The Dickies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Dickies
The Dickies.jpg
The Dickies 2016 @ The Observatory
Background information
OriginSan Fernando Valley California, United States
GenresPunk rock
Years active1977–present
LabelsA&M, Captain Oi, Triple X, Fat Wreck Chords, Cleopatra Records, Restless Brand
MembersLeonard Graves Phillips
Stan Lee
Ben David Seelig
Adam Gomez
Eddie Tatar
Past membersChuck Wagon
Billy Club
Karlos Kaballero
Jerry Angel
Laurie Buhne
Steve Hufsteter
Anthony Tiny Biuso
Scott Sindon
Enoch Hain
Cliff Martinez
Alisa Wood
Glen Laughlin
Jonathan Melvoin
Marc Vachon
Dylan Thomas
Rick Dasher
Greg Hanna
Travis Johnson
Kris Kwiatkowski
Little Dave Teague
Steven Fryette

The Dickies are an American punk rock band formed in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles in 1977. The band has consistently made use of catchy melodies, deep harmonies, and a humorous style that has been called "pop-punk" or "bubble-gum punk".[1][2]



The Dickies were among the first punk rock bands to emerge from Los Angeles. They formed in early 1977 after guitarist Stan Lee and bassist Billy Club saw The Damned on their first American tour. The band made their live debut at the Whisky a Go Go in September of the same year. The Dickies were the first California punk band to appear on network television (C.P.O. Sharkey),[3] and the first California punk band to be signed to a major record label (A&M Records).[4][5]

Musical style[edit]

The Dickies' style is campy and humorous,[2] influenced by The Ramones,[5] for whom they sometimes opened in venues especially on the East coast, such as CBGB in the Bowery of NYC and across the river in "The Showplace" Dover NJ (1978), along with the Nerds, and Nozon. This Eastern blitz made them a punk band of national recognition coming from the L.A. Scene.[6] The Dickies are popular in the United Kingdom, and had a Top 10 single with "Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)" in 1979.[7]

Many of their lyrics concern Southern California culture, rife with references and in-jokes; examples include songs like "Waterslide", "I'm A Chollo", "Manny, Moe, and Jack", Stukas Over Disneyland, and "(I'm Stuck in a Pagoda with) Tricia Toyota". They are also known for recording many fast-paced punk covers of classic rock songs, including The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin," Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," The Monkees' "She," Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction," The Isley Brothers' "Nobody but Me," The Left Banke's "Pretty Ballerina," The Cowsills' "Hair", as well as the cover album Dogs from the Hare That Bit Us.

Work in film[edit]

In 1988, the Dickies wrote and performed the theme music for the horror film Killer Klowns from Outer Space. It was produced by Ron Hitchcock, and was the debut of drummer Cliff Martinez who had recently played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weirdos, and Captain Beefheart. Martinez played with them from 1988 to 1994, and on albums such as Second Coming, Locked N' Loaded Live in London, and idjit Savant.[8]

In 1990, the Dickies wrote the theme song for Lucas Reiner's comedy film Spirit of 76.


Drug problems slowed the Dickies down considerably in the 1980s, but they have continued playing and recording sporadically to the present day. Guitarist/keyboardist/saxophonist Chuck Wagon (born Bob Davis) committed suicide in June 1981. Jonathan Melvoin, who played drums on The Dickies album, Idjit Savant, died of a heroin overdose on July 12, 1996 in New York, aged 34, while on tour playing keyboards for the Smashing Pumpkins.[5][9]

Original drummer Karlos Kabellero (born Carlos Cabellero) died on September 22, 2009 from heart related problems.[10] One-time guitarist Enoch Hain (born Robert Frederick Orin Lansing, Jr.)[11] died on July 25, 2009 from complications arising from pneumonia.[12]


Studio albums[edit]


Live albums[edit]

  • Locked 'N' Loaded Live in London (1991)
  • Still Got Live Even If You Don't Want It (1999)
  • Live In London (2002)
  • Dickies Go Bananas (2008)
  • Live Destruction (2008)
  • 1977: A Night That Will Live in Infamy (2014)
  • Live When They Were Five: City Gardens 1982 (2014)
  • Banana Splits (2016)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • We Aren't the World (1986)
  • Great Dictations (1989)
  • Punk Singles Collection (2002)



Music videos[edit]

  • "Paranoid" (1978)
  • "Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)" (1979)
  • "Nights in White Satin" (1979)
  • "Killer Klowns" (1986)

Commercial releases[edit]

  • Dickies Over Stukaland (1991) - Compilation of various Dickies' performances in Europe in 1990.
  • The Best of Flipside #6 (1997) - Material originally recorded in 1985 in Los Angeles.
  • Rocked 'N' Roaded (2000) - Compilation of various Dickies' performances in Japan in 2000.
  • Peepshow (2002)
  • World Shut Your Mouth (2003)
  • An Evening with the Dickies (2004) - Dickies' show at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, July 16, 2002.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Locey, Bill (Apr 30, 1992). "THE DICKIES Bubble-Gum Punks 'It's weird going from a band to an influence.'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Catlin, Roger (Nov 16, 1998). "DECADES LATER, DICKIES UP TO SAME OLD TRICKS". Hartford, Connecticut: The Courant. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  3. ^ Coyote, Ginger (May 2013). "Stan Lee: Legendary Guitarist Of The Dickies - Interview By: Ginger Coyote". Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. The Dickies at AllMusic
  5. ^ a b c Adair, Don (April 16, 1993). "Legendary Dickies offer mixed bag". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  6. ^ Pearn Jr, Frank (Oct 21, 1994). "DICKIES MORE THAN FATHER FIGURES FOR NEW WAVE OF PUNK BANDS". The Morning Call. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 154. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ Boehm, Mike (Oct 19, 1989). "The Dickies Are Back, Just as Silly, Irreverent as Ever". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  9. ^ "Pumpkins Pay More". MTV. Oct 22, 1997. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  10. ^ "Dead Punk Stars - Karlos Kabellero - Sep. 22, 2009". Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  11. ^ Garvin, Liz. "RFOL - Robert Lansing Jr. - Biography". Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  12. ^ Schoolcraft, Paige. "IN MEMORY Robert Frederick Orin Lansing (August 26, 1957 - July 26, 2009)". Retrieved June 3, 2013.

External links[edit]