Punk Rockers Enter Texas Music Hall of Fame

Gary Floyd gets the boys back together

Question: What does San Francisco have in common with Austin's South by Southwest Music Festival? If your answer is "hundreds of trust fund kids looking for entertainment," you're wronggggggg!!!!!!

The answer is, "Gary Floyd."

Floyd moved from Austin to San Francisco in the mid 80s. That was when he reformed his legendary punk band, The Dicks.

Back in Austin, The Dicks were considered an afront to humanity. At least that's how they appeared. To Floyd, the battles in Texas started even before he took the stage.

"From 1972 to 1974 I was a conscientious objector so I missed Vietnam, but I didn't miss its atmosphere," said Floyd.

"Even before The Dicks started I put up posters that said The Dicks were gonna play... I met Buxf and Glen then Pat.  We made posters that said, 'free shots all night to the first twenty people who bring guns,'" said Floyd.  

Hardcore punk shows in the early 80s were vital and every band competed for recognition. The Dicks held their own spot in the Austin vangaurd of bands and word of the singer's crazy antics spread through underground fanzines and public radio.  Rumors of the time the gay, cross dressing singer pulled liver from his underware and hurled it at the audience seemed to many like scenes from a John Waters movie. Floyd admits the look of his bandmates resembled that of a prison gang, not punk rockers.

The Dicks song lyrics were always topical and political. Themes ranged from war time issues to (Houston) police brutality which spanwed the song, "Dicks Hate Police."  The now classic tune was covered by Seattle grungies, Mudhoney.

Still, the shows created the legend. "We would dress up, and we we're like professed communists. So big drag queen looking people with hammer and sickles and a big serious speech always caused a stir!" said Floyd.

Gary Floyd continues to play music in San Francisco with bands like The Buddha Brothers, and The Gary Floyd Band. Austin Dicks: Buxf Parrott and Pat Deason play in Punkaroos and Shooting Pains.

The Dicks dedicate the reunion show to their late guitarist, Glen Taylor.

Now go comb your mohawk.

 Robert Wellington is Bay Area photojournalist and longtime rock musician of no particular merit.

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