Monday, October 19, 2015

David Ensminger HOUSTON PRESS article The Dicks From Texas: A Punk Band That Actually Scared People

L-R: Dicks front man and 'The Dicks From Texas' filmmaker Cindy Marabito
Photo by David Ensminger
Deep in the heart of rose-scented Texas, amid the leafy collegiate blocks and despite the barrooms spinning cosmic cowboys, Austin developed a sense of punk that at times seemed every bit as warped, electrifying and venomous as the Sex Pistols. Some of the names were unassuming — Standing Waves, the Huns, Terminal Mind, the Skunks — and then arrived the Dicks, a band to make the skin of “normals” crawl. First no more than a make-believe band gestated in the free-spirited, cantankerous mind of gay, left-wing wanderer Gary Floyd, they soon become a typhoon of primal potency. He steered them like a captain ready to slay Moby Dick, but instead of being a behemoth whale, Moby was a metaphor for staid, common-as-mud, ears-closed middle America.

The Dicks wanted to destroy the typical comforts of life: the false, slanted histories; the buried embarrassing sexualities; the rock-star clich├ęs and the workday routines. In their songs, porn shops and Maoism co-existed, drunkenness and pain too. They slugged away at racist police and the Klan, Nazis and rich daddies, and they mutated Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” into a violent, crude tirade. Floyd dressed in drag, tossed squirty condoms at crowds and used his big-boy body as a symbol of defiance against the norms of social etiquette. In doing so, The Dicks were a breathless hacksaw of renegade music eviscerating the masses.

Cindy Marabito’s new documentary The Dicks From Texas, about the Lone Star version of the band (Floyd later relocated to San Francisco and jump-started a fresh lineup) tries to shed light on the people, places and era that made it all happen. Her decades-old friendship with Floyd, like any authentic insider, allows her to muster up this DIY affair of the heart with down-home urgency and freshness. David Ensminger touched base with her before Thursday night's screening at Walters Downtown.

Houston Press: Since both versions of the Dicks were much admired, how did the film organize around the concept of the Dicks in Texas? Was it due to Cindy's personal connection, or is there some significant or special quality about the Texas lineup/era you both wanted to explore?

Cindy Marabito:
The Dicks changed my life and basically influenced most of my interests since the first time I met Gary and subsequently Pat [Deason], Buxf [Parrot] and Glen [Taylor]. With me, their politics, the lifestyle and the music most especially provided a strength, which has fueled me throughout my life. I’ve found the music of the Dicks, the original songs, to help me throughout life’s challenges. I have encountered many others like myself who shared that experience with the Dicks music.

Not to disparage the second Dicks or any of Gary Floyd’s other bands and musical efforts, because his life and his art have been joyful and enriching to experience, but there was a blossoming that happened for me with that first Texas Dicks during a very special time that I felt driven and compelled to document and share. In fact, it’s been my life’s mission to try and capture that story and that wonderful scene in Austin, Texas during the early '80s.

Various books, documentaries and fanzine articles have discussed the band, and Gary, too, so what does the film reveal, uncover or illuminate that really makes it a must-see?

One thing I wanted to try and re-create was the feeling of community surrounding the Dicks and the Austin punk scene. There was something really special going on at that time when you’d walk down the street and come upon lively, interesting people, musicians [and] artists. You might run into a big star like Patti Smith, who hung out for a while in Austin as did other luminaries, but there was something else going on. Everybody was somebody special; that was the feeling one had. I really wanted to create that feeling in the film, not only as an offering from me to the Dicks [but] to the Austin of that time. Also, I wanted to leave something for others to enjoy like a sort of time capsule filled with very special people.

Unfortunately, due to deaths, both members of the band and members of the community, some voices cannot be caught on film. How did that make the film a challenge: How do you honor the dead?

That was hard. It took 16 years to finally finish it, and we lost some close family. To the best of my ability, I tried to create a montage honoring those we lost. It works pretty well, and I can say I’m happy with the result. I didn’t want a huge boulder of despair to hang like a pall over the story, so magically, as always, Gary saved the show. There is an incredible live performance after with Gary being lifted by fans in mosh pit and very lovingly carried over their heads.

To me, that wonderful music and that spirit literally lifts me up, too, as the viewer. Yet again, the Dicks and their music give me a strength that helps me to carry on. It was a spiritual move for me and when I watch the parts of the film with those who’re gone. It’s almost like I get to have them close once more, just for a minute.

What is always striking to me about the band's history is how many "famous band" people really were in awe of Gary — his voice, persona, politics, his sheer presence. As the film makes clear, this was quite true. What was it like to round up and reach out to these people?

The famous people in the film were all very approachable. Henry Rollins made time for me, as did Ian MacKaye, David Yow, Texas Terri and Mike Watt and Lynn Perko. I hate to even leave out the names of the Austin superstars because they really all turned out [and] dropped everything to be a part of the film — Biscuit, Pat Doyle, Buxf, Pat and Gary, of course. Davy Jones and Mark Kenyon really stepped up to the plate to help tie together the old Dicks to the reunion shows. One thing I would like to say: I don’t know how superstars in Hollywood act, but in punk rock, everybody I’ve ever encountered has always been very real and human.

