1st African American Punk Rock Band – Death

Death

Seeing that I’m relatively new to punk music, I’ve been digging around trying to find bands I enjoy. While I was on the search, I came across gold! Well.. what I consider gold. Throughout the younger years of my life, I’ve always felt unaccepted because of the type of music I listened to. Growing up in central Texas and having brown skin automatically assigned me to a music stereotype.  That was bullshit and never stopped me from exploring. However, no one in my  family or circle growing up listened to punk rock. Grunge rock and alternative rock were more popular during early 2000’s. There were small influences but I was never fully acquainted with the genre.  Coming across a band called Death was like seeing a shooting a star in my very own discovery of punk rock.

Undiscovered Talent

When I find African-Americans involved in genres other than rap, hip hop, jazz, and r&b from earlier times, it’s extremely comforting! I don’t feel as alienated. Not many people have heard of this band called Death. The band formed in 1971 from being inspired by The Who and Alice Cooper! Death was technically formed before The Ramones, The Clash, The Damned, and many other similar punk rock bands.  Death can be considered a prototype version of punk mixed with a little funk. The band remained a hidden gem until 2008. It’s no surprise to me that Death never was popularized mainly because of the band name and their race during the time period. Record labels thought their sound was great but couldn’t accept the band name in order to be signed.

Unfortunately, the band was never signed due to the unwillingness to change their name. Their discography sat in one of the band member’s attic for almost 40 years! Up until a random eBay auction, their rare vinyl print ‘For the Whole World to See’, the band finally was discovered. It’s saddening that this band had no recognition during the 1970’s because they were extremely talented and could have had more influence in the genre. I came across the documentary A Band Called Death and if you’re into punk music or music history, I definitely recommend watching it! After hearing their music and watching the documentary, I thought I’d mention this band on my blog in hopes that someone else finds them as great as I do.

 

with love,

Raven

 

 

For the Whole World to See