Crime was formed in 1976 by Johnny Strike, Frankie Fix, Ron "The Ripper" Greco (ex-Chosen Few/Flamin' Groovies), and Ricky James. They ripped post-hippie San Francisco a metaphorical new one when they released their first (and many say Punk’s first) single “Hot Wire My Heart / Baby You're So Repulsive.” There was no mistaking these guys for mere rockers; they mixed a rebellious and sexually-charged image (they were most often seen flaunting their vampiric, just-outta-rehab good looks in tight leather, regulation police uniforms, or old-time gangster duds) with their unique blend of intellectual and furious lo-fi rock and roll. Crime found local refuge at the now legendary Mabuhay Gardens, but became nationally notorious after playing a gig at San Quentin Penitentiary in full police uniforms (of course).
In 1977 Hank Rank joined the ranks, but left in 1979. The band split in 1982 when Strike quit Crime to focus on writing. Frankie Fix attempted a Crime reunion in the early 90’s, but Strike elected not join in. In 1996 Frankie Fix passed away.
But of all of the interviews he conducted on his NBC program The Tomorrow Show the clip below (in my opinion) is one of the most compelling to watch. It is Snyder's 1980 interview with both John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten) and his Public Image Limited (PIL) band-mate Keith Levene. Bear in mind that by this stage that Rotten as main spokesman of the Sex Pistols had earned a justified reputation as one of the most difficult and unpredictable interviewees for any radio or television host. But watch it and witness how brilliantly Snyder handles his tough subject and how Lydon, used to knocking over - especially older generation - interviewers seems to have finally met his match and has to struggle a bit to keep in character and try to maintain an upper hand.
The end result is a perfect sparring match, with both Snyder and Lydon puffing away on cigarettes, that makes for the most engaging type of TV. Do me a favor: watch it and in the COMMENTS box below rate (on a scale of 1 to 5) both Snyder's and Lydon's performances. EG: Tom = 3, John = 3.
Gary Floyd deserves major credit, not just for being such a talented artist but for being an openly gay front person of a punk band in Texas in the late seventies/early eighties. And this he boldly did as the powerhouse vocalist for legendary hardcore punk band The Dicks, the self-described "commie faggot" blues-derived, hardcore punk band who released their brilliant, rage-fueled first single, "Dicks Hate the Police," in 1980 on (fellow Austin punks) MDC's R Radical record label. This song, which many later learned via Mudhoney's cover version or (Gary's next band) Sister Double Happiness performing it, is a timeless punk classic (see lyrics below) and is currently available on The Dicks 1980-1986 on Alternative Tentacles. After the Dicks' demise, the tireless Gary Floyd, who has lived in San Francisco for the past 25 years, went on to form Sister Double Happiness, Black Kali Ma, the Gary Floyd Band, Hard Ride and currently, the raw blues/country Gary Floyd and the Buddha Brothers. Last week the Buddha Brothers performed at the Make Out Room in San Francisco on a bill with Penelope Houston, who sings on one their songs ("Take it Like A Man") and who joined them onstage. This week and next week Gary will be in the studio with the Buddha Brothers recording new tracks. Last week on my radio show on WFMU I had the opportunity to catch up with Gary, who in addition to music also paints, to talk about Austin, being queer, and how the formation of the Dicks was based on a lot drinking and telling lies.
GARY FLOYD: I started putting up posters around town (Austin) saying that The Dicks are playing and I would make up club names. So it was just a poster band. It was a lie. So I put up these things saying The Dicks are playing. And people would say "Oh you're in The Dicks?" And I would say 'Yeah' and they would lie to me and say 'Oh I've seen The Dicks' and I would look at them and think (laughs) 'You're a bigger liar than I am!' And then I met Buxf (Parrot) and Glen (Taylor) one night and they wanted to be in a band. And then we got Pat (Deason) and we started The Dicks. It was all started with a lot of drinking and a lot of lying.