Song of the Day: Banana Splits by The Dickies

The Dickies are an American punk rock band formed in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles in 1977. The band always had a humorous, comical style that has been called “easy listening punk”, “MOR punk,” and also “bubble-gum punk”

Lyrics:
Tra la la tra la la la
Tra la la tra la la la
Tra la la tra la la la
Tra la la tra la la la

One banana two banana three banana four
All bananas make a split so do many more
Over hill and highway the banana buggies go
Come along to bring you the banana splits show

Four banana three banana two banana one
All bananas playing in the bright warm sun
Flipping like a pancake popping like a cork
Fleagle bingo drooper and snorkmaking up a mess of fun

Making up a mess of fun
Making up a mess of fun
Lots of fun for every one

Four banana three banana two banana one
All bananas playing in the bright warm sun
Flipping like a pancake popping like a cork
Fleagle bingo drooper and snork

——

The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” was written by Mark Barkan and Ritchie Adams to be the theme song for the children’s television program The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.

Originally released in 1968 by Decca Records on the album titled We’re the Banana Splits, the single release peaked at #96 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 8, 1969.

In 1995, Hollywood Library released the 1,000-copy limited-edition CD reissue We’re the Banana Splits/Here Come the Beagles which, in addition to the original album version, includes an alternate version on the song.

Cal Tjader covered the song in 1969 as “Tra La La Song”, which appears on his album Plugs In.

US speed punk act The Dickies had a hit with their cover of the song, called “Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)“, in 1979, reaching #7 in the UK Singles Chart.[4] This cover version was later used in the 2010 film Kick-Ass.

The Dickies were among the first punk rock bands to emerge from Los Angeles. They were the first California punk band to appear on network television (C.P.O. Sharkey),and the first California punk band to be signed to a major record label (A&M Records).

The Dickies’ style is campy and humorous,influenced by The Ramones, for whom they sometimes opened in venues especially on the East coast, such as CBGB in the Bowery of NYC and across the river in the “The Showplace” Dover NJ (1978), along with the Nerds, Nozon and featuring the Ramones. This Eastern blitz made them a punk band of national recognition coming from the L.A. Scene. The Dickies are popular in the United Kingdom, and had a Top 10 single with “Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)” in 1979. Many of their lyrics concern Southern California culture, rife with references and in-jokes; examples include songs like “Waterslide”, “I’m A Cholo”, “Manny, Moe, and Jack”, and “(I’m Stuck in a Pagoda with) Tricia Toyota”. They are also known for recording many fast-paced punk covers of classic rock songs, including The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,”Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” The Monkees’ “She,” Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction,” The Isley Brothers’ “Nobody but Me,” The Left Banke’s “Pretty Ballerina,” The Cowsills’ “Hair”, as well as the cover album Dogs from the Hare that Bit Us.

Drug problems slowed the Dickies down considerably in the 1980s, but they have continued playing and recording sporadically to the present day.Guitarist/keyboardist/saxophonist Chuck Wagon (born Bob Davis) committed suicide after a break-up with his girlfriend in June 1981. Jonathan Melvoin, who played drums on The Dickies album, Idjit Savant, died of a heroin overdose on July 12, 1996 in New York, aged 34, while on tour playingkeyboards for the Smashing Pumpkins.

Original drummer Karlos Kabellero (born Carlos Cabellero) died on September 22, 2009 from heart related problems. One-time guitarist Enoch Hain (born Robert Frederick Orin Lansing, Jr.)died on July 25, 2009 from complications arising from pneumonia.

In 1988, the Dickies wrote and performed the theme music for the horror film Killer Klowns from Outer Space which was the debut of drummer Cliff Martinez who had recently played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weirdos, and Captain Beefheart. Martinez played with them from 1988 to 1994, and on albums such as Second ComingLocked N’ Loaded Live in London, and idjit Savant.

In 1990, the Dickies wrote the theme song for Lucas Reiner’s comedy film Spirit of 76.

The Dickies

Origin San Fernando Valley, California, United States
Genres Punk rock, New Wave
Years active 1977–present
Labels A&M, Captain Oi, Triple X, Fat Wreck Chords, Restless Brand
Website thedickies.com
Members Leonard Graves Phillips
Stan Lee
Dave Teague
Travis Johnson
Greg Hanna
Past members Chuck Wagon
Billy Club
Karlos Kaballero
Jerry Angel
Laurie Buhne
Steve Hufsteter
Scott Sindon
Enoch Hain
Cliff Martinez
Alisa Wood
Glen Laughlin
Jonathan Melvoin
Marc Vachon
Rich Dasher

image by ~zalas

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