Rockin' rollin'! Bless my soulin'! Billy Joelin'!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Hey Judester
*Hornet Pinata
*Full Nelson Reilly
*Little Miss Carriage! EP
*Que Sirhan Sirhan
From Champaign, IL, the Didjits were a trio led by one Rick Sims - a man vehemently and passionately in love with rock and roll. The spirit, the speed, the danger, the volume. And he knew how to capture that spirit too, don't you know -- with some wicked cool boogie guitar riffs, high-speed drum lines, and rude anthems of lust and violence! Like faster AC/DC with Chuck Berry playing lead. And sure his voice is sort of cartoony (or, more accurately, Muppet-esque), but the man ROCKS LIKE A MONSTER.

Fizzjob - Bam Bam 1986.
Rating = 6

Not the best Didjits record, but worth hearing at some point. Starts strong with a creepy midtempo stomper about getting stoned and watching Jerry Lee Lewis kill one of his wives, and goes from there.

This would probably be a good place to point out that Rick displayed two distinct ways of penning numbers. On one hand, he loved to play really fast simple lil' rock 'n' roll riffs sixties-style, but on the two hand, sometimes he slowed his brother the drummer down just enough to put together a really interesting little guitar run that just wouldn't be possible in a topspeed kicker. On this one, the slow ones are better than the fast ones. Aside from the earlier mentioned "Jerry Lee," the standout on this album is a slithering trixter called "Beast Le Brutale," which sounds a lot like "Jerry Lee" played on an untuned guitar. But hell, everybody's gotta start somewhere. Even if it's right in the heart of Mediocrity County, population 3.

Reader Comments

ebrewer@home.com (Evan Brewer)
yes fizzjob isn't the greatest but it does rock. you don't give it enough credit. "jerry lee" is a bad ass rocker with a good groove going on and a fine example of rick's great(crazy) lyrics. "hafta be cool to rule" and "wingtips" are really high energy songs and i enjoy rockin' out to them often. i love rick sims voice but it's not so great on this album and it really shows on "california surf queen". the drums don't sound that great either. pet funeral is funny but not that interesting and it just sorta plods along. i do however think "fix some food bitch" is a good song. i don't think it is boring at all. i also really like "mexican death horse". it has a great surf sound to it. it's not the greatest album but it is better than most of the shit out there. i'll give it a seven.

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Hey Judester - Touch And Go 1990.
Rating = 8

For years and months and a day, I thought that Hornet Pinata came out before this one, so now I have to rethink my entire agenda even though I'm perched right on the brink of the edge of the bridge of the ink of wrongness, and I don't know if there's any way back home again. Case in point: Hornet Pinata sounds more like a follow-up to Fizzjob than this does. This one's full of lots of those slower tunes, about non-partyin' things like abusive fathers and fish. Rick hits the nose right on the nail of the head though! These are very strong guitar hooks. In short, Hey Judester is a fun and consistent rock and roll record full of some great loud power chords that deserve an appreciated place in your crappyass little collection.

(if you can deal with Rick's voice)

Reader Comments

xfoundationx@mail.geocities.com (Dean Reis)

ebrewer@home.com (Evan Brewer)
i'll agree with you on this one but i don't hink you gave enough attention to the songs.i thought the only downers were "(mama had a) skull baby" and "balls.....fire". raves need to be given to "under the christmas fish", "joliet" and "axhandle". "...christmas fish" just rocks plain and simple. and who can beat a line like 'the fish is gonna ride you straight down to hell'. "joliet" is simple and fast and when he sings that chorus i'm in heaven. "axehandle" gets my vote for best song on the album. it makes me feel so alive. it rumbles in with bass and drums with a whisper from rick sims(who wouldn't whisper when talking about satan's girl) and then rick lets loose into his guitar to help kick into that wonderful chorus. oooh baby i need a smoke.

wella@mts.net (Lynette Settee)
Dude, what kind of juice are you on? Or maybe 'ya wanna pull that cotton out of yer ears! Too many concerts at 125 fuckin' decibels do your ears in long before you picked up a didjits album? Serves you right you freak- no wonder the didjits broke up- when they have "fans" like you, they don't need enemies (don't say you're not a fan- you took at least an hour or two out of your pathetic life to review records that you were at least disappointed to write about). Anyway, here's my thoughts on all of the didjits material. Fizzjob/ Hey Judester: some ok songs like "max wedge", "stingray", "hafta be cool to rule/ wingtips", "fix some food bitch", "Jerry Lee", but a little misguided. Cool riffs, clever wit and lyrics, and solid musicianship, but not enough grit and speed. 3 out of 5- the didjits are still a shitload more inventive than most bands.

