The Dicks performing in Austin, Texas in 2005; pictured left to right: Buxf Parrott and Gary Floyd
|Origin||Austin, Texas, United States|
|Years active||1980–1986, 2004–present|
|Labels||R Radical, SST, Alternative Tentacles|
|Associated acts||Sister Double Happiness, Black Kali Ma, Bad Ride, Gary Floyd Band|
|Past members||Glen Taylor
The Dicks are an American punk rock band from Austin, Texas, originally formed in 1980. They initially disbanded in 1986 before reforming in 2004. The Dicks are considered influential in introducing the sound of hardcore punk and incorporating blues rock influences into their sound.
The band went through two distinct incarnations in the early 1980s, changing its lineup when singer Gary Floyd moved from Austin to San Francisco in 1983. A version of its original lineup was revived when the band reunited in 2004. As a political band with socialist lyrics during the Reagan era, they did not shy from controversy. Floyd was one of a handful of openly gay musicians in the 1980s punk scene.
The Dicks were formed in Austin in 1980 by Gary Floyd, Buxf Parrott, Pat Deason and Glen Taylor. Their first single "Dicks Hate The Police", released in 1980, brought them much attention and is now regarded as a classic hardcore punk record. In the song Gary Floyd sings from the perspective of a policeman who abuses his power by going after minorities and taking his anger out on civilians.
The Dicks often played shows with fellow pioneering Texas hardcore bands MDC, The Offenders and The Big Boys; the Dicks' full-length debut was a split album with The Big Boys entitled Live at Raul's Club. The Dicks were unique for their era in that some of their songs, such as "Saturday Night at the Bookstore" and "Off Duty Sailor", addressed issues of homophobia and sexual identity.
In 1983, Floyd left Texas for San Francisco and, with new members Tim Carroll, Sebastian Fuchs, and Lynn Perko (formerly of all-women band The Wrecks), a second version of The Dicks began recording and playing. The LP Kill From The Heart was released in 1983 on SST Records and These People followed in 1985 on Alternative Tentacles. The group disbanded in 1986, although occasional one-off reunion shows featuring the Austin lineup occurred through the '80s and '90s.
Influence on other artists
The Dicks saw a resurgence in popularity at the onset of the grunge craze when Sub Pop Records released a cover of "Dicks Hate The Police" by Seattle band Mudhoney. Soon after, Chicago noise rockers The Jesus Lizard (three fourths of whom were also from Austin, Texas) released their cover version of The Dicks' "Wheelchair Epidemic".
On their 2004 song "Ode", queercore band Limp Wrist paid homage to Gary Floyd, Randy Turner (aka "Biscuit") from The Big Boys, and many others, as people who confronted homophobia in the 1980s punk scene by being openly gay in a largely homophobic countercultural movement.
Post-Dicks projects and reunion
Gary Floyd later started Sister Double Happiness in San Francisco in 1986. After that band ended he formed and primarily played in Europe with The Gary Floyd Band; an overview of this material, "Backdoor Preacher Man", is available in the United States. Toward the late 1990s, Floyd played in Black Kali Ma, who released an album on Alternative Tentacles Records. Floyd is now in a band called the Buddha Brothers. Buxf Parrott and Pat Deason, of the original Dicks, play in the Austin, TX neo-bluegrass band Shootin' Pains. Perko went on to join Imperial Teen. Parrott and Deason played in Trouser Trout and Parrott and Taylor also played in Pretty Mouth.
Since 2004, the Dicks have played a series of reunion concerts in Austin and elsewhere. The lineup for the shows consists of the original Dicks, with the exception of Glen Taylor, who died in 1997. His role has been filled by three other Austin guitarists: Mark Kenyon, Brian McGee, and Davy Jones. At the 2009 Austin Music Awards show, Jesus Lizard singer David Yow joined the band onstage for "Wheelchair Epidemic". At the same show, The Dicks were inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame.
- Live at Raul's Club LP (1980), Rat Race – Split with The Big Boys
- Kill from the Heart LP (1983), SST Records
- These People LP (1985), Alternative Tentacles
- 1980-1986 CD (1997), Alternative Tentacles – compilation of out of print material
- Dicks Live! Hungry Butt (2006), Hot Box Review
- Ten Inches 10" (2006), Delta Pop Music
- "Hate The Police" 7" (1980), R Radical Records
- Peace? 7" EP (1984), R Radical Records: "No Fuckin' War"/"I Hope You Get Drafted"/"Nobody Asked Me"
- Live At Raul's 2x7" (1992), Selfless Records - split with The Big Boys
- Hog 7" (2006), Delta Pop Music
- "Gilbeau" on Cottage Cheese from the Lips of Death (1983), Ward 9 Records
- "I Hope You Get Drafted" on P.E.A.C.E./War (1984), R Radical Records
- "Legacy of Man" on Rat Music for Rat People Vol. 2 (1984), CD Presents, Ltd
- Shapiro, Gregg (2003-06-18), "Gay Dinosaurs and Others", Windy City Times, retrieved 2008-08-12
- True, Christopher "Dicks Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
- Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 504-505
- Beets, Greg "The Dicks", Austin Chronicle
- "Austin Music Awards 2009-2009 Hall of Fame", Austin Chronicle