Monday, October 31, 2016

The Dickies at Berlin

Leonard Graves Phillips
Stan Lee saw the Damned on the British band's first American tour in early 1977. Collaborating with other area musicians, this concert inspired him to form a new band. The Dickies debuted in September of the same year, and was among the first punk rock bands to emerge from Los Angeles, California. The ever-changing band members were the clown princes of L.A. punk, gaining a reputation for their humorous Ramones-like songs and zany shows, which featured goofy costumes, hand puppets, and a midget roadie. The Dickies recorded seven albums, the most recent being 2001's All This and Puppet Stew. The band presently consists of original members Leonard Graves Phillips on vocals and Stan Lee on guitar, along with Ben Seelig on guitar, Edward Tatar on bass and Adam Gomez on drums.

The Dickies headlined two sold-out shows at the Bowery Electric over the pre-Halloween weekend, where the longstanding veterans performed their first two albums, one each night. The Dickies then performed an unadvertised show at Berlin on Halloween, where the band played a little of everything. At Berlin, the Dickies opened with the theme music for the low-budget sci-fi/horror comedy Killer Klowns from Outer Space. The Dickies fit 23 songs into the set because the songs were short, tight and to the point, with about half of the set dedicated to the first two albums. The stage was so small that the musicians could hardly move, but nevertheless the show included its usual array of props (masks, an inflatable love doll, several hand puppets) and racing, hardcore-interpreted cover tunes (the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Stain," the Left Banke's "Pretty Ballerina," a babbling version of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," the Who's "See Me, Feel Me," the Isley Brothers' "Nobody But Me," and the theme songs to the cartoons Gigantor and Banana Splits). In essence, it was another greatest hits show, and the Dickies engaged the New York fans-in-the-know with a third campy Halloween trick or treat.

Visit the Dickies at