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Hornet Pinata - Touch and Go 1990.
Rating = 8

Col' lampin' with Flav, this is rock and roll! Forget that mamby-pamby midtempo hurdy-gurdy! Crank up the speed, jam up the "Killboy Powerhead," and let's worship some marijuana cars!!!! High speed go go go! Another super rock record. It's got a few lousy ones, but what the hell. The mood, the verve, the energy "Goodbye Mr. Policeman"? I heard THAT thrice! "Captain Ahab"? That's a scary song about drugs! "Sweet Sweet Satan"? Shitty song, but what a title! In shorp, this is the coolest, most high-octane set of tunes that the Didjits would toss into the world of art until Que Sirhan Sirhan ripped its way ito life a few years their senior.

Sorry there's not tons to say about the Didjits. They're a high-energy rock and roll band! They like the Jerry Lee Lewis wildman act! The singer used to wear suits and sunglasses during every show, and shout things to the audience like "Let's hear it for that sweet Carolina pussy!" That's how it goes. It's not hardcore - just loud, high-speed yeah yeah yeah, like garage rock would be if garage rockers liked to kick as much ass as Rick Sims.

Reader Comments

ebrewer@home.com (Evan Brewer)
this puppy smokes. it only slows down for the wonderful groove of "cat. ahab" and a ballad about evel knievel(they don't make heroes like him anymore). "long lone ranger" rocks like no ones business and once again show off rick's wonderful vocals. the lyrics for sweet sweet satan aren't the greatest but the song does rock. dirgey mayhem at its finest. the MC5 cover really hits the spot as well. yup, rock'n'roll is displayed in full force here. second best album in my opinion. it gets a nine.

wella@mts.net (Lynette Settee)
Hornet Pinata- the didjits album that was never matched by the band before, or after. The aforementioned required grit and speed is on this album, and then some. Songs like "Captain Ahab", "Long Lone Ranger", aw, fuckit, the entire album smokes from start to finish, with even slower tracks like "Evil Knievel" and a cover of Hendrix's "Foxey Lady" containing the urgency necessary to create an end to end album that rules. Air guitar factor: 5 out of 5.

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Full Nelson Reilly - Touch and Go 1991
Rating = 7

I'm not sure what happened here. Side one is fantastic, topped to the gills with punkers and really great midtempo pounders (including "Lou Reed," a song that mentions THE FALL! The Fall, I tell you!!! Why in God's name would the Didjits even acknowledge that The Fall even exist? WHO CARES??? I LOVE The Fall!), but on side B, they seem to be more interested in trying out different slower drumbeats than kicking ass and taking ass's names. It's not a TOTAL leap down the dumbwaiter chute, but you know how uncomfortable it is to listen to a band that's sure they're rockin', but the drums are moving a little too slowly, and the guitar line is kinda pokey, and you notice that your foot isn't even tapping anymore after about 30 seconds? That happens a lot more than expected on this record.
Reader Comments

ebrewer@home.com (Evan Brewer)
this was my first didjits album so it has a special place in my heart. i love it. the intro to the album shows off the showman that rick sims was, with the crowd cheering and the "hello st. louis". this man cerrtainly knows how to rock. inane and nonsensical lyrics at their best in "who's ready to get high"(it rocks), "eat the roach"(it rocks) and "freak show"(it rocks). and who could possibly deny the gruesome "house on haunted hill". yup, this cd rocks, rocks, rocks, rocks and rocks some more. the only downer being "promise not to kill anybody". i give it a big fat 10.

wella@mts.net (Lynette Settee)
Full Nelson Reilly: a little more dirty than previous albums (is that possible?), and somewhat slower than their career pinnacle, Hornet Pinata. They back off a little from the Hornet Pinata vibe, and mix in a little of their earliest material, this time with the knowledge of how to make such rock n' roll heavier and more urgent. Air guitar factor: 4 out of 5.

