Gary Floyd was the singer for The Dicks, one of Texas’ most infamous and revered punk bands. His autobiography Please Bee Nice: My Life Up ‘Til Now documents Floyd’s upbringing, the formation of The Dicks (and the “‘new’ Dicks” in San Francisco), his employment at a runaway shelter, and his journey to spiritual awakening. The writing is matter-of-fact and concise. Floyd wastes no words and is never self-indulgent. The rare photos and fliers enhance a sense of time and place.
The anecdotes are engrossing, particularly his miserable accounts of the Rock Against Reagan Tour. Hippies and turkey dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner hampered his ability to enjoy the countrywide trek. Cameos such as MDC, Black Flag, Soundgarden, and Nirvana illustrate Floyd’s diverse musical trajectory from abrasive, in-your-face punk to blues-rock (he became frontman of Sister Double Happiness in the ‘80s, who eventually released a record through Warner Bros).
Floyd is forgiving in his recollections. He is rarely critical of bandmates or friends, instead he openly expresses his regrets and mistakes. He admits that reforming The Dicks in San Francisco without any original band members besides himself was a selfish move. He recognizes that his attempt to become a monk was foolish because of his inability to refrain from sex. His humility is admirable: “I was hardheaded and wanted to do it anyway.”
Ultimately, Please Bee Nice is written by man who has learned from his experiences. He wants nothing but kindness and companionship from here on out: “Getting my hand bit a lot has caused me to be cautious and think ahead before doing it... my road has led me from ‘me saving the world’ to just ‘me trying to save me’ as I get really old.” If Gary Floyd, the cannonball frontman of The Dicks, can find inner peace—then there is hope for us all. –Sean Arenas (Self-published, $10, thedicksfromtexas.com)