Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Dirty Looks (New York band)

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Genres  Power pop
Genre  Power pop
Years active  1977–1982
Albums  Turn It Up, Dirty Looks
Origin  Staten Island, New York City, New York, United States
Members  Peter Parker, Patrick Barnes, Marco Sin
Record labels  Stiff Records, Epic Records
Similar  Nick Lowe, Jake Riviera, Marvin Humes, LA Reid

Dirty Looks was an American rock band from Staten Island, New York, formed in 1977.



Dirty Looks was formed in 1977 and began playing cover songs before writing a set of gritty pop songs inspired by the sixties. The band consisted of singer/guitarist Patrick Barnes, drummer Peter Parker, and bassist Marco Sin. The band released two albums for Stiff Records in the UK (Epic Records in the US), "Dirty Looks" and "Turn It Up", along with several singles. Their debut album was Stiff’s biggest ever album release in the United States, selling over 100,000 copies in 1980. "Turn It Up" was originally produced and mixed by Nick Garvey (of The Motors), Epic Records decided they didn't like the edgy approach and wanted a more mainstream sound. They are best known for the songs "Let Go" and "Tailing You", which were minor hits. Both videos were in rotation in the early days of MTV.

The band was discovered by Squeeze bassist John Bentley at CBGB in New York. Bentley brought then Grand Funk Railroad manager Andy Cavaliere to the band's next show and he made the band sign a napkin promising to appear in his office the next day.

Their first album; Dirty Looks was first released in America and the band launched the record by appearing unannounced outside the New York offices of EPIC on a flat-bed truck complete with PA, drums etc., and a film crew. 52nd street became filled with lunch-time office workers all grooving to the band and a bunch of New York cops from the local precinct trying to fight their way through the crowd to stop the disturbance. The result was an arrest and a fifteen-minute movie of three Dirty Looks tracks.

In 1980 Dirty Looks came to England for the In the Son Of Stiff tour. With four other Stiff acts Dirty Looks played 11 countries in 70 days and played 61 gigs.

In Milan they Headlined in front of 6,000 fans and witnessed a fatal stabbing outside the concert hall. By now Dirty Looks had released three singles: "Lie To Me", "Let Go" and "Tailing You".

In 1983, the group prepared demos for an unreleased third album, called Unsung Heroes. Four tracks from it were included on 12 O'Clock High, an Italian career retrospective compilation, in 2002.

Bassist Marco Sin (born Marcus Robert Weissmann) died in 1995, following a lengthy history of substance abuse.

In February 2014, drummer Peter Parker (Minucci) worked with Omaha band, Naive Filter, to record two Dirty Looks originals; Love Crimes and Kiss of Death.


  • 1980 Dirty Looks
  • 1981 Turn It Up
  • Press quotes

  • "New-wave rock 'n roll power trio, tight, serious and tense." - SPECTRUM 3/7/80
  • "An interesting blend of 50's rockabilly and vintage Deep Purple!" - PHILLY JOURNAL 3/15/80
  • "Dirty Looks made me forget the last ten mediocre rock and roll bands I had seen." - ISTHMUS 4/4/80
  • "I like 'em fine; they're pop but not insipid; heavy metal but not boring; new-wave but not disposable." - SUSAN SHAPIRO. VILLAGE VOICE 2/6/80
  • "This stuff is so powerful it could make your zits go away." - FRANK SCHOENE, HOT WAX JUNE 1980
  • "One of the most refreshing debut albums in some time." - STEVE O'LEARY, CITY MAGAZINE JUNE 1980
  • "This is one of the flashiest new English bands I've heard all season." - RICHARD RIEGAL, CREEM
  • "Outstanding performance at the Bottom Line." - ANNA CERAMI. AQUARIAN 6/11/80
  • "Definitely a band to watch." - Robert Palmer 'Rock Concert: The Yachts and Dirty Looks'. New York Times, October 22, 1979.
  • "Following in the tradition of the Who." - TROY ST JAMES, KALEIDOSCOPE 6/13/80
  • "The best U.S. band to debut on vinyl this year."- BRIAN DICKHAN. NEW BEAT 6/26/80
  • "Stiff has again come up with a winner." - STUART MARGUILES, PATERSON NEWS 7/19/80
  • "Definitely the first Stiff Records act from Staten Island." - ANNA CERAMI, AQUARIAN 7/9/80
  • References

    Dirty Looks (New York band) Wikipedia

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