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A Band Called Death 2013

NR CC

Rockumentary and family love story, A BAND CALLED DEATH chronicles what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic.

Starring:
Dannis Hackney, Bobby Hackney
Runtime:
1 hour, 36 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Music, Documentary
Director Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett
Starring Dannis Hackney, Bobby Hackney
Supporting actors David Hackney, Robbie Duncan, Kathleen, Earl V. Hackney Jr., Victor Veve, Majora Florida Hackney, Victor Twiggs, The Beatles, The Who, Don Davis, Brian Spears, Steve Williams, Steve Comegno, Heidi Simpson, Dylan Giambatista, Lambsbread, Bobby Hackney Jr., Urian Hackney
Studio Image Entertainment
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Excellent Documentary and very well put together Mark and Jeff. What can I say, this was my husband David for 22 years and he deserves every bit of this acknowledgment. We had our ups and downs in our life together, but I truly believe We're Going To Make It Together in Heaven, God willing! David was a great musician and song writer, and has been and will truly be missed. I just wish that he could have hung on a little bit longer so he could have seen his music come to life. Thanks be to God and to everyone that made this music a reality. Love to the band, their wives and their families. Couldn't have happened without you all!

Heidi Hackney Simpson
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Let me first say that I think this story is fantastic, as is the music of the band. I bought their album in 2009 and was immediately taken with it. For music this good (at this kind of quality) to go unnoticed for 35 years...absolutely mind boggling.
However... nothing can ruin the enjoyment of a band like hype and inaccurate facts on their history...especially when people start buying into it and shoving it down your throat.
The story of the band itself is amazing, but this recent documentary (while mostly great) makes some statements that are simply not true....statements that seem to be passed around the internet a lot over the past 4 years, and a lot of people are buying as fact.
Death were not BEFORE the Ramones (as stated in the trailer), and were not "doing what the Ramones were doing but 2 years earlier", as stated in an interview by a member of the Roots.
While Death certainly predate the punk movement itself, they were one of MANY groups who were playing this kind of music in 1974...and I'm not even counting the Stooges and Mc5 from a few years earlier.
Along with the Saints, Dictators, Electric Eels, and Rocket From the Tombs, the Death story is just much more appealing to a mass audience.

As for the Ramones,
-Death established in the Spring of '74. Before that, the Hackney Brothers were a funk group called Rock Fire Funk Express. The Ramones formed in January '74
-Death wrote the songs on "for the whole world to see' between Oct and Dec '74 (as stated in the record sleeve). The Ramones played their first show March 30, '74, and were playing CBGB's weekly by August. There's also documented audio of the Ramones from Sept 15, 1974.
-Death recorded "for the whole world to see" on Feb 18, 1975.
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This documentary is about a band called Death, but if you look deeper it's really about an artist unwilling to compromise his art. I recently bought the album as well and the songs are great. I hope people get the message and do the thing they love doing rather then the thing that will (maybe) make them rich and famous.
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Even a very gifted writer of fiction would have a difficult time writing a story that is as unusual and inspiring as that of a trio of brothers from Detroit who formed a band that was named Death. This particular band is not to be confused with a death metal band from Florida of the same name who was fronted by the tremendously talented and sorely missed Chuck Schuldiner. One thing that both of these bands have in common other than their name of course is that neither achieved much in the way of commercial sales. However, Schuldiner was able to gain considerable well deserved respect within the metal community over the years, even with a lot of those who didn't like death metal. With the Detroit Death, that took decades.

This documentary is basically split into two parts. The first tells the story of the three Hackney (Bobby, Dannis, and David) brothers who grew up in a tight knit working class household. Their father was a an electrical lineman who died heroically trying to a man's life. This incident would touch all three brothers, David in particular, very deeply. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Hackneys developed a love toward the heaviest rock bands and artists of that time. So, they decided to form their own band much to the disdain of both whites who thought only whites should play rock music and blacks who felt that blacks should only play rhythm and blues. The eldest David played guitar, Dannis played the drums, and Bobby handled both bassist and lead vocalist duties. The next job was to now find a name for the band.

David who was still strongly affected by his father's passing decided to go with Death.
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By Darren on September 14, 2015
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Touching documentary about a literal band of brothers calling themselves "Death" in mid-70s Detroit. Their music was what we might term "proto-punk", though the unusually tight musicianship (for the genre) and the melodic bass lines also put the music in the simple hard-rock camp, in my opinion. Other reviewers here have already noted that band leader, David Hackney, may have borrowed musical ideas from true proto-punk bands like Iggy Pop's Stooges and especially MC5. And it's worth noting that the Ramones were contemporary with Death, not "later", as erroneously stated by the film. And what of a Cro-Magnon-punk band like the mid-Sixties' "The Fugs"? So I think we have a little problem with the movie's tag-line, "Before There Was Punk, There Was ..." Actually there was dissonant rock music of all stripes prior to and during Death's short existence. The doc's failure to put Death in historical context, quite apart from its failure to define punk rock in the first place, inclines me to knock a star off. If you're going to make a historical claim, you gotta back it up.

The doc is much better at describing how unlikely their music was, coming from three African-Americans in Motor City, no less. Band leader David was clearly a rebellious spirit, who, when told he should be doing a "Motown" style, stuck with his bombastic hard rock guns. He and his brothers were also told that they needed to change the band's name. David's response? No. The "No" finally cost them a $20,000 recording contract with Arista Records. (Now THAT'S punk.
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