The Magazine Articles Reviews The Bar ATOMIC Girls Gallery Venues Bands Retro Radio Forums Shopping



Big-T & the Bada-Bings


Deke Dickerson's Dream: Guitars, Girls, and Saving Rock-and-Roll
By Bridget Hall

Photo: Aime Joseph

A few months ago, I sent my father a copy of Rhythm, Rhyme, & Truth (Hightone/2000) by Deke Dickerson and his Eccofonics. Getting Dad to listen to anything I listen to is only moderately easy. Getting him to like anything I listen to takes an act of God.

Well, folks, God exists, along with all the saints and angels, because Dad loved the record.

Let's face it, though; people like my 58-year-old father from Arizona aren't Deke's immediate target. It's the single ladies who come to his shows that he aims to impress; women are the reason he picked up a guitar in the first place. After playing the saxophone in school, he switched to the guitar when he was 13 once he realized "girls don't go for sax players-and when you're 13, there's no reason to do anything if it's not going to get you girls."

Dickerson also tries to reel the ladies in on his Website,, with a photo of him wearing a long red cape with white letters that read: "Deke the Bruiser/ 6 Foot 2/ Eyes of Blue/ 220 Lbs of Missouri Mule."

Ladies, if that doesn't make you swoon, then nothing will. But if all you do is chuckle, then Deke won't mind—seems he likes to make people laugh. The Missouri-bred performer peppers his shows with jokes ranging from rednecks to politics and who wouldn't smile when songs have titles like "Poon-tang?"

But even with his goofy sense of humor, Deke can't hide his obvious talent. He started out with The Untamed Youth while in Missouri, then created The Dave and Deke Combo and The Go-nuts following his move to LA in the early 1990s. You can currently find him traveling with the thrice-recorded Deke Dickerson and his Eccofonics, who will release their long-awaited fourth album this Fall.

While he is best known for his double-neck Mosrite guitar - he plays with such natural ease, it's surprising he never owned one until 1992 - it is impossible to miss his voice, which sounds like Ricky Nelson reincarnated.

Photo: Sven-Erik Geddes
"I keep trying to sound like Elvis," says Deke, "but what I keep hearing back is Ricky Nelson. I guess you just have to take your compliments where you can get them. After all Ricky Nelson probably had more chicks than he knew what to do with, right?"

Although some people classify him as "rockabilly", Dickerson attracts an audience well beyond that genre. As he points out, "What I do seems to be so oddball, and yet I have people from young punk rockers to rockabillies, college alternative types, normal workin' class joes, rednecks and elderly gray-haired people coming out to my shows. They all dig the music."

But Deke aspires to more than just a broad audience; he wants to save rock-and-roll from extinction…and he's not shy about claiming himself the chosen one.

"I'm the only good singer and good musician who has a great sense of history and can point to the good records from every era and tell you why they were made that way and why every other way sucks both technically and emotionally."

He adds, "I liken it to having a mechanic work on your car who knows about every car ever made and who has a great set of tools. Do you really want some 18-year-old kid with a screwdriver and a hammer working on your car? Well then why would you want some idiot who's never even heard a Gene Vincent record entertaining you? I'd like to think I can single-handedly save rock-and-roll from extinction. And trust me, it's an endangered species these days."

Behind in your reading?
Check out past ATOMIC features.

Dear Dottie
1999 Articles List
2000 Articles List
2001 Articles List
2002 Articles List
2003 Articles List
2004 Article List
Little Joe Cook
Stephen E. Ambrose
Deke Dickerson's Dream
Surprise Attack
For the Love of Tiki
Bob Thompson: Return of a Space Age Swinger
WWII Comes to Life at Reading Airfield
Calling All Gearheads and Pin-Up Girls–Rockabilly Weekend Update
Beatin' The Chops—G'nite Whitey
Broadway By The Year
ATOMIC Wins Industry Accolades
Naptown Stomp Swings Past the Hype
The Many Moods of Arthur Lyman
Off The Wall:
Pin-Up Artist Don "Rusty" Rust
The Making of an ATOMIC Girl
Remembering Gene Kelly
A Night At The Argyle
Hot Rod Heaven at The Hootenanny
Living History Events for WWII Buffs


© 1999-2009 ATOMIC Magazine, Inc.
ATOMIC Magazine Inc., 917 Orchid Drive , Lewisville, TX 75067
All site content, including images and text, is copyright © 1999-2013 ATOMIC Magazine, Inc. &
This material may not be reproduced, borrowed, or used for any purpose except by written permission of the copyright holder. Terms and Conditions of use.