It’s hard to give an overview of the movie without telling the whole story, but the 10000 foot view is. Three brothers (both literally and figuratively) from Detroit inspired by their music loving parents1 start a band in the spare bedroom. Determined to play “real rock music, not what you hear on the radio,” the band amped up the energy until they were The MC5 of Iggy and the Stooges.
Only the MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges didn’t exist yet.
Death was a good five years before “Punk Rock” became a thing and a good 15 years before anyone would give a record contract to a band called “Death.” Still, their high energy take on rock music and their spiritually and socially conscious lyrics would be the template used to make The Bad Brains critical darlings a decade later. Unfortunately, their principles meant that for the most part, the people who heard them were their neighbors asking them to turn that White boy music down.
A Band Called Death is a movie about ma band that didn’t quite make it. It’s a story about always being there for your brother. It’s a story about your children inspiring you. It’s a story you need to see.
Garbage Recommended Essential
- Their parents made them watch The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and took them to “Mowtown parties” which, I’m guessing, in Detroit were probably much more literal. Not what you would expect from a minister and his wife ↩