The Dickies Warped tour controversy – punk band leave tour after onstage rant

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 10.57.55Comedy bubble-punk veterans The Dickies are embroiled in the middle of controversy on the annual Warped tour after after their frontman had a Donald Trump style meltdown at an audience member. The parallels with the American President’s twitter feeds are interesting – and underline the streak of conservatism that lies at the heart of some old school punk.

What do you think? Were the Dickies in the tradition of punk gross out or should their onstage sexist tirades be stood up to? has punk gone soft, should there be freedom of whatever expression you want or is it time to make a stand against old time attitudes?

The Warped tour is the big annual multi band bill that tours across the USA and the band that some people are calling punk classic due to their decades long career were playing their Ramones style old school punk rock rush set with gonzoid shock rock attitude with frontman Leonard Graves Phillips making ‘jokes about things like how much he loves teen girls and how he would love to snort Viagra off your asses and fuck your daughters.’

Bored of this shtick a woman in the audience held up a sign with “Teen girls deserve respect, not gross jokes from disgusting old men! Punk shouldn’t be predatory!” which caught the attention of the singer who replied with a Trump style monologue that has resulted in the band no longer being on the tour. His rant was…

“Kiss it, ya bitch! I have fucked farm animals that were prettier than you, you fucking hog,” he shouted on the mic, his words traveling past the crowd, over the field. This elicited some laughs from the audience, who he then led in a chant of: “BLOW ME! BLOW ME! BLOW ME! BLOW ME! BLOW ME! BLOW ME! BLOW ME!” before wrapping up with: “How does it feel? To get shouted away, you cunt? C.U.N.T. Can you spell? You’re a fat cunt. Fuck you!”

The whole affair has caused a big online debate with the band who had a couple of hits with the old trick of playing punk style covers of songs like the Bannana Splits hitting the UK top 10 in the confused aftermath of punk itself. The band’s Ramones lite approach musically and humour wise was a ‘wacky’ alternative to the more serious side of punk and it’s a surprise that they are still plying the same one line joke decades later. However many people on the internet are not happy that the band are being criticised and claiming that the Dickies are a classic punk band and that their sense of humour is part of the gross out that they feel is a core value of punk itself. It underlines the eternal debate of what punk actually is – with many shouting about ‘freedom of speech’

The band have replied on their facebook page…

“I finally let my anger get the better of me. I let her know what I thought of her ageist, nasty, Leonard-hating behavior. I used very rude language. I understand the word ‘cunt’ is inflammatory and that many women have been abused by this word. I should have called her an ‘asshole.’

It wasn’t my proudest moment … but neither was the time I urinated on the audience. I wasn’t there to ‘prey’ on anyone’s child. In all honesty, as fine as most of my audiences are, I’ll pass on having oral sex with each and every one of them.”

Warped Tour organizer Kevin Lyman has released a statement over at Alternative Press regarding The Dickies controversy that happened earlier this week. You can read the whole letter below.

Dear Music Community,

I thought it was time to put the facts out since I have watched false information floating around. A video has been circulating of a confrontation between Leonard from the Dickies and a Fan.

Fact- it was not a Fan, but a member of the touring party.

The member of the touring party was standing next to the PA with a sign protesting some of the things they found offensive about the bands jokes, and props on stage. During one of the last songs they went towards the barricade and directed the sign at the band.

After a verbal barrage from Leonard, the member of the touring party threw the sign at Leonard, and left the area. I do not condone verbal or physical violence, whatsoever.

The Dickies, last day of the tour was that Sunday, which had always been scheduled.

These are the facts of what took place and this is why I ask anyone who has an issue with anyone else on tour, to come sit under my tent with me and express their views diplomatically. On this years tour we have many people who may not agree with each other, but as humans we should be able to express our points of view in a civil manner.

If we have any hope to progress as a society, communication will be key in moving forward.

Regards,

Kevin Lyman

 

 

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13 comments on “The Dickies Warped tour controversy – punk band leave tour after onstage rant”

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  1. While I don’t think audience members should be subjected to lewd sexual comments and misogyny, it’s also wrong that these snowflakes in the audience think it’s OK to be ageist. They’re both as bad as each other, if you ask me.

  2. I’ve seen so-called punks defending The Dickies since this happened – defending them in a way that simply dismisses all women. Don’t defend The Dickies with Trumpspeak. Don’t defend The Dickies anyway; they’re big/fugly enough already. If there’s one thing I hate about the punk scene it’s that its dominated by fat bald ugly old white men – and I’m dangerously close to fitting all those descriptors. But fuck you if you think it’s ok to single out and talk down to a woman at a gig (if it’s not ok anywhere else, it’s not ok at a gig – and if you do think it’s fine, go join the Tories or UKIP because you’re just a joke). What kind of person are you if you’re siding with the dirty old man at fault? You sound like slimy disgusting old creeps. If you feel threatened by a woman calling out you and your scene, then YOU ARE THE SNOWFLAKE. So what if The Dickies had a few cool speeded up cover hits, what, like nearly 40 years ago? They’re as old as Bless This House – and there’s a reason that doesn’t get re-runs. Sure the old hits are classics, and I love the first two albums, and Stan Lee is cool on guitar but if Leonard is using his privilege to pick on women, then Lee’s cool solos just aren’t enough. Let it go. Don’t defend it. And what the fuck happened to punk rock anyway? Bowling and pool party gigs? What the actual fuck? Cheesy. And what has Vans got to do with anything? Fuck that shit. To hell with any scene that picks on women and defends dirty old men at women’s expense. That’s Trump, that’s UKIP and the Tories. That’s the establishment. That’s the opposite of punk. “You’ll be the first to go, unless you think…” And Kevin Lyman’s letter is so condescending – “come sit under my tent with me” and he’ll talk you out of your right to protest, cos we’re all humans, man. Stupid fucking sexist hippie.