There is a whole new realm of talent creating great music right now. A lot of artists, new and not so new, influenced by the Dicks' music have generously and brilliantly contributed songs for the accompanying CD to the film, The Dicks From Texas and Friends. It’s all over the place as far as tone and style and, to me, really says how these musicians have interpreted those classic Dicks songs. Again, the music itself is so big.

What did the Dicks offer that you feel transcended Austin in the early 1980s? For me, Gary's unabashed queerness and politics completely foreshadowed the current era, for both queer issues and left politics are openly debated, including gay marriage and Bernie Sanders.

That was a time when a large gay communist man in a bra and panties was uncommon. Gary put himself out there with the Dicks in a manner which defied convention. I mean, okay, there was and is homophobia, but Gary really made it hard to bash someone so in your face, someone that everybody loved. I think the Dicks have left that legacy for others both in their music and their politics to not be afraid, a common theme in punk music, but the Dicks took it to a whole new extreme. It didn’t hurt that the music was so damn good.

The Dicks from Texas will screen tomorrow night at Walters Downtown (1120 Naylor) along with performances by Poor Dumb Bastards, Screech of Death, Black Irish Texas and Scorpio Rising. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Friday, May 1, 2015

CULT NATION: The Bluesy Band of 80’s Hardcore… The DICKS 1985 Rare Footage!

Who had one of the biggest singing voices of the 80’s hardcore scene? Hands down, I would say Gary Floyd. This dude can really fucking sing – if Ella Fitzgerald and Jello Bifaria had a bastard, he would be their offspring. His Texas band The Dicks rocked stages all over the state with their homies The Big Boys before relocating to San Francisco.

Their album Kill From The Heart released on SST records was raging political statement that I still love to this day (so many of his lyrics still ring true!). When I moved to the Bay Area in the 80’s, The Dicks were a band that I always made an effort to go see, because they packed such a HUGE punch live. If I was not under Gary’s spell, I would be watching their drummer Lynn, who would beat the shit out of her kit.

Cindy Marabito has just released her documentary about them called The Dicks From Texas, and if it comes to your town make sure to check it out. Right here and now, peep this killer footage from a The Dicks show that took place in 1985. I will always and forever love Gary Floyd’s voice, it still gives me chills!

The Dicks 1985 Elk's Lodge Atlantic City #1

The Dicks 1985 Elk's Lodge Atlantic City #3

Intro: The Dicks From Texas

Dicks - Kill From the Heart - 01 Anti-Klan (Part 1)

DICKS 1980 1986 Full Album


Sean Reveron was born & raised in Venice Beach, CA. He terrorized the streets of the West Side as a young Suicidal Boy, and was a part of the early Hardcore movement. Sean has always been passionate about the music and the DIY fashion of the crust and metal world, and that passion led him and his wife Meghan to create the world of CVLT Nation and the CVLT clothing brand.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Dicks From Texas and friends

The Dicks From Texas and friends is a great album.....28 Dicks songs performed by 27 wonderful bands.

First song on The Dicks From Texas and friends is a curious and scary take on The Dicks Hate the Police by a guy named Brian Winterman. Brian is a college professor in Indiana by day and a force to be reckoned with by any of these new country acts who put gel on their faux hawks and wear jeans with machine punched holes.
Hate the Police by Brian Winterman

This song was selected to open The Dicks From Texas and friends for a reason, to ignite a fucked up mood. This song pays off and opens a creaky door into a special weird place for the essential Dicks lover to go when he's been a bad, bad boy.
Dead in a Motel Room by The Bulemics
Dead in a Motel Room is covered by the Bulemics on The Dicks From Texas and friends record and opens up with a nice salute to Mr. Glen Taylor.

 They give that old motel room a good old shakin out and tie it up in a sweet package in a swell tribute to the Dicks.

Thank you, guys, for an awesome cover of Dead in a Motel Room for some of us who've seen a bunch of greasy, nasty low-rent dives but still like to dance.

Babysit by The Surlys
The Surlys do their girly girl hardcore jam on Babysit for The Dicks From Texas and friends. 
They threw Tobasco ALL OVER THE PLACE and don't care who knows about it! 

The Surlys are sassy ass in your face and do the song right...if Joan Jett would have been more like the Surlys, Toby Mauldin probly wouldn't have booed her off the stage at Iggy Pop. Yeah, man.

Song #4 on The Dicks From Texas and friends is Shit on me by Cunto! Rare is the time when a great live band captures that feeling on a record and they done it! Cunto! Cunto! reminds me of the Dicks in a weird way like fuck you world, just kidding hahaha! 

Shit on me by Cunto!
So if you want to hear a shit on me fuck you just kidding shout out to the Dicks, this is it. Commie rock with a mandolin? Cunto! makes you feel young and happy! Yay!

