A Groundbreaking Michigan Rock Band That Was Almost Lost To History
You probably have never heard of the band 'Death', but they may have invented punk rock, and never got credit.
Music Historian Patrick Hicks Shared The Story Of 'Death' On His TikTok Feed
If you're a fan of rock'n'roll, you should follow Patrick on TikTok, as he tells amazing stories about the rise and fall of the some of your favorite '70s and '80s rock bands.
Last week, Patrick shared the story of the Detroit band 'Death', who may have been the first hard core punk band. But, alas, as many things do in life, things never broke in their favor, and the band's work was almost lost forever, until a son of a band member rescues their tapes.
As Patrick tells it, Bobby, Dannis and David Hackney became enamored with rock music after seeing the Beatles on TV. They formed a band in high school called the Rock Fire Funk Express, but David has become of fan of guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix, so they start moving in a rock direction.
They're friends and neighbors chastise the brothers, 'you're playing too loud', 'you're playing too fast', and 'you're playing white boy music', are some of the things they heard repeatedly, but that just makes them want to play harder and faster.
The Name Change That Almost Killed The Band, Pun Intended
After the boys dad is killed tragically in an accident, David changes the band's name to 'Death', and although his brothers adamantly hate the new moniker, they respect their older brother and go along with it.
Early in 1975, they finally get some studio time and record seven songs for their first album. Their work an those songs was an early pre-cursor to punk, and even more so the American Hardcore sound that would emerge in the '80s.
It Was Kind Of Hardcore Punk, Way Before Its Time
Their recordings are not well received, and I'll let you listen to this rest of the story as Patrick tells it.
While the band eventually broke up well before achieving any success, the story has a happy ending as Bobby Hackney's son, Julian, was able to locate the master tapes and get them released online.
Eventually the band would reform with a new drummer in 2010 and record more music, and started getting acclaim, which led to their songs being used in an episode of the TV show 'How I Met Your Mother' and on the soundtrack to the movie 'Ash v. The Evil Dead'.
And here, my friends, is 'Death', in their raw, unadulterated form, the way David Hackney wanted it to be.
And here they are performing after reuniting a few years back.