The Dils

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The Dils was an American punk rock band of the late 1970s, originally from Carlsbad, California, United States, and fronted by the brothers Chip Kinman and Tony Kinman.[1] They appeared as the second act in the "battle of the bands" sequence in Cheech and Chong's film, Up In Smoke, where they can be heard before being seen performing "You're Not Blank".[2] After recording the single "I Hate the Rich" / "You're Not Blank" (1977), Algover decided to go to college with Pat Garret (aka Rand McNally) from Oklahoma taking his place. He also produced the second single on DangerHouse Records, "Class War" / "Mr. Big". After he was jettisoned, John Silvers was brought in and the band relocated to San Francisco in February 1978.


Soon after forming in 1977 the band relocated to San Francisco,[3] where they would have a significant influence on that city's embryonic punk scene (bassist Tony Kinman played briefly with The Avengers during 1977), and then Los Angeles, becoming one of the major bands in the early Los Angeles punk scene too. They were known for their conspicuous radical left politics, and for a strong melodic sense that earned them the nickname "punk rock Everly Brothers".[citation needed]

Their debut single was "I Hate The Rich" / "You're Not Blank" (the latter covered by the Minneapolis punk band Dillinger Four), on Los Angeles-based label What? Records, released in 1977 in what collectors refer to as the "Oils" sleeve - the lettering chosen for the band's logo looking more like "The Oils" than "The Dils" at first glance.[citation needed] This was later reissued by the same label in a more easy-to-decipher font. Their next record was their critical high-point, 1977's "Class War" / "Mr. Big" (the former covered by Canadian punks D.O.A.), issued on Dangerhouse label, in a pressing of 1500 copies entitled "198 Seconds Of The Dils". The last contemporary release was a three-sided double-7" in 1980, "Made In Canada", produced by Bob Rock, which showed a gathering roots rock orientation. The Dils was dissolved by the Kinman brothers in 1980.

Music from The Dils (including material unreleased during the band's lifetime) remains available.


The Kinmans continued to follow the roots rock direction, giving birth to the "cowpunk" genre with their band Rank and File in the 1980s, along with Alejandro Escovedo,[1] then shed a spotlight on "cowboy music" with Cowboy Nation in the 1990s.[4] Other stops on the Kinmans' musical trail included a rock guitar and drum-machine noise project, Blackbird.[4] In 2018, The Kinman brothers reunited for Chip's new band, Ford Madox Ford.[4] Released by Porterhouse records, Ford Madox Ford's debut album, This American Blues, featured Chip on vocals and guitar, Dewey Peek (Giuliano Scarfo) on lead guitar, Matt Littell on bass and S. Scott Aguero on drums, and Tony Kinman as producer.

Tony Kinman died on May 4, 2018.[4]


Chip Kinman revived The Dils in 2019,[5] with the first show at The Grand Star Jazz Club in Los Angeles' Chinatown on January 27. The following night, The Dils played at San Diego's Casbah Club. Joining Kinman was his stepson Giuliano Scarfo on drums, plus Brian Melendez on bass and backing vocals.[3]


  • "I Hate The Rich" / "You're Not Blank" 7" (What? Records 1977)
    • Reissued in 1990 on Gift Of Life Records
    • Both songs + "What Goes On" (live, prev unreleased) included on V/A LP/CD What? Stuff (Iloki Records 1990)
  1. "I Hate The Rich"
  2. "You're Not Blank"
  • "198 Seconds Of The Dils" 7" (Dangerhouse Records 1977)
    • Side A is available on the V/A LP/CD Dangerhouse Volume 1 and Side B can be found on Dangerhouse Volume 2, both albums on Frontier Records
  1. "Class War"
  2. "Mr.Big"
  • "Made In Canada" 2x7" (Rogelletti Records 1980)
  1. "Sound Of The Rain"
  2. "Red Rockers"
  3. "It's Not Worth It."
  • Live:Dils LP (Triple X/Iloki Records 1987)
  • The Dils Live 1977 - 1980 LP (Lost Records, 1990)
  • Dils Dils Dils LP (Bacchus Archives 1991) (reissued on CD (1992) Damaged Goods)
    • Side A has the eight studio songs mentioned above on it.
    • Side B contains live tracks from 1978 and 1979.
  • The Last Goodbye (The Dils album)|The Last Goodbye LP (bootleg 199?)
    • A live recording from 1980.
  • Class War LP (Dionysus/Bacchus archives 2000)
    • Includes the first 7 and 10 live songs recorded in 1980 previously released on The Dils Live 1977 - 1980 LP.


  1. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2003). "Dils". The Great Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 1-84195-335-0.
  2. ^ Arcand, Rob (May 5, 2018). "The Dils, Rank & File Member Tony Kinman Dead at 63". Spin. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Greenspon, Chris (January 24, 2019). "This '70s SoCal Punk Band Is Back In LA To Save Music At A Chinatown School". LAist. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Curtain, Kevin (May 4, 2018). "Tony Kinman 1956-2018". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Callwod, Brett (March 15, 2019). "Music Pick: The Dils". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 24, 2019.

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