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After nearly 40 years, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones call it quits

Dicky Barrett and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones perform at one of the band's signature Hometown Throwdown shows at the House of Blues in December 2019.Ben Stas for The Boston Globe/file

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Boston ska-punk band known for their infectious 1997 hit “The Impression That I Get,” raucous live shows, and loud plaid suits, left a simple — and for longtime fans — sad message on their website Thursday afternoon.

“After decades of brotherhood, touring the world and making great records together we have decided not to continue on as a band,” the statement read. “Above all, we want to express our sincere gratitude to every single one of you who have supported us. We could not have done any of it without you.”

Formed in 1983, the Bosstones put Boston’s ska scene on the national radar in the 1990s. Over the course of their career, they released 11 albums, including the double-platinum “Let’s Face It.” Along with bands such as Sublime, No Doubt, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, and Rancid, the band rode the ska genre’s third wave directly into the mainstream. Lead singer Dicky Barrett’s gravelly voice was the band’s signature, along with spirited horns and the moves of dancer Ben Carr. When the Bosstones went on hiatus in 2003, millions heard Barrett’s amiable growl when be became the announcer for ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”


Before national success, the Bosstones were a fixture on the scene locally. From 1994 to 2019 the band hosted their Hometown Throwdown concerts. The shows, typically held between Christmas and New Year’s, highlighted the city’s punk, ska, and, hardcore scene.

The band became such an integral part of the city that then-Mayor Marty Walsh declared Dec. 28, 2017, Mighty Mighty Bosstones Day in Boston. In addition to anchoring Boston’s ska-punk scene, they also became pop culture fixtures, doing everything from recording a song with the Count from “Sesame Street” to appearing in the movie “Clueless.”

Christopher Muther can be reached at christopher.muther@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther and Instagram @chris_muther.