stick men

Stick Men with Ray Guns

Stick Men with Ray Guns was an American punk rock group from Dallas, Texas. The group's name comes from a comic called Stick Man with Ray Gun. They formed in 1981 after lead singer Bobby Soxx (formerly of the Teenage Queers) attended a show by guitarist Clarke Backer's previous group, Bag of Wire. Their first show was a date opening for Black Flag in spring 1981. They also opened on Texas dates for punk groups such as X, Dead Kennedys, TSOL, The Misfits, Bad Brains, UK Subs, and Butthole Surfers. They went on hiatus in 1987 and reconvened in 1988 to write new material; their last show was in June 1988.

The group was distinguished by their raucous and aggressive musical style, confrontational and offensive lyrics, and a correspondingly decadent lifestyle. Their sets were often self-destructive, as they would intentionally perform songs which they had barely or never rehearsed. Bobby Soxx was notorious for starting fights frequently, stealing drugs on tour, urinating on other groups in concert, and inserting microphones into his anus before leaving the set for the next band.

In its heyday, the group recorded little, never toured outside of Texas and was not well known beyond the regional punk scene. However, as interest in the early Texas punk scene increased over time, groups like Stick Men with Ray Guns and The Hugh Beaumont Experience (whose own fame surged after the breakout success of Butthole Surfers) acquired a cult status among punk fans. Stick Men became better known when the Richard Hell/Thurston Moore project, Dim Stars, covered their song "Christian Rat Attack". In 2000, guitarist Clarke Backer re-released 16 of their recordings on an album entitled Some People Deserve to Suffer. In 2002, the album was picked up, enlarged to 23 tracks, and re-released on Emperor Jones/Drag City; the reissue received highly positive reviews from several major press agencies and was named the #6 in Mojo's Best Underground Albums of 2002 list.

After spending time in prison and a mental hospital, Bobby Soxx died of alcohol poisoning on October 23, 2000.


  • Bobby Soxx (Bobby Glenn Calverly) - vocals
  • Clarke Blacker - guitar
  • Scott Elam - drums
  • Bob Beeman - bass
  • Valerie Bowles - bass (briefly)
  • Mark Ridlin - bass (briefly)


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