It’s long overdue, but legendary Detroit protopunk band Death finally made their debut late-night performance last night on The Arsenio Hall Show, some 40 years after the group first started recording. Here’s what Vince had to say when he reviewed a documentary about the band, A Band Called Death.
Raised in Detroit, David, Bobby, and Dannis Hackney are three brothers – by virtue of biology as well as by being three black guys hanging out together in the seventies – who dreamed of playing loud and kicking ass like The Who. They called themselves “Death,” based on a vision David had while staring at some clouds, and in 1974, recorded a demo of fast, hard-driving rock songs that inadvertently stole the balls-out sound of later bands like The Ramones, Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols, et. al. Only no one wanted to buy it at the time, mainly because the band was called “Death.” Which doesn’t seem like that much worse of a name than “The Who” or “The Guess Who,” but whatever. They could’ve just changed the name, but hey, man, you don’t argue with clouds. The demo collected dust in an attic somewhere for a while, while the members of the band gradually gave up and went on their separate ways, playing, at various times, Christian soul music, and cheesy reggae, with songs like “Fire Up the Ganja,” which might be the most generic-sounding reggae track of all time. (Via)
Do yourself a favor: listen to …For the Whole World to See, and keep Death alive.