Legendary US punk-rockers The Dickies have been around since the late ’70s, and have influenced countless punk groups, including NOFX, Green Day, and The Offspring. However, their usually humorous and jovial nature has been forgotten in the last couple of days after the group’s frontman, Leonard Grave Phillips, delivered an expletive-laden rant during one of their shows on the Vans Warped Tour last weekend.
As Exclaim! reports, while performing at the Vans Warped Tour in Denver, Colorado last Sunday, Phillips began yelling towards a female audience member, calling her derogatory names, before leading an audience chant of “Blow me! Blow me!” The incident was captured on video, and can be seen below.
— Netflix Origanal (@thechubbywubby) June 26, 2017
Naturally, irate fans expressed their displeasure of Phillips actions online, and a couple of days later, Phillips responded via a statement on Facebook, in which he told his side of the story. “This is the context,” the post began. “While doing our show a handful of people took it upon themselves to express their ire with my routine–a routine that includes apish antics, a penis puppet, and often ends with me saying, “You’re a great looking bunch of kids. We’d love to go down on each and every one of you but we just don’t have the time.”
“Apparently this group thought I meant it literally as they were holding a sign on the side of the stage (which was then thrown at me) that read: ‘Our teenage girls don’t need to be subjected to derogatory jokes by a disgusting old man’ (and) ‘Punk isn’t predatory’. It appears the audience and myself were to be lectured about common decency as well as the very raison d’être of Punk Rock by this woman and her friends during the entire set.”
Phillips conceded that he allowed his anger to get the better of him, and that he could have handled the situation better. As he states though, this was far from the most outrageous antics he had engaged in. “It wasn’t my proudest moment … but neither was the time I urinated on the audience,” he offered.
Today though, Kevin Lyman, organiser of the Vans Warped Tour, has issued a rather eloquent statement through Alternative Press which outlines the events in question, and the festival’s response.
“A video has been circulating of a confrontation between Leonard from the Dickies and a Fan,” the statement begins. “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 band’s 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.”
Lyman also stated that The Dickies are no longer performing at further dates during the festival, however the incident in question occurred during the final show of their stint on the tour anyway. Lyman also invites anyone who “has an issue with anyone else on tour, to come sit under my tent with me and express their views diplomatically.”
It’s not clear at this stage what impact this incident will have upon The Dickies, their fanbase, or their future plans, but hopefully we don’t see a repeat of this type of behaviour in the future.