Entries tagged with: Bobby Hackney
by Andrew Sacher w/ photos by Kellyann Petry
Death @ Purchase
"Forgotten except by the most fervent punk rock record collectors -- the band's self-released 1976 single recently traded hands for the equivalent of $800 -- Death would likely have remained lost in obscurity if not for the discovery [in 2008] of a 1974 demo tape in Bobby Sr.'s attic. Released [in 2009] by Drag City Records as "... For the Whole World to See," Death's newly unearthed recordings reveal a remarkable missing link between the high-energy hard rock of Detroit bands like the Stooges and MC5 from the late 1960s and early '70s and the high-velocity assault of punk from its breakthrough years of 1976 and '77. Death's songs "Politicians in My Eyes," "Keep On Knocking" and "Freakin Out" are scorching blasts of feral ur-punk, making the brothers unwitting artistic kin to their punk-pioneer contemporaries the Ramones, in New York; Rocket From the Tombs, in Cleveland; and the Saints, in Brisbane, Australia. They also preceded Bad Brains, the most celebrated African-American punk band, by almost five years." [NY Times]I met with Bobby Hackney, Dannis Hackney, and Bobbie Duncan of the legendary proto-punk band Death before their set at SUNY Purchase's Fall Fest this past Friday, to discuss their second full length album, Spiritual, Mental, Physical, which is set to be released on January 25, 2011 through the label Drag City. As previously posted, Death sent out this message via Drag City back in October:
BASEMENT OF WHAT WAS ONCE KNOWN AS GROOVESVILLE STUDIOS - DETROIT, MI - May 7th, 2010Bobby and Dannis are brothers and both original members of Death who were active from 1971-1976. Their other brother and original member, David Hackney, died of lung cancer in 2000. Death reformed in 2009 with new Death member Bobbie Duncan on guitar. Bobby, Dannnis and Bobbie all also play together in Vermont-based reggae band Lambsbread.
"After searching for almost eight hours, I removed a box with a Master in it and vaguely saw some big red letters on the box below it. I shinned the light on this box to clearly see the writing in big red letters DEATH. I screamed with excitement DEATH!!, DEATH!!, DEATH!! Everyone in the building starting to scream and wildly cheer and applause. Upon seeing those tapes, it brought it all back, David had written those big red letters on the tape. Engineer Jim Vitti had jokingly drew a skull and crossbones on the box after the name to which David did not like telling him "We are not that kind of Death". I was full of emotion, I cried. We were all elated, Jacque was elated, I called up Dannis who was in Vermont and he began to joyfully celebrate. I thought about David. If David were here with us all that has happened to Death up to this point would pale in comparison to what we found today. The tapes were right where Brian said they were sitting there awaiting us for 34 years." - Bobby Hackney
BV: Welcome to New York, how was your trip?
BH: Trip was great, thank you for welcoming us, first time in Purchase.
BV: I know it's not the most conventional setting to play, being that it's a small college an hour outside the city, but from what I gather, you guys have performed as Lambsbread at a number of colleges, so you are no stranger to performing at colleges.
BH: Oh no. We've played a lot of colleges in New England, just about every college in New England. A lot in the state of New York too, so you are correct about that.
BV: How is that, performing for kids at school, especially being that Death is now appreciated by younger fans who weren't even born when you first formed?
BH: It's amazing, I mean it's really magical to us, we just really appreciate the fact that people are tuning in to our music. It's great, it's really great.