Fake Bands by Brewtality Incorporated
Fake Bands? Brewtality Incorporated covers the Dicks Fake Bands on The Dicks From Texas and friends tribute record. These guys don't mess around and mean it. 

Old school version of hardcore in and slap you around a minute then out. These guys school taught em that punk was rock songs under a minute and they learned it good. Lean mean version of Fake Bands one two three four!

Lifetime Problems by Black Irish Texas

Numero seis is Black Irish Texas covering the Dicks Lifetime Problems and boy, I mean problems. Not since Johnny Cash's guitar player found him passed out in a booth with a mouthful of Irish potaters has Texas and punk and mean ass country fused itself into a scary wild and wonderful exhibition. 

Just plain, wow...these guys do a bang up off the hook Lifetime Problems complete with problems and a side a cheese ha ha ha ha ha...haw haw haw haw haw....sucker!!!!

Shit Fool by The Beaumonts
 The Beaumonts cover Shit Fool #7 on the record. Oboy! Before these guys, back in Beaumont we used to go to Lady Long Legs after work and two step. One nite a guy threw the table my sister was sitting at over because she wouldn't dance with him. He said he could tell by the tension in the air what a SHIT FOOL everybody thought he was!

The Beaumonts manage to get those old beer drinking hillbilly sentiments all wrapped up in their genius cover of Shit Fool...guess I'll fuck this fool again. Last nite on the Grammys those new country people were making me sick at my stomach, so I turned it off and went and listened to Shit Fool by the Beaumonts and everything went back to warped in my crazy old country universe. Thank you, Beaumonts, for Shit Fool and making Beaumont a happy memry.

Kill From the Heart by Pocket FishRmen
Track 8 on The Dicks From Texas is by everybody's favorite Pocket FishRmen who cover Kill From the Heart. A triple Les Paul gold star for crazy pickups..come on, pig..gimme some bacon! 

Cris produced this entire beautiful and wonderful tribute record to the Dicks and I think he had a good time, right? It sounds like it. Happy yet, students?
Little Boys' Feet by The Gay Sportscasters

and the monkey chewed tobacco on the street car line...#9 #9 #9....Little Boys Feet by The Gay Sportscasters. How can something so wrong be so right?

Hey, mister, you got any shoes? Smelling all those feet and shoes makes me feel like that Danny Partridge over there? Definitely the top forty Casey Kasum pick of the week, little boys.

Houston Bookstore by Poor Dumb Bastards
Poor Dumb Bastards Houston Texas Bookstore is a scary thing. They're over in the sausage aisle at Houston H.E.B. where there ain't no margin for error instead of Westlake Hills Safeway. PDB take hardcore to a bunch of other levels on Bookstore HTX like going behind the carny rides at the Beaumont TX State Fair. What the enthusiast wants on his Ipod for trolling piss bars and he'll be fine...just fine.

Right Wing, White Ring by New Mystery Girl
Oh my God...#12 is Chrissy Flatt and New Mystery Girl's cover of the Dicks Right Wing/Right Wing. They put a new folkie spin on this standard that just won't quit. For some reason, that sweet innocent voice really packs a whollup and some fancy guitar pickin brings it right on home. 

Hey, mothers crying in the street....sounds very sweet, but manages to get under your skin and bother even the toughest old bird. Sweet, just plain sweet..and our pick of the day for Valentine's Day.

#13 is Rich Daddy cover by El Pathos. David Duet lends his lonesome on'ry mean pipes like he means it..he must mean it, right? Guess I won't have nothing when I'm sick and old...for a teeny tiny surprise, Buxf (I believe, don't quote me) debuted his new stand up bass for this recording and word on the street has it there's a bunch of wild ass twirling and hijinks onstage when El Pathos performs Rich Daddy live. Can't wait to see. We are all little kids at the candy store and never had no rich daddys like the mean ass frats this song was written about. Where are they now? Who cares? Sing me that song, daddy.

Rich Daddy by El Pathos
Bourgeois Fascist Pig by Black Eyed Vermillion

#14 on the Dicks From Texas tribute record is a shout out from Black Eyed Vermillion who covers Bourgeois Fascist Pig. Oh boy, a Bourgeois Fascist Pig is not a fun thing to be when these guys get ahold of one. 

When they get done turning it every which way but loose, these boys get going on Nazi's with No Nazi's Friend for a big old double whammy finish. Be nice to Jews and gypsies, don't rip off poor people, kiss your momma and listen to this song again. What a great band and a truly heartfelt rendition of these Dicks classics. Yeah, boy!

No Nazi's Friend by The Fuckemos

OK, Nazi Nazi Nazi is my new favorite word. I literally go around saying Nazi Nazi Nazi in my deep Fuckemos voice all the time. 

When the dogs are naughty they get called Nazi Nazi Nazi and I can't wait to make a tee shirt outta this. LOVE love love the Fuckemos' version of the Dicks' No Nazi's Friend. It's so fucked up great. I'm addicted. 

