In early 1970s Detroit, three black brothers formed a band called "Death." In the heyday of Motown, their aggressive, raw, distorted sound was rare, especially for black musicians. The band broke ground before the Ramones struck their first power chords, releasing a demo tape in 1974 after a year spent practicing in a spare bedroom.
Inspired by the rock-n-roll stylings of Alice Cooper and The Stooges, Death crafted proto-punk songs that sounded like no other group at the time. Not only were they the first black punk band -- they were arguably the first punk band...period.
In 1974 the group -- comprised of Bobby, David, and Dannis Hackney -- was approached by Columbia Records mogul Clive Davis for a record deal, but Davis requested the band choose a more commercially relatable group name. Death refused. Bobby explained to NPR, the "concept was spinning death from the negative to the positive. It was a hard sell."
The group broke up in 1977, before completing a single album.
A documentary titled "A Band Called Death" tells the unbelievable story of these visionary musicians and helped bring the almost forgotten group back to life.
Part rockumentary and part testament to family love, "A Band Called Death" follows the young brothers' trajectory and devotion to their band's identity.
This song is "Keep on Knocking,"from the album "For The Whole World To See" which was released in 2009. The video is live from the 2009 Fun, Fun, Fun Fest.