Stan Lee:
Legendary Guitarist Of The Dickies
Interview By: Ginger Coyote
The Dickies have broken many barriers for other bands. They were the first west coast punk band to get signed to a major label. They were also the first punk band to appear on a network prime time show. They appeared on CPO Sharkey with comic legend Don Rickles. The list of their accomplishments are endless...

The Dickies had a huge hit in the U.K. with their cover of the Banana Spilts Tra La La La.. They continued to crank out hits and tour the world.... It is now 2013 and they are still going strong... I cornered down Stan Lee to ask him the questions that you all wanna know about. I hope you enjoy my interview with the legendary guitarist of The Dickies... Mr. Stan Lee...
Punk Globe:
Are you and Leonard the only two original members that are still playing in The Dickies?
Stan Lee:
Yes, although little Dave has been in the band for like 17 years that's a lot longer than most bands live!
Punk Globe:
In what year did The Dickies begin?
Stan Lee:
1977
Punk Globe:
How did you come up with The Dickies for the bands name?
Stan Lee:
The original drummer Karlos came up with the name and it stuck ! I wanted the band to be called The Imbeciles.
Punk Globe:
Tell us the secret behind The Dickies longevity and popularity?
Stan Lee:
I would hope it is on account of the musical compositions ( I could have said songs but I wanted to sound smart) Or maybe it's like -Mark Twain said that "old buildings and prostitutes become respectable with age" so maybe it isn't a secret after all!
Punk Globe:
Who is currently playing in the band and what do they play?
Stan Lee:
Leonard Graves Phillips: singer, Stan Lee: guitars, Little Dave: guitar, Edward Tater: bass, Adam Gomez: drummer extraordinaire!
Punk Globe:
I read that The Dickies were the first California punk band to appear on Network Television. Is this true and what show did you appear on?
Stan Lee:
I think it is true and the footage is on you tube to prove it. It was CPO Sharkey a sitcom with the great Don Rickles. The writer of that episode stumbled into the Whiskey a Go Go one night and we were playing and it was his first exposure to punk rock, he immediately wrote the script and wanted us for the show...
Here is a clip of The Dickies On CPO Sharkey




