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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Incredible Original Dickies, part 1

leonard front and center WEB96

They look almost camera-shy here, but the incredible class clowns of punk rock, The Dickies weren't posing! I was just snapping away like crazy backstage at the now long-gone Starwood before they went onstage. You are probably quite familiar with the magnificent and highly stylized band photos of the Dickies shot by the late Jules Bates.

I never much cared for being any kind of ringmaster, so I just captured the Dickies when they were unawares...

kent backstage dickies WEB

This is from that same night. I rarely used flash (and now I refuse to), so the overhead fluorescent light was all the illumination I had to work with. Behind Billy Club (in his fabulous polka dot trench coat) is punk rock's favorite roadie/tour manager/crew ace: Kent Smythe, who's leaning against the wall.

carlos front and center WEB

Carlos Caballero grins for the camera and shows off his Dickies button.

dickies hewlett 1small

Earlier that same day, the late Bob "Chuck Wagon" Davis and Billy Club talk with then-Dickies manager, John Hewlett outside the Starwood.

If the name John Hewlett is strangely familiar, he also was the co-manager of Sparks at the same time he was managing the Dickies... but famously, he was the bass player of the 1960's band John's Children which also featured a pre-Tyrannosaurus Rex/T Rex Marc Bolan. John's Children are considered a proto-punk band...they were amateurish and wild. Sound familiar?

The Dickies themselves influenced so much of the punk rock that is out today, made by kids like Green Day who were about 4 years old when the Dickies started playing. I do think its a bit off balance that a band like Green Day can sell millions of records and get all the kudos for being punk when they're not punk, and I'm thankful for loudmouths like John Lydon who share my thoughts but have the forum and credibility to broadcast that sentiment. That said, let's give it up for the Dickies Leonard Graves Phillips and Stan Lee for carrying the flag of 1977 and for going strong as the Dickies til this day, and making new music as the Dickies as well as treating their loyal fans to the familiar songs we love, such as "Walk Like an Egg," "Hideous" and "You Drive Me Ape, You Big Gorilla" !

stan lee at KROQ web
Stan Lee

leonard backstage chair
Leonard Graves Phillips

Over the photos of the Incredible Original Dickies.

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