Brian Goble aka Wimpy aka Sunny Boy aka Sunny Boy Roy has left us and this world is much poorer because of that. Brian, just 28 days short of his 58th birthday died of a heart attack on Sunday December 7th, 2014. I am writing this because of the loss and heartache I feel out of losing a lifelong friend, but also to remember what a vital and amazing person Wimpy was. The toughest part is the thinking about the children he has left behind, his son Dillon, his daughter Sarah and his step son Cole, who Brian helped raise. My most heartfelt condolences to them and to Brian’s older brother Roger.
I first met Brian in 1963 walking home from Lochdale Elementary School in Burnaby, BC. Around the same time I also met Gerry Hannah (Gerry Useless) who lived very near Brian, they were six years old and I was seven and we all lived on Burnaby Mountain. About four years later the three of us befriended Ken Montgomery (Dimwit), whose family had moved to the Lochdale area. From elementary to high school our friendship grew, through our collective love of music and social/political consciousness till we became the best of friends and inseparable. It occurred to me later on in life that we truly were “The Four Amigoes”.
The four of us started our first high school band called Misty Grey and we were terrible, but we were learning. In 1975 when we were around 18 and 19 years old we left Vancouver in an attempt to “get back to the land”. We were kind of junior hippies in a sense in the small BC towns of Lumby and Cherryville, that was a lot of fun but ultimately that fizzled out. We moved back in Vancouver and started a cover rock band called Stone Crazy, Brian on bass, Gerry on vocals, Dimwit on drums and Brad Kent and I on guitar. We got our first booking in Merritt BC and promptly got fired and our collective asses kicked out of town before “the locals cut you guys in two with their chainsaws”.
Well that unfortunate booking led us to abandon that predictable approach to rock n’ roll and to take on the new ground breaking style of punk rock, which we did with an unparalleled zeal. We started Vancouver’s second punk band in the summer of 1977, we called it The Skulls. Brian was becoming a stalwart on bass, Dimwit was well on his way to becoming one of Canada’s greatest drummers ever and Simon Werner was an ace on guitar. That left just me, by default I became Joey Shithead, “That maniac on vocals”. We were soon dubbed “Vancouver’s most hated band by Tom Harrison of the Georgia Straight. We played around Vancouver for awhile, then in October 1977 we all moved to Toronto to join the “scene” there. Gerry Hannah, looking for adventure, moved to Toronto with us and this is how the legend of “Wimpy” was born. Gerry was writing songs but had no band, so we had Gerry play bass, Wimpy sang, Simon played guitar and I drummed, we called this obnoxious outfit Wimpy and the Bloated Cows. Thus Brian finally had a great punk rock nickname and also the tradition of “fuck bands” was born, where people traded instruments and made up instant bands.
At the start of 1978 Wimpy and Simon moved to the U.K. with a plan to have The Skulls invade London! Good plan but Dimwit and I screwed up the plan by moving back to Vancouver, Wimpy was broke and freezing in London, so he soon followed. When he got back, Wimpy started the early Subhumans along with Dimwit and Brad Kent. (this was about the same time I started D.O.A.). That line up soon merged with The Stiffs, solidifying the Subhumans classic line up of Wimpy on vocals, Gerry Useless on bass, Mike Graham on guitar and Dimwit on drums. Notably left out of the arrangement were good pals Zippy Pinhead, Sid Sick and Brad Kunt. But one of Canada’s greatest bands were on their way.
Featuring the great songwriting of Wimpy, Gerry and Mike, the powerhouse drumming of Dimwit, the Subhumans were led by Brian Wimpy Roy Goble, the most original front man as you could find this side of Iggy Pop. It’s not totally clear but I do believe that Wimpy invented “crowd surfing” when Mike would start playing lead Wimpy would jump into the crowd, then one night the crowd caught him and held him up, I had never seen anything like it. Brian was a powerhouse vocalist, our old soundman Hutch believed he had a special power to fire out vocals louder than any human ever had! The Subhumans put out two sterling albums as well as a number of singles and a four song EP, before they broke up in 1982. They later reunited (with Jon card replacing Dimwit) and released two albums.