  3. Absolutely nothing punk about this at all, just more sad old white guys being pathetic. Punk can be “ugly & gross” without being reductive & misogynistic.

  4. Simon’s been sucking his own dick. A Steel Panther gig would fuck his mind up proper stylee. Don’t be like Simon.

  5. I write as a 52 year old Dickies fan who was very excited about going to see them in Lewes on 23rd of this month. With my Wife. She is a fan also, to the extent that we have a framed album cover in the kitchen. (Sad but true)

    I find it all very embarrassing now. The thought of a grown man behaving like Rude Kid in the so called name of “punk rock” is a tad pathetic really. Will still go, as I’m a sucker for the “Ramones style old school punk rock”, but the album cover in the kitchen will remain unsigned. (Also going to see CJ Ramone later in the year – to the best of my knowledge, neither he or any other Ramone has ever called an audience member a c***. Lesson there.)

  6. The Dickies are still touring? Fuck me. That is so lame. Desperate Dicks.

  7. As is so often the case, there are various versions of events being circulated on social media. I suspect we will never know exactly what happened.

    Were the Dickies being heckled by this person throughout their set, as has been suggested? Maybe, who knows?

    Was Leonard right to act in the way he did? Definitely not!

    Was it “punk” to act that way? Again, definitely not.

    Are the Dickies a lame, one trick, joke band as this article suggests? Hell, absolutely not.

    I’ll be seeing them on Sunday in Norwich and I expect them to be bloody great, as they always are.

    • Well said Paul. The most intelligent comment I’ve seen anywhere yet about this episode – spot on.

  8. Nice unbiased reporting… not. A Trump-styled rant? Really? Does anyone get that Trump got in because so many Americans are fed up with the so-called “Liberal Left Social Justice Warriors” insisting that everyone conform to their ideal of what is “correct”? And I AM A LIBERAL! I’m unapologetically to the left, and I always have been. But seriously, if the woman who harassed the Dickies had the intent of yet again making us progressives look like the ridiculous bunch of crybabies, or “snowflakes”, that the Far Right thinks we are, then well done, ma’am.

    What Leonard said onstage was not at all nice. It was awful. But if you show up to harass a band who were hired to do what they do, and you wanna make nasty ageist signs calling the band names, while supposedly advocating for the respectful treatment of individuals, then you really don’t have much of a leg to stand on. She got what she wanted: attention from the band. The woman is a hypocrite. Not to mention that the organization she represented is rather suspect. Among other things, a supposed “non-profit” using GoFundMe, no transparency, etc.

    The Dickies have always been a crazy, irreverent, and highly entertaining band. If people think the warped Tour is supposed to be a “children’s event”, then perhaps the tour organizers should be held accountable for booking them. It’s not like nobody knows anything about what The Dickies are like onstage. They’ve been at it longer than most of the Warped audience has been alive. They were contracted to do a show as The Dickies. What do you want? Absolute power to force all artists to observe whatever moral code you deem acceptable? Hitler much?

    I’ve read that us “old punks” need to adapt to the mores and customs of the younger generation. Punk gigs need to be “safe zones” where nobody has to worry about being offended by anything. Sounds real exiting there, yeah. You know what? Punk happened 40 years ago. I still love my culture, and I always will. But if, in the 1970’s, my generation had been content to suck off the culture from 40 years past, we wouldn’t have “Punk”. If we’re just a bunch of creepy old white men (and remember, kids, it’s OK to use “white men” in the pejorative sense, but you can NOT do that any other group of humans), then make us obsolete: create your own new culture. I mean, it seems awfully “culturally insensitive” to take something not built by yourselves and move in insisting that everyone lose their sense of humor and change to suit your own values. We’ve given you “kids” all the tools you need. So go on, leave punk behind. Build a NEW culture. I dare you! I wanna see it!

  9. Were the Dickies actually even a punk band? they seemed from a different era even at the time and it’s sad that some people seem to cling onto them for ‘punk authenticity’. They sound like Trump Rock more than punk rock these days and to be honest so does most old man punk.

    • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah

      I remember The Dickies from 1977 and they seemed very much of the time and very much a punk band. “Old man punk”, eh? You say that like it’s a bad thing. Since you and others like you seem determined to invent something called “Trump rock”, please do define this, and be careful, ageism and generalization are slippery slopes.

  10. Leonard Phillips

    You’re reporting is shoddy. This wasn’t a “member of the audience.” It was a woman in her 30s to 40s who WORKED at the “Safer Scene” booth. She was harassing and slandering in the band with a nasty sign (a heavy wooden one that she then assaulted me with) that accused us of being disgusting old child predators. My comments were DELIBERATELY misogynist in response and I NEVER joked prior to that about fucking teenaged girls. Get your facts straight.

    Leonard Graves Phillps

  11. This whole episode is just another tedious example of ‘Trial By Social Media’ and i find it very alarming that all these keyboard warriors getting on their righteous high horse and coming across all morally superior are doing so based on 20 seconds of bad iphone footage of an event they weren’t at and seem to be ‘OK’ with spiteful attention seeking ageism.
    This was a premeditated attempt to spoil a bands set. If you want to protest about mysogyny, have the guts to aim it at the real perpetrators. How about mysogyny in Rap/Hip Hop for starters?

    Remember boys & girls, there are TWO sides to every story

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