Legendary New York band THE DICTATORS have parted ways with guitarist Scott "Top Ten" Kempner.
Kempner is said to have left the group and relocated to the West Coast to pursue a singer/songwriter career, according to the band's official web site.
"We're not replacing [Top Ten]," said the band in an official statement. "We're now down to only one guitar god, but we just returned from Australia, New Zealand and Spain, and Ross The Boss rocked every country.
"THE DICTATORS will always love Top Ten and wish him nothing but the best."
Meanwhile, Kempner has issued the following statement explaining his decision to leave the group:
""HEY EVERYBODY! I wanted to take a minute and write a little something to all y'all. Firstly, while it is true that I sing and write, I feel the term singer-songwriter might be a tad misleading. I will NOT be turning into James friggin' Taylor or Jackson freakin' Browne or nothin'. While I do play a big black Johnny Cash-style Martin, I ain't puttin' down my beloved Strat for anybody. EVER! Some of youse might be aware of my having written, sang and played guitar for THE DEL-LORDS a while back. I even have a goddamn solo album out there. It was just time for me to get back to it, to reclaim that part of my trip. I'll be around, I got a new band with my friend Neil Giraldo called THE PARADISE BROTHERS (at least that's this week's name),and a new solo record called Saving Grace (out soon).
"Sooooooooooo, I really wanna thank everyone who has supported and/or just given a flyin' fuck about THE DICTATORS over the years (30 years, man!) from the very bottom of my heart of hearts and of course, to HDM, ROSS THE BOSS, ADNY, JP and everyone else who strode that stage shoulder to shoulder, side by side with me through everything imaginable. I will always love you all. Well, this is where I get off the van, but I will see you up somewhere up the road (and feel free to call me Top Ten as long as it suits ya)."