Miscellaneous Rumbles

Documentary on Punk Band Death

1

Never heard of them before but for some reason this came up in suggested videos on YouTube. This band was/is really good. I really dislike the band name though. Interesting band and documentary.

I think the focus is they were punk before there was punk.

2

Interesting...MC5 and The Stooges were definitely blasting stuff in the early 70's, tho'. Cool story and great music!

3

I've heard of Death (the punk band) - definitely not the same band as the death metal band Death (which was basically [like Trent Reznor does with Nine Inch Nails] Chuck Schuldiner with whoever he hired for the latest incarnation of Death). Death (the punk band) definitely played some cool stuff. They were real pioneers, just like Bad Brains were later in the 70s, and the early 80s.

4

Interesting...MC5 and The Stooges were definitely blasting stuff in the early 70's, tho'. Cool story and great music!

– BigJImSlade

BigJim, I was thinking so too. Also New York Dolls although they were more like punk forerunners.

I know Ramones formed in 1974 and first album 1975. Death formed 1973 if I caught that right and first and only recordings 1975. So Death was first in some ways. I’m pretty sure they didn’t know of The Ramones when The Ramones first came out.

I didn’t gather that Death tried to be punk but ended up that way at least in sound. Then again I understand The Ramones didn’t try to be punk either.

From the documentary they saw The Who and that was it. They wanted to be rock. Been funny had they approached Motown for a record deal and Gordy accepted and the R&B label had a one and only punk band. Gordy probably would have laughed at them and kicked them out the front door.

5

It's a good doc. I saw it a few years ago.

6

Well, there wasn't really punk to try to be...before someone called it punk.

I'd submit The Monks got there pretty early, along with a fair-sized swath of 60s garage rock.

7

Well, there wasn't really punk to try to be...before someone called it punk.

I'd submit The Monks got there pretty early, along with a fair-sized swath of 60s garage rock.

– Proteus

Great point on The Monks. Totally agree.

And yes no punk label until the term was coined by a British journalist calling Johnny Rotten a punk. I forgot her name but I know she called him that or The Sex Pistols.

8

BigJim, I was thinking so too. Also New York Dolls although they were more like punk forerunners.

I know Ramones formed in 1974 and first album 1975. Death formed 1973 if I caught that right and first and only recordings 1975. So Death was first in some ways. I’m pretty sure they didn’t know of The Ramones when The Ramones first came out.

I didn’t gather that Death tried to be punk but ended up that way at least in sound. Then again I understand The Ramones didn’t try to be punk either.

From the documentary they saw The Who and that was it. They wanted to be rock. Been funny had they approached Motown for a record deal and Gordy accepted and the R&B label had a one and only punk band. Gordy probably would have laughed at them and kicked them out the front door.

– ThePolecats

From what I've read, both of those things seem to have been a pretty common occurrence with 70s punk bands. When The Ramones formed, they thought their main musical rivals would be bands like the Ohio Players (of "Yummy Yummy Yummy" fame), and only played the style of music they played, because due to a lack of musical chops, they couldn't pull off bubble gum rock.

Bands like The Saints (from Australia - their claim to fame, is the song "Stranded"), and the Suicide Commandos (from Minneapolis - their most notable song was "Burn It Down"), had been doing their punk rock thing almost as as the Ramones, and according to members of The Saints, and The Suicide Commados, they collectively groaned when they learned about The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, because they figured that despite the fact that despite the fact that they had been playing the same kind of music for just as long (but with very little recognition), they would be seen as a bunch of copy cats, which is kind of ironic, because image-wise both bands looked nothing like The Ramones or The Sex Pistols - they actually looked like a bunch of everyday schmoes.

Actually the argument might be made that The Damned (who I prefer to the Sex Pistols) were around as long as the Sex Pistols, since their song "New Rose" was released on both record (and a video was made of the song [possibly the first punk rock video]) in 1976 at the same time, or slightly earlier than the first Sex Pistols songs.

Early Punk Rock Bands Also Doing Their Thing During The Same Time Period

9

I think the term used for this evolution of garage rock is Proto-Punk. The Dictators come to mind as being credited as one of the fore runners of punk, as well. Their '75 release The Dictators Go Girl Crazy "is now considered to be the starting point for American punk rock" (according to Wiki). Although this was recorded live in 1999 it has the components of punk in my mind.

10

Maybe not the first but the oldest punk band, LOL.

11

This is a very cool documentary, Polecats, these guys were completely off my radar. I think that they were definitely ahead of the times, playing their own style of 'rock' music. It's took other bands doing a similar thing to finally define the genre as "Punk". Anyway, I enjoyed the documentary very much. It was an eye opener, and I have a lot of respect for what they did. They broke out of the mold, for what was expected/demanded from a black band in Detroit, in the 1970's.

12

Just a note to thank you again for posting this. I watched about 15 minutes of the doc a few days ago, and when I caught on to the positivity and laughter of these folks, I knew my wife would like it too.

So we watched it tonight, ütubing to the big TV, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated. Such a wonderful story, and great people. If only the world could be filled with families like the Hackneys.

I'm anxious to get the album - the band's music is pretty fabulous. Punk? OK, if you say so, and I guess it's a hook to hang it on - but I hear a lot of other influences in it. Truly innovative, and I wish it could have surfaced at the time.

Anyway. Anyone who's ignored this thread because it seems to be about something you're not going to like...watch anyway. It's about so much more than a black trio of brothers from Detroit playing rock in the mid-70s. It's family, faith, endurance, hope, generosity, grace...and so much more.

Practically a cathartic movie experience.

13

I checked out the beginning of the film, and I’ll be finishing it ASAP. Good original stuff made by folks who seem glad to be alive.


Register Sign in to join the conversation