The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
A reunited Death playing DIY Street Fair Ferndale.
As a fan of the horror movie genre, I love nothing better than a story of life after death. Last Saturday, September 14th, DIY Street Fair Ferndale witnessed the resurrection of Death, a band whose legacy was nearly lost to time. Death was founded by three brothers, Detroit natives and vanguards of the coming punk movement, pressing a demo in '74 that heralded a sound conventionally attributed to the Sex Pistols or the Ramones.
Original bassist and vocalist Bobby Hackney, Sr. stays true to his style, as Death always has.
Interest in the band was rekindled close to home, as the sons of one the original members unearthed the buried demo and started covering the contents in homage to their father. A groundswell following for the music triggered a documentary, A Band Called Death (2012), which chronicles their near miss with fame, and was released to great critical acclaim last year, kindling a do-over for Death.
The documentary has fueled renewed interest in the band.
It was great to witness Death, alive and kicking, though sadly lacking founding guitarist, David Hackney, who passed away in 2000. It was David, whose staunch refusal to sell out and change the band’s name from Death, cost them their initial bid for a recording contract. But the other Hackney brothers, Bobby Sr. and Dannis, have continued in the music industry over the decades, and finally seem to have connected with the acclaim their groundbreaking sound deserves. Indeed, the crowd at DIY Ferndale was more than receptive. Death lives on!
Brother Earl, a hilarious bright spot in the documentary, took the stage as the crowd chanted his name.
You can view the movie online or catch it in limited release here: http://drafthousefilms.com/film/a-band-called-death.