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07 July 2008

They were a pioneering punk act, know for their hooky songs laden with funny, often vulgar lyrics and great riffery, and their name begins with "Dic"[More:]

Betcha thought I was talking about the Dictators, huh? Nah, I'm talking about the Dickies, baby! Stan Lee (no relation) and company have been providing us with great goofy punk rock for three decades now. With odes the Pep Boys ("Manny Moe & Jack"), lower primates ("You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)") and conversing with one's own penis( "If Stuart Could Talk").

Something about the letter 'D," man.
They have great taste in covers, too.
posted by BoringPostcards 07 July | 11:24
One banana, two banana, three banana, four?
posted by cillit bang 07 July | 11:32
A Dickies anecdote:

I was working the cash register at The Fish Market, an unimaginatively named but locally renowned restaurant one Thursday night in 1994 (I think, it's hazy) and near the end of the dinner shift a quartet of shifty-looking individuals came in and started looking over the menu. They looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place them. They ordered, and presented me with a Visa card that read "Stan Lee".

"Holy shit! You guys are The Dickies!" I exclaimed. "I saw y'all in New York in the 80s! Are you playing Birmingham tonight?"

They were. At The Nick, in fact. Then Leonard Graves Phillips made a proposal. "We'll put you on the guest list if you'll bring us some fried crab claws."

I was shrewd (and poor). "Fried crab claws cost more than the cover charge. Why should I do that?"

"Because we'll let you call out any song you want as an encore."

"Sold, see you at the show."

They ate, departed for sound check, and I went to the back kitchen and traded a dimebag of weed for two stolen orders of fried crab claws from Worm, the fry cook.

Later at the show (where I was indeed on the guest list, and got harangued by the bouncer for trying to bring food in, until I explained that it was for the band), the turnout was, well, dismal. There was me, there was Chris Pall (the guitar player for local punk legends GNP, the only punk band to last 30 years and never get any better than the day they started), there was Spike, who I think actually lived in the dumpster behind the Nick at the time, and two guys I didn't know who spent the whole show playing pool in the back. A crowd of five. Of whom maybe three had paid the cover charge.

The Dickies played like they were at Madison Square Garden. They played for at least two hours before the encore. Chris spent most of the show salaaming at Stan Lee's feet, sobbing in wonderment (and excess bourbon). Spike knocked over half the tables trying to stage dive and bloodied his nose. I drank too much cheap beer and started yelling out every song that came into my head. Which The Dickies then played. "Mandy", by Barry Manilow. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". And yes, even "Freebird".

It was like a command performance. They finally quit when the club turned the lights on at ridiculous-o'clock.

To my knowledge, they've never played Birmingham again, and I can't blame them. But man, what a show.
posted by BitterOldPunk 07 July | 13:29
I still remember the first time I ever saw/heard The Dickies. I think I was far more enthusiastic about it than my parents were.

Several years later I saw them play @ Studio K (the old "dance club" at Knott's Berry Farm, of all places), and the show got shut down after about twenty minutes. Fun times.
posted by syntax 07 July | 13:41
The first two Dickies albums and the Stukas EP were essential in making high school tolerable for me. Between those records, the Ramones, and the first two Undertones albums my love of short punchy pop songs was forever cemented.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 07 July | 21:29
Bunny Mail Opener || I spread Lacey's ashes this weekend.