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Little Miss Carriage! EP - Touch and Go 1992.
Rating = 7

Only 5 songs and 12 minutes long, but a little Didjits is better than none at all. "The Man" questions and grumbles, "Rock The Nation" adequately covers Montrose, and "Dirt County Road," "Jimmy" and "Sugarfox" kick ass quick-fast! Not the most essential Didjits release in history, but that awesome guitar tone continues to tunnel spirit juice into my spine.
Reader Comments

ebrewer@home.com (Evan Brewer)
this rocks my monkey ass so hard. we get guitar overdub mania with "dirt country raod", the mid-tempo groove of "the man", booty shaking and super rocking with "jimmy", a fun cover of an old song with "rock the nation" and the fury of "sugar fox." whoever could ask for more in an ep is insane. i'm not a huge ep fan but this gets a 9. one of the best eleven and a half minutes of my life.

wella@mts.net (Lynette Settee)
Dude, I got to agree with i agree with you somewhat on Little Miss Carriage. It wasn't as good as it should be. However, you fail to point out that the production just SUCKED- the songs were decent, but it's like looking at a '67 GTO buried under a pile of mud-unless you knew what a '67 GTO looked like, it'd be hard to know that an otherwise brilliant car was just sitting under a pile of muck. Air guitar factor: 2.5 out of ten (would have gave it a 3.5 if the producer actually gave the mix the grit and angst that it required). And if you don't like it, it's only about 12 minutes long.

procha@optonline.net (Pete Rocha)
Gotta agree with you here, it blows. This was the only Didjits album I ever bought and it made me stay away from all the others. Way over-rated band. It's amazing that the backwater, corn-clogged state of Indiana has produced 10x better punk bands (Gizmos, MX-80, Lazy Cowgirls, etc.) than the more urban Illinois ever has. Wow, cool sunglasses, you dork.

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* Que Sirhan Sirhan - Touch and Go 1993 *
Rating = 10

This, in my opinion, is the greatest Didjits record. Feel free to disagree if that's up your tree, but this is total PUNK ROCK! And if Rick wants to position himself as Mr. Big Wildass Crazy Nuts Rock And Roll Guitar God, it would behoove him to keep the tempos and amps roaring like he does here. These tunes just KICK! The Didjits broke up shortly afterwards, but this was one hell of a going away present!

Really fast and fun, making your head bang for a good few minutes. He of course slams a few slow songs on here, but no big whoop. For once, he manages to combine high speed riffage with interesting song construction, rather than segregating them in different songs throughout the album, and that makes all the difference.

And short? 21 minutes short! You must own this if you're in the market for good old fashioned high-speed amazingly-toned guitar boogie punk rock.

Reader Comments

lgould@wincom.net (Laura Gould)
Yeah, hornet pinata was the follow up to Hey Judester and not the follow up to fizzjob - in fact, had it not been for Rick's friends in Windsor, Ontario (check the credits on hornet pinata) that third album woulda been called Mother, Jugs and Speed - we told them that was stupid, though (this is all true).

also i have to disagree on a few points: i LIKE Rick's voice, i think "Sweet Sweet Satan" is not a shitty song, but a FUCKING HILARIOUS AND ROCKING song (especially when you see it live with the religious icon) and Judester was far and away their best album.

as for what rick's been up to since Didjits split, listen up: he was asked to join The Supersuckers and did so for a year or so (much improved that band, i thought) - this was in late 95 and early 96 - he left them (i was glad - they gave me the southern creeps) and then i believe he played some with Fred Schneider of B52s fame after that and was, last i heard from him (exactly one year ago), a member of the Lee Harvey Oswald Band.

Didjits were great live. Rick's take on himself? - "I'm a showman." He deserves a lot more credit than you give him (although you give him a fair amount). Anyway, feel free to disagree via e-mail and have a happy holiday season under the Christmas fish!

Awright, Rick Simms was in a band called the Gaza Strippers, I heard, but couldn't put up with the other guy's horseshit. This is well informed hearsay, not fact. Somebody please check me out. Anyway, Rick Sims, the Didjits, and El Mano Cornuda are all flawed, but all each have these wild moments of apotheosis that give me these gooshy, turgid feelings of puppy love, which is why I'm gonna digress without any reason at all and mention the time I went into this guy's attic and saw how the previous tenants had left it as a shrine to Joan Jett, with all these 3x5 cards with stuff in Japanese posted all over the walls so they could remember how to say "rock out" and "be cool"--And there were all these posters of Joan Jett with a Gibson slung way low, rocking out and getting girlie sweat allover everything.

