Pictured above is supposedly the only known photo of the band, Death. I have been watching Fun Fun Fun Fest online because it is my favorite Austin music festival, although Pachanga this past year certainly has me rethinking that. I look forward to seeing Jesus Lizard and GZA from the Wu Tang Clan, but Fun Fun Fun Fest is best known for resurrecting great punk-mod-ska acts of the past. Death is apparently this year's resurrection. Having only heard the name before, I of course looked them up on Myspace and took a couple of things for this post. It's very Stooges meets a soulful Jimmy Hendrix. Here's the bio:
On February 9th, 1964 in Detroit Earl Hackney Sat Down his three sons: David (age 12), Dannis (pronounced Dennis) age 10, and Bobby (age 8) in front of the TV set and told them they were witnessing something special. The Beatles were playing on the Ed Sullivan show, and David, entranced, sat 6” from the screen wide-eyed, while the other two sat equally mesmerized. The very next day, David found a guitar in the alley, took it home, and taught himself how to play. By 1970, the brothers had started their first band and begun playing garage shows. They played funk/R&B, influenced by the Motwon sounds coming out of their East Detroit neighborhood. They Practived relentlessly and home recorded often. In early 1973, the brothers went to the Michigan palace and saw a perfomrmance of Iggy and The Stooges. From that day forward David moved the band into the direction of rock n’ roll, feeling it was a better fit for them. David wrote the music and Bobby wrote the lyrics. Their songs became more political and the power trio seemed complete. The band named themselves Death. With more garage shows and a demo under their belt, David opened up the yellow pages to recording studios and threw a dart. The dart landed on Groovesville Productions, a label owned and operated by Don Davis. Davis, impressed with the band, brought the demo to the attentio of Clive Davis of Columbia Records. CLive gave Death an advance and crontracts were drawn to begin recording a 12 song album. After recording the first 7 songs, Clive insisted that the band change their name before the album was completed. David and his brothers refused, causing Columbia and Groovesville to back out of the deal. However, with thier received advance, Death leaked out 500 copies of a 45 on their own Tryangle Records in 1976 which was distributed at garage shows for free. Nothng more was heard of Death over the coming years other than a few collectors who had raved about their legendary 45. In 2002, an obscure punk compilation titled No One Left To Blame featured the B Side "Keep On Knockin’. Six years afterwards, Bobby Hackney’s sons caught wind of the 45 songs being played at parties in California. Bobby hackney then brought the 34 year old master tapes down from the attic for his sons to hear. Finally, a deal with Drag City Records was worked out to release the album on February 17TH 2009. …FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE!!!"
See Death On Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/deathprotopunk
Check out this video EPK of sorts for Death talking about the band and their record:
I ordered mine the minute I saw the video and heard their music online. I can't wait for this historic opportunity to see Death at Fun Fun Fun Fest. Kudos to the Transmission people for making this happen. Last year was Bad Brains and Dead Milkmen, this year Death!
For more on Fun Fun Fun Fest, visit: www.funfunfunfest.com
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