As it happens our manager John Hewlett at the time was shopping our demo tape in England and had Derek Green the President of A&M Records on the hook. They had just kicked the Sex Pistols off the label and were wanting a punk band that wasn't so notorious. John and Derek got off an airplane and came directly to NBC studios in Burbank to watch the taping of the show. You would think that would be enough to cinch the deal being a national television show and all but we still had to audition for Mr. Moss as well. We did that at the Whiskey and after we played I went to the booth that Mr. Green ( President A&M England and Mr. Moss half owner A&M records ) and told them that if they didn't sign us they were in the wrong business! To my surprise and every one else's they liked my spunk.... The rest is history!
Punk Globe:
Tell the readers about your friendship with Joey Ramone?
Stan Lee:
How do you know about that?
Punk Globe:
Because Joey and I were very good friends and he mentioned you alot.
Stan Lee:
Our bands played alot of shows together and he was a great guy. So funny and a great singer.
Punk Globe:
I went to see Legs McNeil speak at The Last Book Store in downtown Los Angeles recently. Legs was kind enough to let me share a short Joey Ramone story. At one point Joey had broken his phone so he could not make outgoing calls but could get incoming calls. The phone rang and it was Felix Cavaliere calling. He wanted to come over and talk about a project that Joey was working on.. Joey confirmed a time and then asked Felix to pick him up a pastrami sandwich at Paul's.. Felix was a producer and now a delivery boy!! He was killing two birds with one stone..
Stan Lee:
I used to eat with him often at The Dojo on St. Marks Place. We also went to the first Batman movie at Grauman's Chinese Theater together... Joey was my favorite punk singer. The Ramones started punk rock. I would like to end that rumor that punk started in England. The Ramones went to London and played the Roundhouse. And after that The Sex Pistols,The Clash and all these bands started popping up.
Punk Globe:
Do you have any stories about playing with The Ramones?
Stan Lee:
They were always pissed at me for trying to cop drugs...
Punk Globe:
Did Dee Dee get pissed about that?
Stan Lee:
He was off drugs then.. Their whole thing was so military... They would stay at the club after doing the sound check.. I thought that was sorta bizarre. Johnny would time their sets.. I though that was odd. But had I not heard The Ramones I would not have started a band.. They were genius.. Those four guys made magic..
Punk Globe:
Did you play many shows with bands like The Germs, X, The Weirdo's and The Bags?
Stan Lee:
Oh yeah, we played alot show with all of them... I think we played our first gig with The Germs...
Punk Globe:
Don Bolles said you were going to do an interview with him for a L.A. punk documentary that he and Geza are doing. Is that right Stan?
Stan Lee:
Yes, that indeed could happen.
Punk Globe:
Were The Dickies the first West Coast punk band to get signed to a major label?
Stan Lee:
That we were...
Punk Globe:
Were The Dickies signed to A&M during the time that Joe Jackson and The Police were with A&M? Did you know Julia Clark who did A&R with the label during that era?
Stan Lee:
Yeah we were The Police had just got signed to A&M .. They all had bleached blonde hair... Now look at em... I don't think we played any shows together... I did not ever meet Julia when we were with A&M.
Punk Globe:
Tell the readers about the A&M Billboard for Rise to The Dickies?
Stan Lee:
Oh yes, the A&M billboard on Sunset, we had requested that they would be smart to give it to us to promote the incredible shrinking Dickies release.. They thought that we were crazy for asking saying that it was for Super Tramp's "Breakfast in America" after Herb Alpert's "Rise" album is done with it. The Rise billboard was half done and I thought hum. what can we do.. I went home and made a phone call to our sound guy and all purpose roadie Andy Chappell. I told him about the billboard and asked if anything could be done about it. We proceeded to go to the local hobby arts and crafts store and purchased a can of spray paint. So now the only problem was the height of the sign, it was way up there and a illegal operation itself. This was graffiti pre- Banksy or anyone else for that matter. Although I could be wrong about that... Anyways Andy brought a huge ladder and put it on top of the van we were driving. We pulled it off all stealth like at approximately 3 in the morning. I remember thinking that I couldn't hardly wait for the morning sun to see it in all it's majestic glory..I was all ready to deny any knowledge of the wrong doing and to my surprise the next day it was all the buzz on the A&M lot. We got accolades for originality and having the elephant size cajones for doing the job. I think they left it up for a couple of weeks and actually got behind it. In a punk rock kind of way, remember I told you that they wanted a punk band to replace the Sex Pistols.. Just in case there really was something to it...those were the real good ole days!
Punk Globe:
Tell the readers about covering The Banana Splits Tra La La La song?
Stan Lee:
We did it as a goof in our rehearsal. We had no intentions of recording it.. Our manager at the time John Hewlett asked us to record it for him. So we recorded it, It was not supposed to be on the album. He begged us to release it and the rest is history! That fucking song has a life of it's own.. It was in the movie "Kick Ass" and in a McDonald's commercial..It's a song that keeps on giving...
Punk Globe:
Tra La La was a huge hit in England right?
Stan Lee:
Yes, it reached #3 on the charts there!
Punk Globe:
Tell us some of the other songs that you covered?
Stan Lee:
Hair, Nights In White Satin, She, Nobody But Me, Sound Of Silence, Eve Of Destruction,Paranoid. The list goes on.
Punk Globe:
I wonder if Ozzy has ever heard Paranoid?
Stan Lee:
When we we touring in England in 1978 I went to see Van Halen and Black Sabbath .. I brought a copy of our 10" record we did with Paranoid on it to the show.. I planned on giving it to Ozzy. When Eddie Van Halen saw the record , he grabbed it out of my hand. I told him that it was for Ozzy, but Eddie shook his head and said "this is mine". He put it in his guitar case and that is the last I ever saw of it.. What could I say to Eddie Van Halen. Even back then I was in awe of him and Randy Rhodes was so good.. So crazy good..
Check out Stan in the trailer for Randy Rhodes The Quiet Riot Years


