The Pier recently held a contest asking fans to email their stories of how they first discovered Dirty Heads. The best story received a pair of FREE tickets to meet Dirty Heads at Wakarusa Festival. Since so many great stories were told, we decided to share the top ones we received from that contest…
The winners of that contest were Justin & Lisa Pybas. Justin told us a touching story of how they discovered Dirty Heads and detailed songs “Day by Day” and “Sound of Change” that helped get Lisa through her 2nd brain tumor. You can read that story in full by clicking HERE!
Thank you for those that sent in your story. Below you can enjoy some other stories we received by email. If your email was chosen below then we’re sending you out some FREE Pier T-shirts, Stickers and Buttons!
If you yourself have a story of how you first came to discover Dirty Heads, include it in the comments below!
How I Discovered Dirty Heads…
By Mike Patti of The Pier:
It was the summer of 2002. I had just discovered a band out of Huntington Beach, CA called HB Surround Sound. I picked up their album by accident at a Tower Records in Long Beach in the Locals Only section. Back in 2002, Reggae-Rock music was something you really had to search out and find. I grew up a huge Sublime fan and living in San Diego, CA I always found myself up in the Long Beach area trying to discover new bands under the influence of Sublime or Long Beach Dub All Stars. At the time, I owned a clothing line called Sense Boardwear and I was looking to put out a compilation CD with as many of the Reggae-Rock groups I had discovered. HB Surround Sound was one of those reggae-rock bands that blended reggae with punk and metal and I loved the discovery right away! When listening to their album, there were these 2 songs that featured a ‘Duddy B’ & ‘Dirty J’. The 2 songs were “Dirty Head” and “Gimme The Mic”. After hearing these songs, I was enamored with the sound. It was right up the alley of what I was already listening to at the time with Slightly Stoopid, Chapter 11, Pepper, Bargain Music, The Expendables and it was their own sound completely.
So I reached out to HB Surround Sound about using those 2 songs for my first Sense Boardwear compilation album titled Shit For Your Shit.
After speaking with the bands drummer, Jake Bushnell, he explained the 2 songs I was inquiring about were just a couple songs they did for fun featuring his little brother and his brother’s friend. Jake’s brother’s name was Dustin Bushnell who everyone called Duddy and Duddy’s friend was Jared Watson, who at the time loosely went by Dirty J.
Jake agreed to let me use the song “Dirty Head” for the compilation album, but requested that I at least use one of their own songs without Duddy and Jared. So Jake gave me permission to use HB Surround Sound’s own song “Summer of 99” in addition to the song featuring Duddy B & Dirty J with “Dirty Head”. Both songs were listed as HB Surround Sound songs on my Sense Boardwear compilation.
Wanting to support his brothers project, Jake handed me a CD that had 2 songs on it and advise that I consider putting one of his brothers songs on the compilation as well. The name on the CD was “Duddy B & Dirty J” and the 2 songs on the CD were “I Make The Mic” (which is now called “Bet Your Bits”) and “Rub A Dub Style”. While the 2 songs seemed so simple, it was unlike anything I had ever heard before. I reached out to Duddy and was given permission to put “I Make The Mic” on my compilation album in addition to the song he was featured on with HB Surround Sound with “Dirty Head”. This all took place before they were called Dirty Heads and when my Compilation album was released in October of 2002, they were listed on the track listing as Duddy B & Dirty J. That compilation would later sell in 35 different states and 7 different countries by word of mouth. By December of 2003, I released my second compilation album under Sense Boardwear titled High Rise. It was on this compilation that they were now referred to as Dirty Heads and it was the first physical pressing of their music under the name. For the High Rise compilation, they contributed 2 songs with “Antelope” and “Whiskey Bar”.
I think we all knew at the time that the Dirty Heads had something special. 13 years after first discovering them at the fruition of their sound, I couldn’t be more proud as a fan and early friend of the band to see the level of success they’ve earned today.
By Nef Reyes:
Dear The Pier,
If there’s one thing that I love about life, it’s live music. I am a music junkie and as cheesy as this might sound, live music is my injection of life. So if there’s a band that I’ve never heard of and my first time hearing them is live, and their rhythm grabs an instant hold of my soul, than you can guarantee that they will have me as a fan of for life. And that’s exactly what happened to me when I first heard of the Dirty Heads.
