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:

www.thedicksfromtexas.com

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


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