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Punk History Vancouver: Disco Sucks


Friday, January 11th, 2008 — 12:05am PDT
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Remember when bands promoted a cause or took a stand not just because a record company told them they were going to be on a hit pre-fab compilation CD? When they would sing about injustices and weren’t sporting Louis Vuitton tracks suits in glossed over music videos? A huge part of the entire punk movement was staring the political and social issues of the day right in the face while building a community where bands and fans came together. One of the biggest movers and shakers in Vancouver has been (and still is) D.O.A.

With the new generation of punk you need the ones at the top to pick up the torch as musicians and artists can have an incredible effect on public opinion. If you only care about MTV and your cars and what you wear, going to award shows, I don’t care how loud and obnoxious the guitar is it isn’t really punk rock. Otherwise it just becomes another form of pop music. [The Punk Site – Interview with Joey Shithead from DOA]


Photo credit: thelastminute on Flickr

Continuing the Punk History Vancouver series, I share more first-hand quotes from Dave Olson.

“While there were lots of different style of bands in Vancouver, the thing that connected the “scene” was a sense of social responsibility. My first DOA t-shirt taught me to “Think Globally, Act Locally” and “Talk minus action equals zero” – bands like Bill of Rights, House of Commons, SNFU (Edmonton), Young Canadians, Death Sentence and I, Braineater stand out as other acts reflecting this social conscience. No Means No and Dead Kennedys (from SF) were kind of the godfathers to the scene – NMN were already old back then and DK’s Jello Biafra collaborated with NMN and DOA which seemed to connect us to that California scene at bit which seemed to have more in common with Vancouver than we did with NYC or UK punk.”

The band (DOA) is known for its outspoken political opinions and has a history of playing for many causes and benefits. Its slogan is “TALK-ACTION=0”. The band has been active on many issues, including Anti-racism, anti-globalization, freedom of speech, and the environment. [wiki]


Photo credit: Dave Olson on Flickr

“One of my favorites shows ever was when DOA played at a 14 and older club in Surrey called Bumpers. The Spores and my friends’ band AOT (Abortions on Toast) opened. DOA were really nice (especially Dave Gregg) and I thought that it was very cool that you can let your aggression out in music and not on other people.

These guys made a big impression on me as songwriters and activists. Where ever I’d travel from Germany to Japan, they had a following and commanded much respect from other bands for their political attitude and relentless touring. I think it is important how they are always on board for activist causes with a song or concert whether marijuana legalization, slamming Social Credit policies, or supporting the Clayoquot blockades.

Incidentally, years later, I sang Takin’ Care of Business on stage with Joey and the boys while wearing my Canucks jersey, then the whole band came over to party and crash at my house.”

For more information about DOA including shows, their new DVD and even their podcast interview, head to the Sudden Death Records website or MySpace page.

…Read more Punk History Vancouver….

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2 comments

  1. When I was 15… 20 years ago! I worked at a live venue in New West, DOA played there. It was cool. They were cool dudes. It is something to see them still going strong.

  2. That Bumpers show was the best live show in Surrey since Trooper used to play the Cameo. DOA, like most rockers without big hair, are at their best in a club with low, low ceilings.

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