Back from the Dead

In the music business, timing can be everything. Immortalized in the new documentary A Band Called Death, Detroit-area brothers Dannis, Bobby and David Hackney lived this reality as Death, an early-’70s proto-punk band on the verge of stardom — but for whom fame never came. Screening tonight as part of the University of Colorado International Film Series, the movie tells the story of how the band’s star was eclipsed before the accidental discovery of a 1974 demo tape three decades later sparked a renewed interest in its sound.

Death’s harsh, fast style came before Bad Brains, the Ramones or the Sex Pistols and preceded the idea of “punk” as a mainstream genre. When the demo tape was unearthed, Bobby’s son, Urian Hackney, pushed to make the film.

“I grew up loving that early Motor City sound; I remember ordering the vinyl album and just being excited to hear it firsthand,” says IFS director Pablo Kjolseth. Kjolseth says that bringing A Band Called Death to Boulder for one night — and before it officially debuts at South by Southwest — is possible in large part because of the department’s partnering with Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

The film will show at 7:30 p.m. in the basement auditorium (room 1B20) of CU’s Visual Arts Complex, 1085 18th Street in Boulder; tickets are $7. For more information, call 303-492-1531 or visit
Thu., March 7, 2013

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies