These days Bono is really into overblown metaphors that once unpacked mean nothing. During their tenure, Death — the Detroit trio of David Hackney, Bobby Hackney, Dannis Hackney — were more about cutting to the chase, punk-rock style. I bring them up because their 1975 album …For the Whole World to See, engineered by Jim Vitti (Parliament/Funkadelic), is being reissued by Drag City. Bobby with background:
Brothers David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney started making music together in 1971, when David, the eldest, was 19 and Dannis, the youngest, was 16. Like many young African-American musicians, our primary in?uences were soul and funk music. This changed after seeing Iggy And The Stooges live. We started listening to more rock, stuff like Alice Cooper and Led Zeppelin. When the Who’s Quadrophenia came out, David became convinced that nothing was more important than rock and roll. In 1974, we put together a demo tape with the most rocking name we could think of: DEATH.
When Clive Davis tried signing Death to Columbia, he said they’d have to change their name first. David, the oldest and therefore the band leader, said no. See, metaphors vs. actions. Take a listen to “Politicians In My Eyes.” It rules.
Death – “Politicians In My Eyes” (MP3)
A single of “Politicians in My Eyes” b/w “Keep On Knocking” was pressed in the ’70s and exists out there, if you look hard enough.
…For The Whole World To See is out 2/17 via Drag City:
[Photo by Tammy Hackney]