Whoever thought Nazis could be so much fun? Yay, Fuckemos for making a great song even greater. I'm your biggest fan! Oh, yeah..numero 15 on The Dicks From Texas and friends. I think this is the best song for all us old ladies who rescue dogs....hahaha.

Pigs Run Wild by The Flash Boys

 Who would ever have thought Pigs Run Wild would make a fabulous pop song? The Flash Boys version turns this number inside out..and that don't make it right! But, it sure makes it fun fun fun to be a teenager again for a couple a minutes. Overthrow the government while you're dancing, right? Thank you, Flash Boys, for the great entertainment and keeping us young and frightening. Yay for #16. Fuck me, it's hard to read Soviet!

Suicide Note by Churchwood
Whoever thought a bunch of men in suits with church in their name could be so naughty? Churchwood picked the Dicks Suicide Note to cover and #17 on the tribute album. Weirdly, it's part of a messed up religious sounding trilogy right smack dab in the middle of the record. Suicide Note, a Dicks standard, sometimes gets a little lost in the shuffle, but not no more.

Churchwood is such a great band. Not to piss anybody off, but that Phil Spector wall of sound is all over the place. Whoever thought guitars, bass and drums could cook up all those sounds? Wow, just plain, wow. Take me home, Jesus! Ain't nobody checking out on this Suicide Note.

Anti-Klan Parts I & II by Jesus Christ Superfly
The second entry in our little religious mini-trilogy - Jesus Christ Superfly does Anti-Klan Parts 1 and 2! Starting off mellow and slow #18 Part II, Rick Carney's rich voice warns those nasty ass klansmen to get lost.. ........then a freebie, #19 Part I goes all punk rock for those old crackers that didn't get the message the first time! These guys drive it home and then hit you over the head with it again and I'm here to testify. Superfly!                                                               
Wheelchair Epidemic by The Jesus Lizard
A special moment in The Dicks From Texas movie is when David Yow talks about sitting outside Raul's and not being able to afford to go inside. Buxf walked up to him and took him down to Conan's to smoke a joint. David talks about being starstruck. David was in from the minute I started shooting this film all those years ago and when Robbie Jacks and me were gonna do a tribute album, David was in from the getgo....he really is a punk rock punk rocker.

They don't make em any punkier, any funner, any more artsy and Wheelchair Epidemic is The Jesus Lizard's contribution to our little dicks worship church # 20. I've always sang along hut hut, hut hut like Sgt. Schultz in Hogan's Heroes. I know it's not the right words, but it's so much fun. David has always dropped whatever he's doing even when it's in a hotel room in Paris with Kate Moss to help his old friends the Dicks..and it don't get punker than that. Thank you David and Jesus, too.

Saturday Night at the Bookstore by Doug Hilsinger
Doug Hilsinger took time off from his other gigs and musical collaborations to turn in a word for word version of Saturday Night at the Bookstore. I think Doug's Safeway in in San Francisco, but he still gets the point across loud AND clear. He's in LOVE with the Glory Hole. We all are!

Doug plays all the music and vocals on Bookstore for the #21 entry, but it sounds like a roomful of big old singing musical bears. Can I say Doug is not too hard on the eyes, neither? Looks, talent, personality and can he play that guitar or what? Scary good. Go fuck your wife, fuck your wife! I'm gonna listen to Doug Hilsinger sing Saturday Night at the Bookstore one more time on this righteous Sunday morning.

Lifetime Problems by Texas Terri and The Stiff Ones

 Texas Terri was in this thing from the getgo! Whatever was needed for the movie or record, she was all over..just like she does her music...with everything she's got. There's a reason she's called Texas Terri, cuz you don't mess with Texas and you sure don't wanna mess with Texas Terri.

Lifetime Problems was recorded way back on Tx. Terri's first record which she dedicated to Glen Taylor. She's been all around the world and is the rare breed that spent a lot of time in LA and never lost her Texas girl realness and attitude. She's the real deal and a real friend. So don't try to be her wife, that's for sure. You can take the girl outta Texas....#22 Lifetime Problems by Texas Terri and the Stiff Ones.
The Dicks Hate the Police by The Offenders
 #23 is the classic top forty hit Dicks Hate the Police by the classic punk forty oz. warriors The Offenders. How can you talk about the Offenders without a moment of honor for Mikey and Tony. I remember when these guys all first blew into sweetly recollected by Pat Doyle in The Dicks From Texas movie.

I love The Offenders and the Offenders you hear today include two new members and two new friends, Jeff Martin on guitar and Craig Merritt on bass. How can JJ still sound like a little boy is beyond belief, but he does. Rightful that they should have picked this song. Thank you are the real deal.
Shit on me by Mike Watt and The Secondment
twenny fo used to be chicken fried steak where me and Martha worked in Beaumont..but now it's Mike Watt and The Secondmen's cover of the Dicks Shit on me. First off, Mike Watt is a huge hero of mine from the old minutemen days and his lifelong friendship and collaboration with D Boon who was lost so tragically in 1983 and George Hurley.

