The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are an American third wave ska band from Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 1983, the Bosstones are often credited with the creation of the ska-core genre, a form of music that mixes elements of third wave ska and hardcore punk. The band released seven full-length albums, three EPs and a live album while touring continuously before their announcement of a hiatus in December 2003. They reunited in the fall of 2007 and performed together for the first time in four years at Boston’s Middle East club. The band has continued to tour and record since. In December 2007, the band released a compilation album, Medium Rare, their first release since the band reunited earlier that year. The band released their first studio album in seven years, Pin Points and Gin Joints, on December 8, 2009.
The band’s roots lay in the hardcore scene of the early 1980s along with a strong influence from the British 2 Toneska scene of the 1970s. They decided on the name, “the Bosstones” as a reference to their hometown. While some of the band members were influenced by bands such as AC/DC,Social Distortion, Motörhead, The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers, Barrett had become enthralled with 2 Tone ska, which was in the tail end of its existence.
Despite not having a large draw at their live shows (outside of Boston, where they were routinely selling out such venues as The Channel and The Rathskeller in Kenmore Square), the Taang! record label gave the band a record deal which would result in the Devil’s Night Out album, produced by Paul Q. Kolderie. The album was released to positive local and lukewarm national reaction during a time when ska was struggling to move out of the American underground. The band found resistance from ska purists who did not like that the band were not playing traditional ska while hardcore fans were against the ska and heavy metal elements in the music. Despite the initial reaction, Devil’s Night Out has gone on to become one of the band’s most popular albums.
It was during this time that the band’s trademark plaid clothing came to be. After a show where Barrett wore plaid, fans started to show up wearing it as well. It was noticeable enough that the band was approached by the Converse sneaker company to promote their new line of Chuck Taylor sneakers. The band accepted the proposal and were seen in several television commercials promoting the sneakers.
Enjoy this video clip of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones performing their song “Where’d you Go”.