Thursday, August 30, 2012

Re: Bad Brains, Homophobia, and Dave Dictor: somebody help me!

I've got a massive brain itch that needs scratching: help me!

I vividly remember seeing documentary footage in which MDC's Dave Dictor and others discussed the Bad Brains' homophobia and treatment of revered, departed punk singer Randy "Biscuit" Turner of the awesome Austin punk/ funk combo the Big Boys. I thought, up until this week, that the film where that discussion took place was Paul Rachman's enjoyable documentary American Hardcore, which I caught prior to its release at a press screening; the film devotes considerable time to the Bad Brains, and has some very fun stuff from Dictor in it, who briefly discusses being out and gay in Austin. I was revisiting the film last night, however, and to my surprise - there's not a whiff of it. At first I thought maybe it was attributable to a difference between the press screening and the DVD release - because films do get changed, for various reasons - but Paul Rachman assures me via Facebook that the film didn't deal with the subject. Canadian filmmaker Reg Harkema, who happens to have seen the same press screening of the film I did, doesn't remember one way or the other. But if it wasn't American Hardcore... what bloody movie was it? How many documentaries have I seen that even MENTION the Bad Brains, or have Dave Dictor interviews... let alone both?

If you don't know the story, see here and check out MDC's song, "Pay to Come Along." Some members of the Bad Brains have since distanced themselves from their past erroneous ways...

Mind you, my memory doesn't always serve. I was convinced for years that I'd seen a cartoon appearance of Timothy Leary in a Howard the Duck comic, to the extent of bugging various skeptical comic book store clerks about it, but no matter how many issues of Howard the Duck I thumbed through, I never did find the section. Then I happened to ask a fella named Eamon(n?) who does designs for horror and SF films in Vancouver, and he immediately pointed out that the scene I was looking for was in Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams. How I got Howard the Duck in there is anyone's guess. Maybe I just READ about the Bad Brains homophobic outbursts on the internet and somehow projected the knowledge backwards into my memories of American Hardcore?

Can anyone help me on this? 


Bort Frock said...

Yeah, this incident has been discussed in interviews, but not in the movie American Hardcore. (Where at least MDC was represented.) And Dave Dictor has stayed ambiguous about his orientation. He has never been 'out' per se, to my knowledge. Anyway, both topics are addressed over at

Allan MacInnis said...

Yeah, I've long since figured this out... but thanks. Actually, Dave is pretty clear about his orientation in the Prindle interview, and I've since talked to him myself about all this (that interview is not public yet but eventually will be...).

Allan MacInnis said...

...though I should add, Dave is clear about his orientation in the Prindle interview, but it's not "out" and "gay" - he comes out as a straight with a penchant for crossdressing. I'd been getting him wrong for years!