In the early 1970’s, before The Ramones and punk there was Death, a Detroit-based group made up of three African American brothers – David, Bobby and Dannis Hackney – who started out by jamming in a tiny room on the second story of their family home. Already influenced by The Who, after attending an Alice Cooper concert they decided to alter their approach to music – to pure rock-and-roll. At this time, rock-and-roll was white folks music, but these guys were good enough to take off against the odds. In a line of successful recent music documentaries – the Academy Award-winning Searching For Sugar Man most obviously – A Band Called Death eclipses them, I feel. This extraordinary story has it all; natural artistic vision, devastating sacrifices and missed opportunities, unshakable loyalty to family and unexpected second chances. It is the kind of life-affirming tale you won’t want to shake.
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