It was one memorable warm summer day of 2010, when my favorite radio station 96.5 the Buzz was hosting one of their annual summer concerts and I remember I was going with a couple of my best friends because I wanted to see Matisyahu and Sublime with Rome and I have honestly never heard of the Dirty Heads till that night. But when they came on stage and the instant they started playing, I was dancing and jamming and don’t tell Matisyahu and Rome this, but the Dirty Heads were the only band that I remember the most that night simply because of how amazing they were!
Love at first hearing.
I’m a believer. Ha! And it’s only because the Dirty Heads’ music has gotten me down a road of memories and feelings that I’ve shared with my best friends that go deeper than any other band has taken me with music to the point that when ‘Sloths Revenge‘ came out we were so obsessed with the song that we’ve called each other Goonies since then! As to why they have become my favorite band ever – when I found out that the Dirty Heads were gonna be at Wakarusa this year, I couldn’t possibly miss my favorite music festival at all! So this would make it the 5th time that I go to Wakarusa but it would be my 9th time seeing the Dirty heads, making them the artist that I’ve seen the most live.
I can honestly say that the Dirty Heads, since the first time I heard them, have taken me down road trips and numerous concerts through out these 5 years of being a Dirty Head. They have changed my life and have colored it for the better with their cocktail of awesome sounds, and no joke, it’s all because of that one reggae summer night in Kansas City when they brought their Cali vibes into my life, forever making me a Dirty Head.
By Alexandra Solso:
Dear The Pier,
My name is Alex. I’m a female from Santa Clarita, CA.
I was on my 2nd day of sobriety after a year long binge on meth when I was on a walk trying to battle this demon of addiction so I could lead a healthy and clean life. I turned on my Sublime Pandora station and Dirty Head’s ‘Sound of Change’ song was the first to play in my ears. The lyrics hit my heart so hard that I started to cry. I had never made longer than 3 days clean before. But after listening to that song, on that 2nd day of sobriety… I was able it to make it to where I am now. 468 days clean from meth.
Thank you Dirty Heads, your music has saved my life. I’ve been able to turn my life around.
By Stephen Freshley:
Dear The Pier,
The first time I ever heard the Dirty Heads was in early 2009 during my Junior year in high school; about 6 months after Any Port in a Storm dropped. I wasn’t actually looking for them when I found them though. I was listening to a lot of Slightly Stoopid and Rebelution back then and accidentally clicked a link on YouTube that took me to their song “Sails to the Wind” and I immediately fell in love with them.
I can honestly say that they’re one of my all time favorite bands and I play them constantly and have showed many people their music. Their performance at Wakarusa will be the third time I’ve seen the band live. The first was at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA while on tour for Cabin by the Sea in the summer of 2012 and the second being their recent show in Baton Rouge, LA for 4/20; I actually got a drum from Jon at the end of the show! Needless to say, finding out about the Dirty heads was the best accident I’ve ever had…
By: Jonathan Mazeika
Dear The Pier,
It was the summer after my freshman year of high school, I had a friend who I would hang out with everyday. We both loved to listen to Sublime Radio on Pandora, We discovered lots of bands such as Slightly Stoopid and The Expendables. However, One band in particular had me the first time I heard one of their songs. I could still remember the first time I heard “Stand tall”. We were out by the pool when it popped on, It almost felt as though it was our theme song. With every song we heard, the band grew on both of us. After he graduated he moved away with his Grandmother, and they released their album “Cabin by the Sea”. It was hard listening to it without him, but we would send each other the song links on Facebook. I even won tickets to see them live and brought his mother as a guest. She loved them as much as we did! One day I hope to experience a Dirty Heads concert with him, until then the music will forever keep us connected. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my story…
By Derek Warner:
Dear The Pier,
The first time I ever heard the Dirty Heads was by total accident. It was about 7 years ago and I was maybe a Junior in High School if I remember correctly. A few of my buddies and I were pretty into another smaller reggae band (which i will not name) and they were opening up for The Dirty Heads at the Aggie Theater in Ft. Collins CO. We had never heard of The Dirty Heads before but since the band we wanted to see was opening up for them we decided to all buy tickets and go check it out.
