Interview by Mary Boukouvalas
Stan Lee, of LA’s legendary original bubblegum pop-punk veterans The Dickies, says his scene “used to be sex, drugs and rock n roll; now I walk my dogs”.
Formed in San Fernando in 1977, The Dickies were the first West Coast punk band to be signed to a major label. Surviving line-up changes and untimely deaths, The Dickies continue to play and record today with founding members Stan Lee and Leonard Graves Phillips. Lee recalls many moments from their career, from “Paul Weller’s advice when we first started: ‘get everything you can out of the record label’, to hanging out with The Stranglers and the Hell’s Angels in Amsterdam”.
Though his proudest moment was when “Joey Ramone passed us the torch and said, ‘You’ve got to carry on now, we’re done’”.
Lee feels honoured being touted as LA’s answer to The Ramones because “as for influences,” he states, “it wasn’t till I saw the Ramones and the Damned that I thought this is do-able. I had just started playing not much long before. It was actually Kevin DuBrow from Quiet Riot that talked me into playing guitar because he wanted to be a rockstar”. It was not much long after that The Dickies were touring with their idols. “It was great touring with The Jam, Ramones, Dead Kennedys, The Stranglers. If you’re a punk fan like I am, it was pretty great. I was in the front row every night watching The Jam. Paul Weller is such a great guitar player. And The Ramones every night, come on. My pride and joy is this picture on my wall of Joey singing and he’s wearing a Dickies’ shirt”.
The Dickies’ music idealism and style came from the same place as their predecessors, yet lyrically they were miles apart. Lee states that they considered the moniker, “’Clown Princes of Punk Rock’ as amusing. We weren’t singing about Anarchy in the UK, no future or anything like that, that was a different place. We were going on waterslides, it was swimming pools and movie stars in LA. We had no angst against anything. We had a different spin on it”.
Though successful worldwide, including Australia, this will be the first time, in their 38 years of existence, that The Dickies will reach these shores. first time, Lee comments: “We haven’t forgotten Australia. It just never materialised. I said, ‘I’ll believe it when I see the airline tickets’. And this time, Metropolis Touring offered it and I guess it really must be happening cause you’re calling me so I guess there’s going to be airline tickets this time. We gonna fucken deliver as much as we can”.
Don’t miss The Dickies live in Australia & New Zealand for the very first time!
View the Tour Trailer: http://youtu.be/TqgMBLPqwbE
The Dickies’ 2015 Australian & New Zealand tour:
Thursday 16th: Melbourne – Evelyn Hotel (with extra special guest Nursery Crimes)
Friday 17th: Brisbane – Prince Of Wales Hotel
Saturday 18th: Sydney – Hermanns Bar (with extra special guests Nursery Crimes)
Thursday 23rd: Dunedin – Musician’s Club
Friday 24th: Christchurch – DuxLive
Saturday 25th: Wellington – Bodega
Sunday 26th (Long Weekend): Auckland – Kings Arms