I could make a whole movie about Mike'd be hard pressed to find a nicer fella or a more genuine honest and gifted soul on the planet earth and then can give that bass a whippin your momma would be proud of.

The Secondmen bring a weird industrial vibe to the classic and favorite Shit on me that used to be on Mike Watt's answering machine. Thank you to a great guy and great band, literally an American icon. Big fan.
LOve Love LOVE..where is the LOVE???? Right here with Scorpio Rising and this most wonderful rendition of The Dicks Love Song since that wonderful righteous night way back at Raul's when Gary and the Dicks recorded it the first time. Scorpio Rising #25 on the record with the Dicks Love Song.

No donny and roberta, but who needs em when you got real live seagulls like a love filled afternoon cruising the Galveston bay on a ferry boat. It's springtime and love love love is in the air, right Ms. Whitehair?

This song is so special and really captures the essence of the that even legal? Oh, boy. I cried when I first heard this song and have choked up a couple a times since. Play this one at my funeral right after the orig.

Rich Bastard by Punkaroos

Punkaroos features the first lady of punk-try music, Ms. Dotty Farrell. Somebody needs to mention while all those old sourpusses were writing about punk being dead, Dotty was still singing punk songs and coloring her hair bright orange.

Punkaroos cover a dicks song Rich Bastard for #26 and keep the dream alive on this record with Pat 'Dick' Deason on drums, Buxf Parrott on bass, Todd Kassens and Mark Kenyon kicking ass on guitars.

Couldn't have finished this record without Punkaroos and its true dicks and dick loving personnel...and off topic, you hadn't lived till you've heard Dotty sing Fortunate Son. how bout that for some punk, huh?

Dickhead by Pretty Mouth
once in my life i'm at a loss hearing this song #27 from Pretty Mouth leaves me quiet, my mouth dry and wanting to hear more from this band. Mark Kenyon, Buxf Parrott, McGoo and Glen Taylor's original song written by two of the dicks and played with two other dicks is the next to last entry in the tribute.

Tribute it is..scary wonderful guitar from Glen Taylor is just haunting in every sense of the word. He was surrounded by his best friends in this life making music, great music. and that's how it should be...this song preciously tucked into a nest of the best music I've heard in a long long time. He would be so happy to know how many people and musicians remember the dicks and have given their time and talent to making this album. Pretty Mouth.
Guilbeau 2 by Garish

so the final contribution is #28 by Garish...Gary Floyd...which makes a perfect closing number. Just like Gary having a cherry on the ice cream cone. How perfect to have Gary doing a spoken word cover of Guilbeau with crazy beatnik percussion. Now everyone is here just like a perfect little world for all of us who love the dicks. how sweet...bee nice.

The Dicks From Texas website:


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Documentary Dude revisits the Dicks From Texas and the record, too!

An Interview with Cindy Marabito, Director – The Dicks from Texas

The people behind Cindy Marabito's film 'The Dicks from Texas'
The people behind Cindy Marabito’s film ‘The Dicks from Texas’
“…just get your story out there. It might not be on 35mm and have a Hollywood deal, but if it takes one person someplace he’s never been before, then you’ve done your job, for yourself and for your audience and your subject.” – Cindy Marabito

Something I love about the Documentary genre is that the films are often made by independent film-makers without the backing and the political correctness of big studios. Just a person with a passion for a subject and a desire to share it with a wider audience. ‘The Dicks from Texas’ is one such movie, put together over a period of 16 years by a fan wanting  to document a band that was quite influential on the music and culture of it’s time. I am very fortunate to have been able to interview Cindy Marabito, the driving force behind the movie and get a deeper insight into the film and how it was made

Documentary Dude Firstly, congratulations on finishing your documentary. I understand you have been working on it for 16 years so it is quite an achievement. What made you decide to make a documentary about “The Dicks”?

Cindy Marabito I was working at Monaco Film Lab in San Francisco when I started actual shooting. At the time, I had access to 16mm stock and processing, so I thought it would be a slam dunk. Was I wrong? I wound up 16 years later on mini-dv and finally my IPhone, but I got my story told and out there for the world to see. I really felt like it was a story that needed to be told. You hear that a lot when people are trying to sell their films, but I must have really believed in ‘The Dicks from Texas’. Making it was a lot of things, but slam dunk wasn’t one of them.

DD I understand you were a film student but I believe your current ‘day job’ is running an animal rescue centre. Had you made any films before this one or was this your first?

CM I did a bunch of stuff in school and some super 8 stuff, but this was my first formal film project. I really wanted to finish on 16 and while at Monaco, down the road from a great organization Film Arts Foundation, I had a great concept. It was the start of online linear editing and my idea was to shoot on 16, transfer to mini-dv, edit and then transfer back to 16mm. It was a great idea and would have given young and poor artists the opportunity to tell their story in the medium of film.

However, life has other plans. I found a pit bull and got involved in rescue work. I shelved my film (periodically) and saved about a million pit bulls and other animals in the meantime. I’ve written a book about my work in rescue, Pit Bull Nation, along with five scripts and two other books ready for publication. I also write the column American Pit Bull Examiner and a blog Pit Bulls and Other Animals. Whenever money was too tight to work on the film, I always had my writing….which I do love.