Before the show I had asked around seeing if anyone had heard of The Dirty Heads but no one had anything to give me. We all decided that we would go see the opener, which we knew, and then maybe stay for a couple of DH songs and then head back home. So we went to the show and saw the opening band in which we were there to see and they were terrible. The sound they had was sloppy and it seemed like they were super drunk and not able to perform very well. After the opener we all debated if we should just go home or if we should at least give the Dirty Heads a chance. Since we had already paid the price for admission we decided to stay for at least a couple of Dirty Heads songs. That was one of the best decisions our group has ever made. We were blown away with the talent that this band had and the way they captured the crowd. After the first two songs there was no more discussion of leaving the set early to catch an early night. About halfway through the set they played the song “Believe” and that is the moment I fell in love with The Dirty Heads. That song put me in a trance with the lyrics and the vibes I got coming from the band.
From that moment on I knew that I would see this band any time they came back to my area. The rest of that night was amazing and I ended up getting to talk with Dirty J after the show for a couple of minutes and thanked him for opening my eyes to their music. Since then I have seen The Dirty Heads 6 times, each time being just as great as the last. Thank you very much for your consideration and allowing me to share my story.
By James Halloway:
Dear The Pier,
I discovered the Dirty Heads early in their career through the now antiquated practice of searching for bands by genre on Myspace. I was a broke college student, and this was the means by which I acquired most of the music in my playlist at the time. I came across the Dirty Heads one day and gave a listen to the four offerings they had available on the site. Almost instantly I was hooked. I knew I had stumbled upon a band that was destined for greatness and that I would enjoy for years to come. Despite not having a ton of spending cash at the time, I decided that it would be in my best interest to fork over the nominal fee they were requesting to pre-order their Any Port in a Storm album. As a bonus, the pre-order package included an awesome black t-shirt with the Dirty Heads name on the front in big white lettering. I was stoked, and couldn’t wait for it to arrive. When the CD arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find a sticker accompanied my purchase as well. It was a light blue octopus that also said Dirty Heads — the same one on their Dirty Demos album I later found out.
So, the sticker went on my car, the shirt on my back, and the CD in my stereo. And that was it. It has been a staple in my playlist ever since. I have since sold the car that adorned the original sticker, and the shirt was worn to the point that it could not be worn any longer, but the music lives on and still resonates with me. My initial assessment was right, the Dirty Heads are a band for the ages. And I will continue to be a fan of their great music from Any Port in a Storm to Sound of Change, and whatever they have in store for us in the future.
By Alyssa Angus:
Dear The Pier,
My name is Alyssa Angus, I’m 20, I’m from Corona, CA, but I live in Fayetteville, AR. I’ve been listening to the Dirty Heads since I was 16. I think a great way to describe the evolution of my relationship with reggae, and specifically my love for the Dirty Heads, is summed up in their song “Believe”. As a singer and songwriter myself, this song has given me so much inspiration in my musical journey. When I started playing, I had very little confidence in my abilities and it was hard for me to put myself out there or play my music around other musicians. When I started to sing like I believed in myself, I noticed people were drawn to the sound. When I turned 16, I started going to an Art school where I could record and perform. I was also introduced to my main lady Mary Jane, and that’s when my musical horizon started to expand to reggae, lots of Bob Marley and Sublime as well as Dirty Heads. Me and friends would jam to “Burn By Myself” and “Your Love” while smoking our inspiration. Then we would write our own songs. For me, Dirty Heads represents good vibes, and positive inspiration. I’ve never been unhappy while listening to a Dirty Heads song.
Years down the road, me and my buddies are still jamming to Dirty Heads and writing music. And this year we are going to Wakarusa together! I’ve been going every year since 2013, but this years lineup has been the best so far. And I will get to enjoy it with my best friends by my side! I have been so ecstatic for this year. Since last summer, I’ve been getting down to the Dirty Heads’ new album, Sound of Change. They’ve become one of my favorite bands, I will listen to them everyday at work and on the way to work, and then I see they are playing at Wakarusa 2015! I literally jumped with excitement, my friend told me I looked like a kid at Disney World. I am so excited to see you guys live, I even started having dreams about it. In my dream I went to Wakarusa and I partied with the Dirty Heads and Nahko, and this was way before I ever knew about this contest. So if I win, which would be really cool, my dreams would literally be coming true and I could finally prove to my friends I’m a Psychic. You guys are awesome for doing this, you make amazing music, thanks for the experience that is Dirty Heads <3
By Brad Jemmi:
Dear The Pier,
This is a personal account of my experience with Duddy B and Dirty J, from the Dirty Heads. 5 years ago, in the latter part of 2010, I was going through a hard section in my life. I had just come out of an abusive relationship, my family was keeping me away because of some of the things I did in the relationship, and I was an extremely depressed 20 year old.
