CD / DVD
Reviewed by Tim Stegall, Fri., Feb. 19, 2016
The DicksThe Dicks From Texas (MVD Visual)
The Dicks From Texas & Friends (Grackle Butter)
Gary Floyd started a joke only possible in late-Seventies Austin: a series of posters advertising fake gigs ("first 10 people with guns drink for free"). After meeting bassist Buxf Parrot and the late Glen Taylor, whose guitar work the former describes as having "notes all its own," then discovering drummer Pat Deason in time for a genuine show, the singer's prank turned serious. The Dicks' blues-based punk and wild stage presence – essentially, three sinister, convict-looking individuals surrounding what resembled John Waters actress Divine in the grips of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book – developed into a force terrifying enough to frighten Minor Threat when sharing a bill at Sixth Street's Ritz in the early Eighties. As Ian MacKaye admits amidst the all-star cavalcade of talking heads (Henry Rollins, Mike Watt, David Yow, Texas Terri) populating cinematic valentine The Dicks From Texas, he simultaneously found them utterly compelling. Director Cindy Marabito's documentary plays as raw as its subject matter, locals including former longtime Chronicle queen Margaret Moser describing Floyd's vision becoming reality enough to energize the DIY scene fomenting around a Drag-bound bar called Raul's. Floyd, Parrot, and Deason join in, detailing the story, then appearing as their younger selves in explosive archival footage that makes one kick themselves for being born too late. Most live time capsules appear in full as a bonus, with a San Francisco gig being particularly compelling. A similarly named CD isn't a soundtrack, but an accompanying tribute album. Austin punk luminaries from across the years (Bulemics, Surlys, Pocket Fishrmen, etc.) join bands featuring the ex-Dicks (Punkaroos, Pretty Mouth, Garish) for a punk scrum sure to please locals. Pride of place belongs to the Offenders' roaring "The Dicks Hate the Police" and Jesus Christ Superfly's "Anti-Klan, Parts 1 & 2."