I’m absolutely obsessed with this band. Picture this. It’s 1973. The place is Detroit, Motown is soaring through the airwaves on every radio in every house. Except one. In a small, cheap home, three black, young Jehovah’s Witness brothers are getting into rock n roll. Soon enough, a Rickenbacker 4001 bass, a Fender Telecaster guitar and a mighty drum set are acquired. They start to play. And the noise. The sounds they were making could only be described as punk rock. But it’s 1973. Punk didn’t have a name yet, or even really exist. After a while one of the brothers, David comes to the rest with something. A band name. Inspired by the passing of their father he says, simply and clearly, “Death”. So it begun. Cut to 1980. The punk movement had been and gone, but Death still had received little success. At one time they’d been offered a record deal, but on the condition they change the band name. Like the true punks they were, they turned them down. In the end. They called it quits. They made one of the best 45 records ever created. But few had heard that record. It seemed as though they were doomed from the start. Let’s jump forward thirty years. David, the prolific songwriter and visionary behind Death had died a decade earlier. The two other brothers had all but forgotten their old band. They had families and jobs to think of now. But through a series of events, unbeknownst to them their old record had been copied to the Internet and was blowing up. Thirty five years after the record was released, Death were finally having the success they had always dreamed of. There is so much more to this story than I could cram into this short blog post, but there’s a documentary on amazon prime. Before There Was Punk, There Was Death. It’s a must watch. An amazing story that my mere words can’t get across. This is simply a public service announcement. Check out this band.
Peace, Love and Cowbells,