Richie Teeter, former drummer of legendary New York rockers the Dictators, has died at age 61. A posting on the band's official website simply says "Sad news to report on the passing of the former Dictators drummer. Rest in peace, brother. More to come ..."

The Dictators were the missing link between the proto-punk of bands like the the Stooges and the MC5, and the first wave of CBGB's bands like the Ramones and Blondie. Formed in 1973 in New York City, the Dictators were the brainchild of ace songwriter Andy Shernoff and also featured the exceptionally fantastic Ross "the Boss" on lead guitar, and roadie turned singer Handsome Dick Manitoba.

Teeter joined the band soon after the release of their groundbreaking 1975 debut album 'Go Girl Crazy.' He would stick with them for two more albums, 1977's  'Manifest Destiny' and the super-charged hard rock of 1978's 'Bloodbrothers.' Side note - some guy named Bruce Springsteen actually sings uncredited backup vocals on the latter record.

The group split up soon after that record fizzled on the charts, and Teeter briefly joined Twisted Sister in the early '80s. The Dictators would reunite over the years, but without Teeter, who had maintained a very low profile over the years. If you like hard rock with pop sensibilities and a sense of humor, you should seek out all of the band's records, by all means!

Watch The Dictators Perform 'Search and Destroy'