Punk Globe:
Tell us about working on the horror film "Killer Klowns From Outer Space"?
Stan Lee:
I had heard about the movie and went to meet the producers.. I started playing some licks of "Killer Klowns" and told them they had to use it in the film.. They asked me if it was recorded. Of course it was not . So we went and recorded it and they used it.. It all worked out well.
Punk Globe:
My pal Timm Carney told me that you wrote the theme song for "The Spirit Of 76".. Tell us how that came about?
Stan Lee:
I can't remember much about the movie...
Punk Globe:
I remember my band The White Trash Debutantes opened for you at The I-Beam in San Francisco in the 90's. Do you remember the I -Beam?
Stan Lee:
I loved the I Beam. That was my favorite venue in San Francisco to play... Although The Mabuhay days were alot of fun in a different way..
Punk Globe:
You have released so many albums over the course of your career. Which releases are you most proud of?
Stan Lee:
We have stopped releasing them since the record industry has gotten so screwed up. We have some stuff recorded.. We will release them when we figure out the right way to do so. I am most proud of the stuff on "Dawn Of The Dickies" our cover of "Nights In White Satin". I just heard "Nights In White Satin" on Sirius Radio.. It sounded pretty fucking good
Here is The Dickies doing "Nights In White Satin"


Punk Globe:
Do you have any Internet addresses that you would like to share with Punk Globe readers?
Punk Globe:
The last time I saw you was in the valley at a Death On The Radio show. Are you a fan of theirs?
Stan Lee:
I think Mary is a good singer. She has alot of energy. She was a good villain on American Idol.. You and her did a good cover of "Psycho Killer"...
Punk Globe:
I heard that you played on both The Adicts and The Vibrators's new releases?
Stan Lee:
I did.. I played on The new Adicts "All The Young Droogs" CD out on DC Jam Records... They recorded that at DO"B Sound Studio's...
Punk Globe:
Oh cool ! DC Jam Records advertises in Punk Globe. Darron Heman is da man! How many tracks did you play guitar on with The Adicts new CD?
Stan Lee:
Two songs "Horrorshow" and "Give It To Me Baby"...
Punk Globe:
How about the Vibrators?
Stan Lee:
Their new CD is going to be in stores this month.. It is called "On The Guest List". Both Leonard and I play on "Whips and Furs"... I thought we sounded good until I heard Chris Spedding on 2nd Skin.. He is really good.. In fact all of the new Vibrators CD is really good.
Punk Globe:
Did you know Jayne County wrote "Bad In Bed ' for Chris Spedding? He is indeed a great guitar player. He payed with Robert Gordon and Roxy Music at one time..
Stan Lee:
I did not know that. He is an amazing guitar player! I am now a fan..
Punk Globe:
I heard you just toured with The Damned tell us about that?
Stan Lee:
It was great we had so much fun on that tour. That happened in December 2012... Patricia Morrison is no longer playing in the band. She is taking care of her and Dave's kid at home..
Punk Globe:
I understand that you joined The Damned on stage to play Love Song and New Rose with them... Tell us about that?
Stan Lee:
It was one of those OK I can die now moments... Tearing it up with the Captain and Vanien.. I nailed it, it was magnificent!
Punk Globe:
I heard a rumor about your guitar breaking in half after the tour with The Damned. What happened?
Stan Lee:
Yes, I got it off the carousel and opened up the case and the head stock had been severed from the neck. 1961 sg junior :( The good news is Eric the guitar repair guy made it just like new again. So "Spidy" lives to fight another day...don't think it will be taking any more trips on airplanes. I just cant trust baggage handlers that don't know or care what they are doing. On a recent trip to Chicago we had landed and we were on the plane waiting for the door to open and saw the baggage guys unloading the luggage and there was Eddie's bass in some giant goons hands. I said to Eddie watch this he is going to just chuck your guitar about 6 feet to the trolly. Eddie says no way he wouldn't do that. Sure enough it went flying end over end, he looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and said "really"... Eric's guitar repair in the Valley are fantastic he can be trusted to do anything guitar related...Eddie did receive a check for the insult to his bass. The bass did not break! He's plays an ESP they are indestructible.
Punk Globe:
Bebe Buell wants me to tell you that she thinks that The Dickies are brilliant...
Stan Lee:
She left a comment on my Facebook page and said Hi Genius.. That was it..
Punk Globe:
She really digs The Dickies !
Stan Lee:
What could I say it was Bebe Buell saying "Hi Genius" ... She gets it!! Now if only rest of the world get it.
Punk Globe:
I think so many of us from that era feel that we were ahead of our time. But alot of the young kids who are into punk rock. They do get it..
Stan Lee:
I do see alot of kids wearing The Misfits T-Shirts in the valley... Does that count?
Punk Globe:
Tell us about your other band Punk Rock Karaoke?
Stan Lee:
The band is myself, Greg Hetson from Bad Religion, Eric Melvin from NOFX , Steve Soto from The Adolescents and Derek O' Brien From Social Distortion.. We do all sorts of covers of all kinds of punk rock for live karaoke... It is always fun and exciting... you never know what you are gonna get.... You must come and sing with us also. I have heard so much new stuff since I began playing in the band.
Punk Globe:
What do you think of Justin Bieber now that he is having his meltdown..
Stan Lee:
He is a Bad Ass ... Basically going nuts telling the paparazzi to fuck off. Tatted up with a six pack and smoking weed..
Punk Globe:
He has gone Buck Wild.... We can only hope he shaves his head like Brittany Spears did...
Stan Lee:
Now that would be great!
Punk Globe:
Any shows coming up that you would like to tell the readers about?
Stan Lee:
The Dickies are firing up again will be playing soon at my nieces 18th birthday party at CIA in North Hollywood... We will break in our new drummer Adam Gomez in at that party... Here are some upcoming dates for The Dickies