DD Why did it take the time that it did and how did you keep the motivation going to complete the film?

CM Mainly the money and the rescue. You wouldn’t think pit bulls and filmmaking would intersect, but in my life they actually have. I went through six hard drives in the process of completing ‘The Dicks from Texas’. Imagine your external hard drive crashing and having to re-upload all those hundreds of hours of interviews and footage…again and again. What a downer, right? Well, I learned something years ago at UT Austin where I worked in the film studio. The man who ran the department told me the best piece of advice for a filmmaker, know your footage. That is so true. I look at what happens to me in life as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to be strong. Those hard drive crashes, like other life experiences, taught me to ‘know my footage.’

I also went through nearly 10 versions of Final Cut Pro, backed up back to FCP7 after dabbling with FCP10 for about a minute, and learned how to stumble around on my mac with ‘The Dicks’. I love this band. They’ve guided me through my life and those songs have provided me with the strength to get back up and try again….like a pit bull.

Finally, my work with animals has led me on a holistic path. Reunion Rescue operates the world’s only holistic raw-feeding no-kill pit bull refuge. I want to share this work with others so that more animals can be helped and we can put a stop to epidemic killing. A couple of years ago, I came up with the idea to build a world-class shopping and training centre for dogs out of shipping containers, Doglandia. With my share of the proceeds from the film and The Dicks from Texas and Friends Tribute CD, I plan to build Doglandia.

DD Given the time that it took to make the film and the fact that most of the events surrounding the band took place 30 years ago were there any difficulties that you faced in finding the people and the material and putting it all together?

CM The hardest part was the loss of our dear friends who passed away. Glen Taylor was the brilliant Dicks guitar player who is very much loved and respected by the Dicks followers left behind. We lost Dolores Aguirre of the Torn Panties and Toby Mauldin and Philip Guilbeau along with Biscuit, all close friends who made up the fabric of our close-knit scene back in Austin, Texas. Luckily, I was able to get wonderful interviews with Do, Toby, Philip and Biscuit, but there were other special people like Robbie Jacks and Dixon Coulbourn who passed away before I could interview them.

One thing I learned from ‘The Dicks from Texas’ is to not waste time or postpone contacting a friend when you think about them. You might not have that opportunity again.

DD Looking back over the whole process, if you could do it again would there be anything you would have done differently?

CM Looking back, I don’t think I should have done anything differently. Had I finished earlier, I probably would have made a more slick film which I know would have alienated the Dicks. They are not a slick band and have really always done things their way.

The only thing I really would like is to have the music more prominent. It was always my intention to make the music the star of the film. The little bit of live footage which has survived was shot on video equipment which doesn’t have the best sound quality, so although I’m so very grateful to have the footage, I’d really have loved to have been able to better share those wonderful songs with viewers.

DD How has the film been received by the Punk community?

CM The showing here in Austin sold out two weeks ahead of the event, so I’d say the punk crowd here was plenty receptive. It was a great night. People were talking about it for a couple of days after on The Dicks from Texas Facebook page and Janet Hammer wrote a piece about it in Punk Globe. It really was a night to remember, like she said, a class reunion of sorts. A lot of the night’s fabulousness included 14 of the wonderful bands who’ve contributed songs for The Dicks from Texas and Friends CD who performed at the event.

DD Has the Austin punk scene changed much since your early days as a fan?

CM Oh, yeah. But…in a good way. No scene could stay like that magic time in 1980 when Raul’s Club was happening and Patti Smith or Elvis Costello would drop in after their gigs. It was a special time and I tried to capture the flavour of it in ‘The Dicks from Texas’. However, that being said, when the covers CD was coming together, these incredible bands stepped up to the plate with incredible versions of Dicks songs.

Some of these bands are not what you’d call punk, but if you start dissecting the Dicks music, elements of blues, jazz, rock and even hip hop surface. What these young bands do with the Dicks library is showcase what really is going on in Austin music and even in American music currently.

We can talk about it for hours and I think they have forums at SXSW which do just that, but if you get tired of hearing people talk, listen to The Beaumonts do Shit Fool or Black Irish Texas cover Lifetime Problems, the Gay Sportscasters’ version of Little Boys Feet and Fuckemo’s’ No Nazi’s Friend.

You are hearing what is really great in Austin, Texas musically with a solid hard-core link to Austin punk during Raul’s’ days. These bands covered songs from 3 little records that have survived over 35 years pretty much without benefit of record deals, promo and social media enjoyed by the select few cherry-picked by the music industry for you to listen to.

DD You have said before that this film was a labour of love for you. What advice would you give others who may not be in the film industry but have a dream of one day making a movie?

CM Kind of like the comments on the Dicks’ music and those wonderful bands who covered songs on the record and other young people out there creating music and film, writing….just get your story out there. It might not be on 35mm and have a Hollywood deal, but if it takes one person someplace he’s never been before, then you’ve done your job, for yourself and for your audience and your subject.

