Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Nov 13th 2009 2:30PM by Steve McLean
The man said to have invented the term "hardcore" is obviously punk rock royalty, but he's also a force to be reckoned offstage. Keithley often gets geared up for gigs by playing road hockey -- and drinking beer. You can never forget the beer.
"I think it just sums up D.O.A. and the three elements that hold D.O.A. together," Keithley tells Spinner of the origins of the album title. "Right now our cast and crew has a real western flavour, as the drummer [Floor Tom Jones] is a Calgary Flames fan, the bassist [Dan Yaremko] is an Oilers fan and I'm a Canucks fan. There's a fierce rivalry every time we travel and the subject comes up."
Those road trips usually begin with the boys cracking some beers in the back of the van and cranking fellow west coast punks the Hanson Brothers' 'Stick Boy,' from the NoMeansNo alter-ego band's 'Sudden Death' album.
"It becomes the theme song for the tour," says Keithley, who was voted the most influential British Columbian of all time in an online poll conducted by the Vancouver Sun newspaper last year for his social and political activism as well as his music. "That's a great hockey song."
Keithley's other favourite hockey songs include the Stool Pigeons' 'Ballad of Cookie La Rue,' Pullfinger's 'One Timer' and the Hansons' 'Hockey Night Tonight' and 'He Looked Alot Like Tiger Williams.' In case citing a song that name-checks the NHL's all-time penalty minutes leader isn't enough insight into the kind of hockey that Keithley appreciates, songs on 'Kings of Punk, Hockey and Beer' include 'Donnybrook' and 'Beat 'Em, Bust 'Em.'
"It's a chance to express our Canadiana and general rough-housing, which is my style of playing hockey," says Keithley. "This is a chance to put those sentiments out there because I think the new NHL is too lightweight. I prefer the old days."
Keithley was a scrapper in his younger days playing midget hockey and had more than a few penalties called against him when the now-disbanded D.O.A. Murder Squad used to play benefit hockey games to raise money for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. He says there are similarities to being in a band and playing Canada's national sport.
"You really have to overcome a lot of things to be successful and you have to put up with a lot of s--- to get to your goal."
The songs on the new album date as far back as 1986 with a cover of Bachman-Turner Overdrive's 'Takin Care Of Business' (which featured a popular hockey-based video) to this year's cover of Stompin' Tom Connors' 'The Hockey Song.' Original songs 'Dead Men Tell No Tales,' 'Beer Liberation Army' and 'Overtime' from the band's deep catalogue are also included along with the likes of 'When Power Came To Canada' from Keithley's 'Band Of Rebels' quasi-solo album and a song originally recorded with Vancouver cuddlecore band Cub, 'Pencil Neck Geek,' that gets a fresh treatment here.
Keithley has sent copies of 'Kings of Punk, Hockey and Beer' to the people in charge of programming music at NHL arenas because he thinks they can use an adrenaline boost. "They can play some OK songs, but they can play some real s---, too," he says. "I find myself saying, 'Oh my God, this song was bad 30 years ago and it hasn't improved in the meantime.'"
Keithley concedes that having a D.O.A. song played at Vancouver's General Motors Place is as close as he'll come to contributing to the city's NHL franchise now.
"I sat by the phone every September waiting for a call from the Canucks looking for a stay-at-home defenceman, but by the time I hit 50 I said, 'S---, I don't think they're going to call. What's wrong with those guys?' I saw their defence last year and figured that I couldn't do any worse."
Keithley has written material for the musical stage version of the 1996 Bruce McDonald-directed cult mockumentary 'Hard Core Logo,' which he expects to premiere in Edmonton next November. He's also working on songs for an all-new D.O.A. album that should be out next spring and, while he won't give much away about the direction things are heading, reveals one song, 'That's Why I'm An Atheist,' is "about the stupidity of hardcore religion."
Clearly, his royal highness of hardcore doesn't like his term straying too far from the music genre he helped create.