Suicide was an option at this point and I came to grow doubts on my sanity and will to live. One morning, I decided to go to my brothers house to ask for help, I was in a really bad place and didn’t know who to turn to. He was my last option. Anyways, I wake up in the morning to a song on the radio. “Lay Me Down” it turned out to be. I fell in love with the song as soon as I heard it. It took me away to a place of contentment and settled my mind for a second. That second was long enough for me to take a step back from the situation I was in and start to reevaluate myself. It sparked a change in myself that I can only describe as revolutionary.
That was five years ago. From then until now, The Dirty Heads have become, by far, my favorite musical act I have ever listened to or had the pleasure of even KNOWING. My first tattoo, that I plan on getting sometime soon, will say “Lay Me Down” as a permanent reminder that good times will always be ahead. Songs like “Believe”, “Easy”, “Driftin”, “Cabin By The Sea”, “Spread Too Thin”, and literally every song back to their demo days has infected my mind with meaning and love. I have plans to travel out to Red Rocks for the first time and see Dirty J and Duddy B at the amphitheater. Hard times have come and passed, and The Dirty Heads have accompanied me. Seeing them at Wakarusa would be a lifetime opportunity for me and I could not be happier just to share the same space as them.
From Brandon Proutey:
Dear The Pier,
My name is Brandon Proutey and I’m from Roanoke, VA. I’m 28 years old. Roanoke is more of a country feel to it but I have that beach soul. I was 21 or 22 when I first heard The Dirty Heads so that would be back in 2008 or 2009. The night before, I had just seen Ballyhoo! and The B Foundation at a bar called Awful Arthurs in Salem, VA. I had heard of Ballyhoo! before but not B Foundation. The next day I went on Myspace (Yes Myspace, that’s how long it has been haha) to B Foundation’s page to check it out. On their top 10 friends list, I saw a band for the first time. The Dirty Heads. Sounded cool so I clicked on their page. The first 2 songs I ever heard from the Dirty Heads were “Antelope” and “State of Mind”.
I still listen to those songs. I was hooked. I constantly would play those songs: “Antelope”, “State of Mind”, “Sail to the Wind”, “Rub A Dub Style”, “Stand Tall”, etc. All of my friends started rocking out to them once they heard my CD. I still have that CD in my case. Point is, I’ve been listening to The Dirty Heads for about 7 or 8 years now from Any Port in a Storm to Sound of Change and that is one band that cannot disappoint me with their music. It is amazing! I’ve seen them live 5 times on the east coast and I won’t stop until they do. It would be a privilege to just sit back and chill with that band at Wakarusa… I know it is an experience I would never forget. Thanks for your time and Stand Tall!
From George Apostol:
Dear The Pier,
I’ve listened to Reggae since I was a youngster first hearing Bob Marley as many other’s. As I grew older and realized my love for reggae music I began searching for new sounds. I found myself listening to Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, eventually finding Sublime and 311. Coming from Kansas City you didn’t hear much Reggae in the early 90’s. In fact it’s just now starting to pop. I first heard of the “Dirty Heads” from a good friend of mine who was attending a show they were having at The Bottleneck, a local music venue. Unfortunately I had to work that night and wanted to find out who these guys were. So on my break I Googled their music and found some, instantly loving the vibes and music I had found. So for the next few weeks I listened to Dirty Heads day and night. This was when they had just released Any port in a Storm. It was pure bliss to me. Not long after that they scheduled another show back at The Bottleneck and I made sure to attend. After that I was sure to never miss another Dirty Heads show within a 500 mile radius of my home. I traveled to Des Moines Iowa one summer to see a show and was lucky enough to see Dirty Heads open for Sublime w/ Rome!
Meeting the Dirty Heads would be beyond great because they show so much love and always bless my area with positive vibes. Even doing a collaboration with a local Kansas City Rap God known as Tech N9ne on their new album Sound of Change. It would be an honor to shake their hand and tell them personally how cool I think it is they have done a song with Tech. And for there to be a chance for me to meet them at Wakarusa on Mulberry Mountain!?!? I cannot think of a better time for me to meet the Dirty Heads and just simply kick it. PLEASE Pier family, if you would, I would be honored to be your guest to Meet & Greet Dirty Heads!! Thanks for the opportunity and big up on always hooking people up and being so cool!
Discover The Dirty Heads…
Watch: Dirty Heads – “Cabin By The Sea” (The Pier’s Live Acoustic Series)