DD If someone wanted to learn more about Texas Punk after watching ‘The Dicks from Texas’ are there any other films they can see?

CM Joe Salinas is finishing up his Big Boys doc, so keep an eye out for that. There are so many good films coming out. The Dicks from Texas is playing CIMMFEST in Chicago April 16 and there are so many films I wish I could afford to stay and see. Maybe not Texas punk films, but there’s a doc on Morphine, the band, and I’ve always been a sucker for a sax. Another doc on Jaco Pastorius is being premiered which I’d love to see. Again, maybe not Texas punk, but the pathos and brilliance of his music reminds me of the Dicks, both the times and the sadness.We Jam Econo, the Minutemen doc is really good to watch. Of course, they were a Cali band, but our heroes back in the day. To me, the Minutemen were a lot like the Dicks, not particularly in musical style, but in attitude, so individual and they were just so funny. Seeing D Boon dance across the stage in those funky-ass shoes is a crack up.

I didn’t say this before, but I’ve probably watched more movies than anybody. I’ve reviewed and written columns about film and could have gone the film snob route, but that really cuts you off. I tell people to watch everything, even those huge blockbusters that saturate the theatres during the summertime. There is always some really cool bit part that steals the show, so I watch for that. I watch films like I write stories and try not to miss anything. Don’t blink.

DD What next for your film? Are you looking for a distributor? How can people get to see it?
CM If it were the right distributor, I’d be interested. I’ve fought hard to keep it raw like the Dicks were and are. A lot of people would want to polish it up, but it’s dirty and jagged and you feel like you’ve been in a beer-soaked punk club when you get done watching it. So if I could find a messed up distributor that would be interested in keeping it messed up, then I’m all ears. For now, I’m DIY’ing it. Imagine it on a little good times van traveling around the world. If 100 people in any town anywhere want to see ‘The Dicks from Texas’, I’ll play it there. I even set up a Kickstarter for that purpose.

Kickstarter – Bring ‘The Dicks from Texas’ to a town near you
DD What next for Cindy Marabito?

CM I still have a houseful of dogs looking for homes. I’m putting the finishing touches on my memoir Fag Hag with some details that didn’t manage to make their way into the film. Still trying to build Doglandia and still trying to change the world, one dog at a time. In the meantime, I’m managing to learn some new things and hear some great new music from some amazing people right here in Austin, Texas U.S.A. In a weird way, I feel like they opened up the doors at Raul’s for a whole new generation and that is so cool.

You can read the review of ‘The Dicks from Texas’ here

You can follow Cindy Marabito on Twitter here

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Documentary Dude gives The Dicks From Texas a check plus

Documentary Dude reviewed The Dicks From Texas and here's what they had to say:

The Dicks from TexasNow I am the first to admit that I am not a fan of Punk Rock music, it’s a bit too hard core for my taste, so when Director Cindy Marabito asked me to review her documentary ‘The Dicks from Texas’, I was a little nervous. After all how would I review film about something that I am not particularly keen on?

But the whole purpose behind Documentary Dude is to expand my horizons and allow me to learn about different aspects of the world we live in so I thought I would watch and see what I could learn from it.

The Dicks are a Punk Rock band from Austin, Texas formed in the early 80’s. They were started originally by Gary Floyd as what’s called a poster band, a fictitious group that only existed on the advertising posters stuck up on walls around Austin. Eventually they became a reality and started performing in venues in Austin before shifting base to San Francisco building up a fiercely loyal following. Eventually disbanding in 1986 they then reformed in 2004 for a reunion concert and continue to have die-hard followers to this day, including a second generation of fans too young to have seen the original line up.

‘The Dicks from Texas’ was made as an incredible 16 year labor of love by Cindy Marabito, a film student and fan of the band at the time when they were prominent in the punk scene in Austin. The film at first is a little difficult to follow. There are a lot of contemporaries and fans interviewed and until you get to know who’s who, it’s a bit hard to understand what is going on. Many of the interviews are conducted in bars and pubs so the sound quality of some of the segments is not that great and that combined with the often jerky editing makes the film a difficult one to watch at first.
However once you get to know the main characters and learn more of the back story you get drawn deeper into the film and you get an interesting insight into the Austin punk scene of the early 80’s.
Gary Floyd - The Dicks from Texas

The Dicks’ lead singer, Gary Floyd was an outrageously flamboyant character and not someone that would fit my, admittedly limited, knowledge of a punk rock singer. Openly gay and often hugely overweight, he would perform on stage in makeup, unusual outfits, sometimes in a nurses uniform, while sporting wild hairdos ranging from bleached blond hair to a spiky Mohawk and even a single pink curl. Observing from an age of sanitized boy bands and politically correct artists, it’s quite an eye opener to see a band like this perform.