04.27.13 ANAHEIM, CA HOUSE OF BLUES
05.23.13 LAS VEGAS, NV LAS VEGAS COUNTRY SALOON
06.08.13 LOS ANGELES, CA THE VEX
07.26.13 CONCORD, CA RED HAT **NEW**
07.27.13 SAN FRANCISCO, CA THEE PARKSIDE **NEW**
07.28.13 PETALUMA, CA THE PHOENIX THEATER **NEW**

Punk Rock Karaoke is playing in Vegas in May for Punk Rock Bowling ....
Punk Globe:
Thanks for the interview Stan. Do you have any last words for Punk Globe readers?
Stan Lee:
See you in the pit!




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Comments on
Stan Lee

Name:
Pocket Magnetic
Time and Date:
12:42:39 24/10/13
Comment:
Excellent interview; he really comes across well. What a guitarist! and Leonard is now the world's greatest vocalist now Joey Ramone is no longer with us.

Name:
Rks1157
Time and Date:
19:34:48 19/11/13
Comment:
I've met Stan a few times over the last three decades. The last time we met I got to introduce my son to he and Leonard. Man I feel old. Glad to see they are both still at it. Avoided day jobs all these years!

Name:
philthyphil
Time and Date:
2:08:27 26/08/13
Comment:
Great interview with a top bloke!

Name:
Edwin Heaven
Time and Date:
3:19:15 13/06/13
Comment:
Damn good interview, Ginger. Stan Lee is one of the greats. He's also one of the good guys. The Dickies have always been at the top of my all-time favorite bands. In fact, back in '77, I liked 'em so much, I was considering managing them, but at t

Name:
Edwin Heaven
Time and Date:
3:25:02 13/06/13
Comment:
cont'd: But at the time I managed The Nuns and Jennifer, Olener and Alejandro nixed the idea. I said, "Hey, didn't hurt The Beatles when Epstein managed other bands." Jeff said, "Okay, when we're big as The Beatles you can manage The D

Name:
Edwin Heaven
Time and Date:
3:29:17 13/06/13
Comment:
cont'd: That quote got cut off. Olener said: "Okay, when we're big as The Beatles you can manage The Dickies too." Haha

Name:
deadheadland
Time and Date:
4:33:52 26/07/13
Comment:
just saw them tonight in Farifax CA, these boys still got it!