friends and ten years ago, when I wanted to get off the road, I wanted try announcing the show and they said yeah. He figured I wouldn't last, and he thought I'd hate it but I liked the place so much, and I like the people I work with so much, so I stayed. I fired up the Bosstones again and I'm able to do both to my satisfaction and to my own amusement.
BCSE: You can't ask for more than that in life.
DB: No, it's been pretty good. I'm a pretty lucky guy.
BCSE: Yeah, that's awesome. So you must have a million stories.
DB: I have so many stories, but I don't know which ones I can tell. It's a great place to work at every day. The people I work with are so talented and it's cool when you match that TV shows are created and run by Hollywood sh*theads, and maybe they are, but certainly not this one. Jimmy is exactly the guy you think he is. He's exactly the way he is on TV. If he wasn't, if I didn't think he was funny or he wasn't such a good guy to me, then I would go home. I didn't spend years doing what I want and being around people that I want so that years down the road, I end up working with a bunch of a**holes. So, he is exactly who you think he is. No surprises, he's genuine and nice so I love working here.
BCSE: Wow, that's great.
DB: I hope it doesn't sound like I'm giving a company schpeal. This is completely from my heart.
BCSE: Yeah, for being in the comedy industry, he's a very genuine guy. So aside from a giant party on City Hall Plaza, what's your big birthday wish?
DB: A big birthday wish? I don't really have one, to be honest. Even when I was a kid, I never really enjoyed the attention around my birthday. My mom always tells the that I never really wanted birthday parties as a kid because I couldn't invite the whole class. I never really liked that kind of attention which sounds unrealistic coming from a guy who chose to front the a punk band on stage. That's always been the case. One year, they tried to give me a big cake here at Jimmy Kimmel Live, and I hid in my office while they yelled at the door. For me, everybody has a birthday so it's not a big deal, but this is something that Joe [Gittleman] set up and he's my best friend, so I'd never say no. I'm excited, I hope I don't sound ungrateful. What would I like? I just want everyone to be nice to each other – let's make it a great day - and come to the show and enjoy themselves. That's my birthday wish. Not too different from what I expect out of the Hometown Throwdown each year.
BCSE: Right. Well, I've got to say, I don't think you've let the fans down yet.
DB: It scares me though. At some point, you're going to. If I can just make it to fifty – and I will, it looks like I'm going to make it - then I'll say alright I can start disappointing people at this point.
BCSE: Well, I think you're past the point of disappointing your fans. Anybody that's a fan knows how accessible you've always been to your fans. You're the real deal, man. I don't think you could disappoint anybody.
DB: Thank you. That's nice of you to say.
BCSE: Well, it's 100% true.
DB : Tell that to my mother.
BCSE : I certainly will. You gotta do what makes you happy in life. You're a great example of that.
DB : Hey do you think you have the job that you want, do you do what you want with your life?
BCSE : Yeah, I mean I get to talk to you, so I have no complaints. I love every day of my life.
DB : Well that's awesome.
BCSE : Yeah, I'm very lucky to get to do what I do everyday.
Don't miss the music event of the summer as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones celebrate Dicky Barrett's fiftieth birthday in epic style this Saturday, June 21, as part of the Phantom Gourment BBQ & Music Festival. There are lots of surprises in store for fans along with special guests The Gaslight Anthem and Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, so be sure to get your tickets and come celebrate. It all goes down at 6:00 p.m. at Boston's City Hall Plaza.