Brothers and sisters, I felt love in that room. LOVE, I tell you. Love and a crazy, toe-up mojo. I shitchyou not. God bless Rick Simms, God Bless Japanese girls in foreign exchange programs, god bless my friend Matt Buchan in Omaha for being a faithful custodian of the mojo, God bless the American Midwest, and I swear--so help me, that I will give 20 dollars to the first person who can write a Raymond Carver story about the Didjits song "Evel Kneivel".

kwc@inreach.com (Kevin Caldwell)
imean, I love the didjits, but your kinda right

relax@bellsouth.net (Jim Greene)
Unfortunately, the Gaza Strippers are still together. I saw them last night w/ the Gotohells, and let me tell you, they sucked so much ass that everyone's pants were wet. Mr. Sims strutted around like a fucking idiot and I just wanted to reach up there and smack him. Ugh, they were awful. His voice was worse than Ronnie James Dio's.

MCDRMTT@worldnet.att.net (Robert McDermott)
the dijits were and still are the greatest band i have seen in my short twenty three year old life span you fuckers wouldn't know good rock&roll if it fucked you in your homo ass and anybody who thinks the gaza strippers suck must listen to too much emo or something (probably likes kid rock too) but i wont belittle you ill just feel sorry for your dumb unrockin ass

cferris@mcleodusa.net (Proudhorn)
Didjits are one of the best bands ever and play a great show live. You are a freakin' meatball.

ebrewer@home.com (Evan Brewer)
damn good. you covered it quite well. i agree. i believe that there were some people put on this earth for the sole purpose of rocking and rick sims is one of those people. i don't feel like saying much more.

My good man, you can indeed be quite the asshole. But then again, so can Rick Sims (which I believe is part of his charm). However, I find him a considerably more entertaining asshole than you are. Hot damn, this dude knows how to write bitingly hilarious and cynical lyrics - and that crazy motherfucker can come up with some pretty ingeniously titled-albums! You did not seem to notice, and thus mention, the brilliant ways he managed to end Didjits songs. Since nobody really knows how to end a song well, Sims just made a mockery of this. Yes, my good man - these things are all part of Sims' sick, ironic, twisted, Detroit-Rock-City, pussy-loving sense of humour.

Hmmm....I guess you don't get it. Your reviews of the Fizzjob and Hey Judester (which in my opinion were the band's very best releases) certainly prove this. Those tunes are chocked full of the true spirit of screamin' raw punk rock anger, and don't have the over-produced sound of later albums (save for Hornet Piniata - another brilliant piece of work). It doesn't seem to register in your little brain that our Mr. Sims is a fucking genius of a composer, with frenetic voice that could shatter a diamond when he screams his fool head off. (Now, unfortunately, the man's trying to sing "properly" in the Gaza Strippers. (Where's the edge gone, Rick?)

And for all of you unaware of what Rick's up to these days, check out some of the shows put on by the Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago.

There. I'm finished. I'll shut up now.

wella@mts.net (Lynette Settee)
got to agree with you- the guitar toneage is wicked on this album, but that's where our agreements stop. This is better than Little Miss Carriage, yeah, but not even as good as Full Nelson Reilly. "Agent 99", "Judge Hot Fudge", "Fire In the Hole", "Que Sirhan Sirhan", and "Barely Legal" are stand-outs, but, personally, i think that the album has all of Hornet Pinata's energy and speed, but with about 60% of it's integral, visceral air guitar factor. Considering that it is somewhat of a return to Hornet Pinata glory, it only reveals the band's weakness in trying to return to such form, something that Full Nelson Reilly and Little Miss Carriage never really set out to do. Air guitar factor 2.5 out of 5- a partial return, but a disappointment nonetheless. I'd also like to point out that you never mentioned the influence of Iggy and The Stooges. Dude, listen to the remastered version of Raw Power, and you'll see the type of spirit that Hornet Pinata captured. Rick's voice is fine- he DOES sound like a pissed off fifteen year old- that's who he's trying to be. Listen to bands like The Hellacopters, Nashville Pussy, Supersuckers, Tricky Woo, and you'll see the didjits' fingerprints and influence all over those awesome bands. Oh, and by the way, Rick's in a fucking wicked band called the Gaza Strippers, now. Check 'em out- they sound like a band that as actually taken the Que Sirhan Sirhan sound, but sucessfully, this time. Rick still hasn't grown up- god bless him.

