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