DEATH (punk band) IS COMING!

Buying tickets today for a July 3rd show at the Roxy in Hollywood!

For those that aren’t familiar, this was THE three-piece punk band of early '70s-- three brothers, before Sex Pistols, before Ramones-- all from three brothers of an African American family.

Their documentary is the BOMB. Some great music history involved in their story. Back then, it was either Motown or Disco, with a sequined tuxedo. Their influence is tracked by so many artists without going for any of the “norm”, or what was expected of a black artist of the era.

What’s wild is, my first real guitar lesson was in 1984. My teacher gave me scales, a couple of pages to play from some boring Hal Leonard book, and gave me a cassette tape: Side one, Rush, Moving Pictures. Side two, Death-- Keep on Knocking.

Ever since that lesson and playing and listening and playing… I recognize David Hackney riffs in everything from Kiss to Iron Maiden. Their energy is so phenomenal, I cannot wait to buy tickets tomorrow! (wish me luck)

The documentary, “A Band Called Death” is streaming on Netflix and other sites. You can always get a listen on Youtube for their first single, “Politician In My Eyes”, or my fave, “Keep On Knocking”. You can watch the preview here!

Here’s a couple tunes:

Keep On Knocking - 1973, rehearsal in 2013 for tour:

Or their first single, “Politician In My Eyes” (you can skip the ad, no live video, sorry) (FFW to 3:55 for ultimate distortion without a remaster:D)

I really hope you enjoy the music.
Is anybody else into Death? And no, not death death, You know what I’m saying…

Very cool. I wrote up a column on Death for the Teemings’ newsletter - I will try to find it. A Doper knows one of the Hackney brothers, too - discussed in a thread when the column came up…

Here it is:

It’s a really good documentary! Those guys were really talented. It’s hard to put yourself in their shoes and see exactly how they were way ahead of their time, but it’s worth it to really dig deep and realize what they were doing and why it was so special.

Let me get this straight: your story is that you were given tabs or sheet music in 1984 for a song that was written in 1972 but only released as the B-side of a 45RPM on a 500 pressing run in 1975?

And you hear the influence of the guitarist, David Hackney, in so much rock music… despite the fact that Hackney’s guitar was never really heard by anyone until well after most of the artists you mention were long past their heyday?


That said, yeah I got their album back in 2009. I like Politicians In My Eyes and Rock-N-Roll Victim. The other 5 songs are mediocre at best.

In the end, it’s the story that makes the music important here.

Sounds to me like his teacher gave him a cassette with “Keep On Knocking” on it, not sheet music - he said the sheet music was from a boring Hal Leonard songbook. Not seeing why you find this unlikely.

That was probably me :slight_smile:

I went to high school with Bobby Hackney’s kids. At the time, I knew Bobby and Dannis as the guys leading Lambsbread a reggae band that was big around here in the late 80s/90s. Bobby Jr. and his brothers are in a great band called Rough Francis (which is featured in the documentary). They put on a sweet show, though I have yet to see Death itself.

Ah okay I see I misread that. Still, even with the nearly-impossible-to-calculate chances that this guitar teacher had one of the 500 copies of that single and recorded the B-side to pass out to his students, the notion of “hearing” Hackney’s influence as a guitarist in any of the acts mentioned is ludicrous.

And there ya go. Sorry I didn’t remember it was you, Eonwe

Bo - dude, it’s all good.

Yes, that was it. Teacher Tom actually didn’t know it was on the B side of the cassette until I asked him about it.

Of course, I forgot about Death for years until this documentary was released.

New guitarist Bobbie Duncan plays pretty hot too! This should be interesting. Heck, the show is only $25 bucks, but I hope it’s long and loud. :smiley:

Long live Death

Effing awesome band



Here’s what the OP wrote: “I recognize David Hackney riffs in everything from Kiss to Iron Maiden.”

That’s an entirely different statement from saying David Hackney influenced guitarists who followed him. It merely says that David Hackney was playing those riffs on a recorded piece of music before Kiss and Iron Maiden. Those bands’ guitarists doubtless discovered them on their own — just as David had. David simply did so earlier.

Next time you set out to condescendingly put another poster down or doubt his word, read more carefully. Your failure to do so resulted in not one, but two errors.

My daughter stumbled upon the Death documentary several months ago — and knowing me as she does, insisted that I watch it.

I found it very entertaining. And more that this, the level of devotion David had toward his music, and his refusal to compromise it was very inspiring.

I was going to say pretty much the same thing.

Has it aired on PBS anywhere? It could be, with a couple of words bleeped and that’s it. I could also see it being aired on “Starz In Black”.

I’m not buying the notion these guys were the original punk band. They formed in 1971, which means they postdate the Velvet Underground/Stooges/MC5. Heck this album from 1965 has a lot better claim on being the original punk record.

Way cool! They mention Lambsbread someplace in their documentary. Saw a clip where they start playing reggae, saying “we used to do this…” then jump into a Death tune. I’ll look for that.

SnowB, my wording was not clear when I wrote that. Apologies. I see how you got that interpretation. But my guitar teacher certainly didn’t have a real copy of Death’s “Keep on Knockin”, and it was really distorted, so I’m guessing it was bootleg, taped with an Schure SM-50 whatever and got passed around on 8-Track at the time.

Check it out! Awesome raw rock! If I ever get to go skydiving, I’m picking these guys as my soundtrack. ('Less I shit myself on the drop. :smiley: )

This should not be about building some direct, linear sequence of influences that MUST fit together like exact pieces in the Punk Puzzle of Influences™. It is more about their story - close to a lot of things, but ultimately not factored into “punk mainstream.” Similar to The Monks: and, as you link to, The Sonics (freakin’ love that band!)