Before there were The Ramones or The Sex Pistols, there was Death

The origins of punk rock have always centered around guys whose last name was either Ramone, Vicious, or Rotten. A new documentary A Band Called Death, which won the Audience Award at SXSW, sheds lights on three brothers whose last name is Hackney and who were making a similar kind of raw music years before anyone had heard of the Ramones or the Sex Pistols. Bobby, David, and Dannis Hackney were three brothers from Detroit that formed a gritty rock band when everyone expected three black kids from Motown to make music that sounded more like, well, Motown. Of course, naming a band Death didn’t help matters with record labels. It wasn’t until the band’s 1974 demo tape was unearthed in an attic decades later that Death finally began getting its due. Directors Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino traced the history of Death for their film, which will be available on Video on Demand on May 24 and in theaters on June 28 through Drafthouse Films.

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