toydollz@yahoo.com (Gah Dotson)

What are you doing reviewing the Didjits at all? They are too cool for you to even touch with your mind. Heck, you like Clearance Clearwater Revival. Bleckorama. I could write 50 paragraphs about how you couldn't even begin to understand the Didjits.

Some people have been listening to music since they were 9 and are 29 (like me). Others are way older but didn't truly start enjoying and delving into music until they were prolly 15.

OK, I guess you have free speech, but listen again. The Didjits do NOT sound like old 70s bands. Just because (and I happen to have a background from U2, led zeppelin, r.e.m., so almost as far back as you) you only seem to be taking the "i'm listening to 70s music at the moment, so i will compare late 80s punk with *my* 70's music... totally doesn't mean that yer right.

Chele80@webtv.net (Michele Sims)
I grew up listening to the Didjits jamming in my basement. Maybe I'm biased but I've always loved thier music. My Dad (Brad Sims) was a talented drummer, my uncle (Rick Sims) may not have the greatest of singing voices but to my knowledge he never really did a lot of actual singing on any of his albums anyway. He still "sings" the same kind of music today. As for Doug, I really lost touch with him over the years but when I knew him, no one loved to rock out more than him...any of them for that matter. In my opinion, they set the stage for a lot of bands to come. After all, the Offspring sing a song written by Rick. They couldn't have been as bad as you make them out to be. Everyone has a right to thier opinion, I guess, but I was disturbed when I read yours.

Cool Website!

I must say that the Didjits were one of my favorite bands ever! I saw them half a dozen times in the early 90's while in school at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. I'll never forget seeing Rick Didjit dressed as a pig at Mabel's on Green St., or the time he dressed as a Nazi for the annual Band Jam event on the Quad. The music had a lot of energy, and still sounds fresh today. I haven't seen the Gaza Strippers play in Chicago yet, but I have all their albums. Keep on rockin!

PS: The Didjits were the band that inspired me to get my first electric guitar!

the didjits were one of the few bands that got progressively better with each record.little miss is brilliant and que sihran is quite possibly one of the best rock records ever.all you "punk rock purists" who think sub par song writting,musicianship and production quality are the benchmark of a good record are fucking idiots.ric sims voice is not pretty but either is the music,it's beautifully ugly and its awesome

blumpp@hotmail.com (Brad Lumpp)

Don't put your lips on it.

bds4610@sbcglobal.net (Brad)
I worked with Mr. Rick Sims Back in 85 in Mattoon, Il..
He kicked ass back then, I lost touch after a few years, ran back into him in Chicago and Toronto when he was playing with the Strippers. He still kicks ass!!!
Sorry to hear that he didn't want to babysit the kids anymore and had to split up the Strippers.
Hope he is doing well with the plays, and the twins are doing well!!
Drop a hello to a guy named Brad originally from Chicago now in California..

Houseofstrang@aol.com (Phil Strang, formerly of Record Service)
Rick Sims still kicks ass in more creative ways then you could ever imagine. Check out his new play "Hillbilly Antigone" at the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago and the great mountain music score and Killbilly Greek Tragedy he has composed. Your socks will be knocked off. Stay clear of the strychnine and learn to appreciate a true artist. Full steam ahead.

the only Didjits ive heard is that one video from this album that they played on Beavis and Butt-Head, but that seemed pretty good. I think Rick Sims co-wrote one song on the Offspring's Smash as well, but you might wanna check that (huh huh, Beavith, you know something about the Offspring).

Wesley Willis also wrote a song about Rick Sims in which he exclaimed "I love the way you cuss. I love the way you clown around. You love being happy." He then says Sims' name four times, followed by "I love the way you touch the crowd. This means you are telling them something. I love the way you tell the stupid son of a bitches to FUCK OFF! RIGHT ON BROTHER!"

That song can be found on Wesley's Greatest Hits volume one, and that song by itself made me wanna check out more Didjits.

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