‘The Dicks from Texas’ gives a fascinating look into a subculture that I never knew existed. I was never aware of gay punk bands, always assuming the punk scene to be a homophobic one but after watching the film and researching a little more, I’ve discovered that it has spawned ‘Queercore’ a whole subgenre of itself. Although assumed to be originating in the mid 80’s it could be said that it had its roots in the work of bands like The Dicks and also the Big Boys, another band mentioned in the documentary, both fronted by openly gay lead singers.

The film may not have a widespread appeal, possibly being more popular with fans familiar with the scene at that time, but if you are interested in music history and culture, it’s an interesting documentary. The Dicks have since been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame proving their acceptance amongst more mainstream contemporaries. The enduring legacy of music is further shown by a scene in the movie during one of the reunion concerts where an eight year old boy, the son of one of the original fans is singing along at the front of the concert, knowing all the words to the songs.
The Dicks from Texas - BW
What interests me more personally is that Gary Floyd is shown during interviews wearing a Satya Sai Baba pendant and Japa Malas and appears to have gone through some form of inner transformation from his days as a cross dressing punk rocker. I’m keen to read his book ‘Please Bee Nice’ and get more of an insight into his own journey, possibly reason for a documentary all of it’s own.

You can learn more about the band on their website:

You can also purchase a CD of their music and a copy of the documentary will be available for purchase soon.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Blog and re-blog tweet and re-tweet the Dicks From TEXAS and Ms. Hammer!

Janet Hammer wrote the best ass article about The Dicks From Texas and the cd The Dicks From Texas and friends...just read and see... 

Austin Fusion Magazine's RxSM Festival and The Dicks From Texas Review

RXSM’s opening reception last night was not one you would expect to participate in at a film festival. Spiderhouse Ballroom may have been bulging at the seams with attendees mingling and engrossed in film conversations, but above everything else it was a party.

The event started, and ended the night, with performances by local bands. Not your typical local bands, mind you, but ones that have influenced the Austin rock scene for decades: The Offenders, The Bulemics,  Black Irish Texas, El Pathos,  Cunto!, The Beaumonts, The Surlys, Pocket FishRmen, The Flash Boys, Churchwood, The Dickins,  Scorpio Rising,  Jesus Christ Superfly, New Mystery Girl, Brewtality, Inc. and Black Eyed Vermillion.

As the evening approached the main event, the premier of the highly anticipated documentary “The Dicks from Texas,” the crowd became blended between film fans and true Austinites. The documentary was for them, after all, the ones who lived this iconic era in the Austin music scene. The atmosphere expressed that, and the enjoyment of the audience seeing their youth on screen made for one of the best viewing experiences imaginable. It didn’t feel like a festival, it was a night where old friends came together, a class reunion of sorts.

As much as Austin has changed in the last few years, the DNA of what makes this city great is still alive and well. It’s in the people who were part of RXSM’s opening night, celebrating a great documentary about an impactful group of young guys who will always be loved. If the opening night sets the tone for the rest of the festival, this weekend will be one hell of a indie film festival.

Written by Lisa Mejia (
Images by Micael Monroe (

Week late Chicago/New Orleans timeline

Well, I've been laid up with a bum leg since my trip to Chicago and New Orleans. I would have cancelled the whole thing were it not for a stealthy fine from the airlines and packages. So here goes.

I lit out April 15 with an extremely messed up leg and flare up of my sciatica from loading organic chicken for the dogs. The pain that wouldn't leave times 10!

I had to be at the airport by four so left here with good intentions and quickly realized I was going to have to take advantage of the handicapped amenities. With my 61st
birthday around the corner, was this a wake up call for things to come?

Wicker Park
I arrived at the airport and parked in my favorite lot. They were super nice and said they'd send the shuttle right over to get me so that I wouldn't have to walk a step. I make it into the airport ok and whisk through the Frontier counter with ease. Is that Billy Bob Thornton standing in front of me?

After probably the best meal I will eat in the next five days with a delicious carrot and ginger salad, it's up up up in the friendly skies. Next stop, Chicago-land.

I get in a little after 7 p.m. and start trying to figure out my route to House of 2 Urns.

Cats, of course!
I am so tired and my poor leg is throbbing, so I can't drop in at Society for Arts where CIMMFEST is screening some great films. There are some great films being screened at CIMMFEST this year, but I'm just too tired and
sore to enjoy anything other than a good night's sleep.

I would love to stay over and see Jaco about Jaco Pastorius, the incredible bass player who died tragically so young. CIMMFEST is also premiering Journey of Dreams about the band Morphine which I absolutely love. Sometimes, I just wish I could sit and watch movies all day like I used to do.

from the bus

Seagulls eating burritos
Next day: after a shitty experience at a record store, I'm back on the next bus with 1/2 of the worst Chicago burrito ever and my leg is really starting to hurt. I'd like to do some sightseeing, but options are pretty limited. It was between Lake Michigan and Jane Addams Hull House. I opt for Lake Michigan as the least painful of the two.

I fed the burrito to some gulls and ran out of juice on my
phone. I am super in pain now and looking at about an hour on the bus. Naturally, I miss my stop and have another 1/2 hour wait to catch a bus back to the hotel.