The Standells’ Dick Dodd dies aged 68

The singer and drummer of the Boston surf rockers passed away on Friday (November 29)

Dick Dodd, drummer and singer for Boston garage rockers The Standells, has died aged 68.

Dodd announced recently that he had late stage cancer of the esophagus, spleen, liver and spine. He died on Friday (November 29) in a hospital in Fountain Valley, California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Born Joseph Richard Dodd Jr in 1945 in Hermosa Beach, California, Dodd began his career as a Mouseketeer on Disney’s television variety show The Mickey Mouse Club.


In the 1960s, he was a member of two early surf rock bands — the Bel-Airs and Eddie and the Showmen, before joining garage rock group The Standells as a drummer and vocalist in 1964.

The band became known primarily for their first and only hit, 1965’s ‘Dirty Water’, where it is still an anthem for Boston sports teams, including the Red Sox baseball team and the Bruins hockey club.

Most recently, Dodd worked as a limo driver near to his home in Buena Park. He did occasionally play gigs, performing with his new band Dodd Squad.

Standells frontman Larry Tamlyn has released the following statement:

“As fate would have it, The Standells were all together, not performing, but enjoying the evening (a rare event) when we received the news that Dick Dodd had passed away at the age of 68. There’s also a metaphor in his departing on Black Friday. Dick always had a wry sense of humor. Unknown until recently, Dick had been suffering from esophageal cancer for quite some time.

I’ve known Dick since he was about 20 years old. The first time we met was when he walked into P.J.s nightclub to audition for the Standells. He had a tough job to fill; we desperately needed a drummer who could sing, as we were about two weeks away from recording our first record album. Until that time, I had done all of the lead singing, and I needed someone else to share the load. As soon as Dick sat behind the drums and began sing and play, I knew we had found the right person! Not only did he knock our socks off, but survived some very lame jokes about his being a former Mouseketeer.


The album, ‘The Standells in Person at P.J.s’ came off without a hitch. Dick even managed to sing a couple of songs on it. As time went on, Dick gradually assumed more and more of the lead singing. When we signed with Greengrass Productions (Ed Cobb’s company), Dick was chosen as the lead singer on our first record ‘Dirty Water’/’Rari’. After that, he did most of the lead singing. I never regretted it. Dick was an incredible talent, both as a drummer and singer! In addition, Dick was a very kind and generous person, always there for his friends when they needed him, and on a number of occasions giving gifts to associates. He also was very caring to his friends. Last year during my bout with prostate cancer, he called me every week offering words of comfort. I understand that he did the same for many of his friends.

Dick is survived by his wife Jane and daughter Nicole. He passed away at 10:00 pm Friday evening, appropriately with drumsticks in his hands. Rest in peace Dick. We miss you, but know that you’re in a better place!

Larry Tamblyn”