by MythofRock

Ross Friedman, more famously known as Ross the Boss, is a name that resonates profoundly within the realms of punk rock and heavy metal. Born on January 3, 1954, in Bronx, New York, Ross has traversed a musical journey that spans multiple decades and genres, leaving an indelible mark on the rock and metal scenes. His storied career, marked by innovation and raw talent, has seen him as a founding member of seminal bands like the Dictators and Manowar, and his influence continues to reverberate through the music world.

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos

Ross’s musical odyssey began in earnest with the formation of the Dictators in 1973, alongside Andy Shernoff. This punk rock band emerged from New Paltz, New York, and quickly established itself as a pioneer in the genre. Their debut album, “The Dictators Go Girl Crazy!” (1975), was a bold blend of punk’s raw energy and rock’s melodic sensibilities. Ross’s guitar work on tracks like “The Next Big Thing” and “Two Tub Man” showcased his distinctive style, characterized by ferocious riffs and infectious hooks.

Over the next few years, the Dictators released two more albums: “Manifest Destiny” (1977) and “Bloodbrothers” (1978). Despite not achieving mainstream success, these records cemented the Dictators’ status as punk legends and highlighted Ross’s ability to blend aggression with melody.

After his stint with the Dictators, Ross moved to France and joined Fabienne Shine’s band, Shakin’ Street. This period broadened his musical horizons and prepared him for his next monumental venture. During the 1980 Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell Tour, Ross was introduced to bassist Joey DeMaio by the iconic Ronnie James Dio. This meeting led to the formation of Manowar later that year, a band that would redefine the heavy metal genre.

Manowar’s debut album, “Battle Hymns” (1982), was a triumph of their grandiose vision and unwavering commitment to heavy metal. Ross’s guitar prowess was evident in tracks like “Manowar” and “Dark Avenger,” where his soaring solos and crushing riffs became a staple of the band’s sound. Over the next six years, Manowar released a series of influential albums, including “Into Glory Ride” (1983), “Hail to England” (1984), “Sign of the Hammer” (1984), “Fighting the World” (1987), and “Kings of Metal” (1988). These records featured anthems such as “Hail and Kill”, “Carry On” and “Kings of Metal” with Ross’s guitar work being a driving force behind the band’s epic sound.

After departing from Manowar in 1988, Ross continued to explore his musical passions. He rejoined his Dictators bandmates in Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom, releasing the critically acclaimed “…And You?” in 1990. This album, with its heavy rotation on MTV, marked a return to the punk rock roots.

In the mid-90s, Ross formed Heyday, a blues rock band, and later collaborated with the Spinatras, resulting in the release of “@Midnight.com” (1999). These projects highlighted his versatility and ability to traverse various musical styles seamlessly.

The late 90s saw the Dictators reunite, with Ross playing a pivotal role in their resurgence. Their 2001 album, “D.F.F.D.”, was a return to form, blending punk’s rebellious spirit with seasoned musicianship. The subsequent live album, “Viva Dictators”, captured the band’s electrifying performances across Europe.

Ross’s collaboration with Albert Bouchard of Blue Öyster Cult in the band Brain Surgeons and his work on the instrumental album |”Thunderboss” with JP Thunderbolt Patterson further showcased his diverse talents. His participation in various festivals and special performances, including the Earthshaker Festival with Manowar and the Keep It True Festival, underscored his enduring influence in the metal community.

In 2008, Ross formed the Ross the Boss Band, that released “New Metal Leader” (2008) and “Hailstorm” (2010), both of which received critical acclaim. The band’s fusion of classic metal elements with contemporary flair demonstrated Ross’s ability to evolve while staying true to his roots.

In 2012, Ross co-founded the metal supergroup Death Dealer, releasing “War Master” (2013) and “Hallowed Ground” (2015). These albums, characterized by their relentless energy and technical brilliance, reaffirmed Ross’s status as a metal maestro.

On January 18, 2017, Ross was honored with induction into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for his pivotal contributions to metal during his time with Manowar.

His latest albums as a solo artist are “By Blood Sworn” (2018) and “Born of Fire” (2020).

In 2022, he made a guest appearance on “Armpits of Immortals”, a track by the Italian comedy heavy metal band Nanowar of Steel.

Ross the Boss’s contributions to punk rock and heavy metal are monumental. His innovative guitar work, combined with his passion for music, has inspired countless musicians and fans worldwide. Ross is a true trailblazer in the rock and metal genres.

Beyond music, Ross also manages a small business, The Cage Baseball NYC, with his family, showcasing his multifaceted talents and dedication to both his craft and his loved ones.

Ross the Boss’ wild ride, from the streets of Bronx to the global stage, is a story of passion and commitment to artistic excellence. As he continues to create and perform, Ross the Boss remains a true titan of the music world. We the Greek fans will have the privilege to enjoy Ross The Boss and his band, live at Temple live stage in Athens, Greece, with support by Lazy Man’s Load and Subfire, on the 8th of July, 2024. Can’t wait til then!!!

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