Against all odds Canada's punk godfather Joe Keithley elected to political office

D.O.A. "1978" Double 12" LP/CD coming May 3rd

Godfathers of Hardcore 40th Anniversary Tour Continues


Diane Foy

In his hometown of Burnaby, BC, Canada, Joe Keithley ran a campaign based on affordable housings for all, help for the disadvantaged, sustainability and grassroots democracy. Facing well-financed and vicious opponents, Keithley took a shoestring budget and his punk rock attitude and was elected as a city councilor.

Burnaby is BC's third biggest city and Canada's most culturally diverse, 150 languages can be heard on the streets of Burnaby. Keithley's always been involved in politics, including organizing Canada's first Rock Against Racism concert way back in 1979, so it just seemed like a natural progression for him to stand for election and now he has been elected.

"When I ran it was pretty straight forward... I said housing should be a right and not a privilege and everybody's vote has to count," said Keithley. "I'm just using D.O.A.'s mantra: TALK - ACTION = 0 and applying it to politics. It's been fun to get in there and kick some ass!"

Since being elected, he has helped set up the first homeless shelters in the city, is a key member of Burnaby's critical Affordable Housing Task Force and has stood up against junkets and benefits to local politicians. "I'll fight against racism, sexism, warmongers, and greed because it's the right thing to do," says Keithley

"Give me some time, but I have my sight set on running for B.C.'s Premier and then Canada's Prime Minister,” says Keithley, “so I can help attain justice and fairness for all Canadians.”

D.O.A. "1978" Double 12" LP/CD coming May 3rd
D.O.A. "1978" is a 21-track collection of unreleased demos, rare tracks, and early singles from Canada's punk pioneers. Joe Keithley went deep into the Sudden Death vault and came up with some super exciting and raw punk rock.

Godfathers of Hardcore 40th Anniversary Tour Continues
Friday May 17th - Spirit Bar, Nelson, BC
Saturday May 18th - Elks Lodge, Kimberley, BC
Sunday May 19th - The Drake Pub, Canmore, AB
Monday May 20th – TBA Golden, BC
Tuesday May 21st – The Slice, Lethbridge, AB
Wednesday May 22nd – Shepard Park, The Barn, High River, AB
Thursday May 23rd - Bo's Bar & Stage, Red Deer, AB
Friday May 24th - The Border Crossing, Calgary, AB
Saturday May 25th - Temple- Starlight Room, Edmonton, AB
Thursday July 11th - Limelight, Williams Lake, BC
Friday July 12th - The Legion, Prince George, BC
Saturday July 13th Firehall Brewery, Oliver, BC

Tuesday July 30 – Between, Bregenz, Austria
Wednesday July 31 – K4, Nuremberg, Germany
Thursday August 1 – Kult 41, Bonn, Germany
Friday August 2 - Brakrock Eco Festival, Duffel, Belgium
Saturday August 3 – Temple of Boom, Leeds, UK
Sunday August 4 – Rebellion Festival, Blackpool, UK
Monday August 5 – New Cross Inn, London, UK
Wednesday August 7 – Wild at Heart, Berlin, Germany
Thursday August 8 – Pogolos, Warsaw, Poland
Friday August 9 – Rude Boy Club, Bielsko Bials, Poland
Saturday August 10 – Ffud Festival, Sered, Slovakia
Sunday August 11 – OCCII, Amsterdam, Netherlands


D.O.A. was formed amidst a whirlwind of controversy and upheaval. In 1978, three guys fresh out of high school from the backwaters of Canada's suburbs heard about the punk rock revolution. In February of that same year, the band formed and started playing shows. They soon realized that there were no record deals coming in any time soon.

Keithley (aka Joey Shithead) who was working towards being a civil rights lawyer before he found punk rock, concluded that the band had to take the "do it yourself" approach long before DIY became a popular concept. He formed a fledging record label called Sudden Death Records and the label released D.O.A.'s first snarling slab of vinyl, the Disco Sucks 7" EP.
Disco Sucks soon became an underground hit and the band started touring from Vancouver to their newly adopted "home base" of California five to six times a year. In 1980, Keithley coined the term "hardcore" and the band soon released their landmark album Hardcore 81. The album became a hit, the hardcore movement took off, and D.O.A. pushed that expression into common vernacular.

Over the last four decades, D.O.A. have released 17 studio albums, sold over a million albums, and played 4,000 shows on five different continents. The band's albums, shows, and attitude have won over three generations of fans and influenced the likes of Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring, Henry Rollins, David Grohl and The Red Hot Chilli peppers, to name a few. Keithley has also written two books: I Shithead: A Life in Punk and TALK - ACTION = 0.

From day one, D.O.A. has helped organize and lead hundreds of benefit concerts and protests for good and just causes like environmental issues, women's rights, food bank benefits, and First Nations' rights. They have organized protests and stood against war, racism, weapons proliferation, and countless other causes.

Keithley has been called a cultural politician, trying to change the world from outside the system. He's currently running for Mayor of his home town of Burnaby, under the Green Party banner, attempting to change the system from inside. Keithley and the band were also ardent supporters of the Occupy Movement, realizing this was a step towards equality in our world. He is always looking for a way to push "grassroots democracy" and like his idol Pete Seeger, he and the band won't give up.

When the band takes their wild, unbridled show live show on the road, it's a must see, because it's a chance to see one of the last real punk rock bands that gets out there, kicks ass, and tells it like it is. It's a perpetual atmosphere of chaos, veering out of control, but somehow, at the last minute, D.O.A. manages to reign all of it back in. And in an indescribable way, you are not quite the same person afterwards.

Source Diane Foy

April 29, 2019 5:38pm ET by Diane Foy  

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