So in March 1982 Brian joined D.O.A. along with Dimwit (RIP). They replaced Chuck Biscuits (Dimwit’s little brother) and Randy Rampage as our rhythm section. Exceptional they were and the two of them, along with Dave Gregg (RIP), myself and producer Thom Wilson recorded in Los Angeles for five days and cut D.O.A.’s 3rd album “War on 45” (some call it an 8 song EP) in any case I would rate that album in D.O.A.’s top four. On that record you hear just how innovative that Brian was on the bass.
Brian was a huge part of D.O.A. from 1982 -1996, we went through personnel changes that included great musicians like Jon Card, Chris Prohom, Ken Jensen (RIP), Ford Pier, Brien O’Brien, John Wright amongst others. I recorded seven albums with Brian: War on 45, Let’s Wreck The Party, True North Strong and Free, Murder, 13 Flavors of Doom, Loggerheads and The Black Spot and a number of other releases. After well over a thousand shows around the world, Brian quit D.O.A. after 14 years, making him the second longest serving member of D.O.A.
There are some things I’ll never forget, when were both about 11 or 12 Brian introduced me to hockey, we played on the street in our rubber boots with golf balls, boy did that hurt when he would take a slapshot at my net and I got it right on the ankle. Brian and I also played minor hockey together in Burnaby and he later became a devastating hard hitter playing right wing for the D.O.A. Murder Squad. There was the time in Germany when Italian army deserters tried to steal his passport and he ran out of the bar with only one shoe, yelling “Hans Peter help me! Hans Peter help me!”. Or on an early tour in Europe when him and I had never seen a mini bar in a hotel bar before, so on my advice we drank the bar dry and in the morning we had to make a run for it from the hotel staff when they wanted the dough! Or the time he was two fisting bottles of wine at a gig in Slovenia and the ride back to the hotel ended up with a Technicolor yawn on the side of the van! There was also the sense of self preservation when Brian, Dave, Dimwit and I barely escaped L.A.P.D. billyclubs at a couple of different police vs. punks riots in Los Angeles. This is indelible stuff that I shared with Brian, that is now part of my very soul and being.
Brian was a humanist, a great father, an incredible singer and bass player, he believed in free speech, was always against war and he would speak up against bullshit. He was also one of my best friends and I’ll miss him forever.
Long live the spirit of Wimpy!!! Rest in Peace.
Joe Shithead Keithley
*Musical Benefit/Wake for the Late Great Wimpy Roy - Wise Hall, Vancouver BC, Tuesday January 6th Featuring three great bands: Frank Frink Five, Bughouse Five and The Bloated Cows (Joe Keithley, Ford Pier and John Card) Playing Wimpy's songs from The Subhumans and D.O.A.
Admission by donation, all proceeds will go to Wimpy's family.
Click images for larger view.
Will Johnson of The Nelson Star has posted an article about Joe and an upcoming radio show that he will be doing.
From the article: "It's been nearly 40 years since punk activist Joe Keithley founded the legendary band D.O.A., but the 58-year-old singer show no signs of slowing down. While he continues to tour and write with D.O.A.— who have been cited as influences by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Rancid and the Offspring—he's also developed a solo acoustic career.
And as if that's not enough to keep him busy, he still found time recently to be on the front lines of the protest against Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion on Burnaby Mountain."
Read the rest of the article at the Nelson Star website.
Joe Keithley founder of legendary punk band D.O.A and lifetime activist has joined in the fight to try and stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline and the quadrupling of tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet. The concert will be held at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver Saturday January 31st. Joe is putting together an all star cast of BC's best musicians to raise money for the legal defense of the pipeline protesters and to keep the public engaged and aware of the potential harm that this pipeline expansion represents. "It's outrageous the way Kinder Morgan is trying to bully peaceful protesters, the city of Burnaby and the province of BC. It's up to us, the people, to protect our rights and our democracy. The National Energy Board hearings are looking more and more like a sham with a per-ordained outcome. " Joe recently said. "It's only going to take one spill to destroy our beautiful coast. We're going to be pro active and try and put a stop to this. Transporting bitumen through inland coastal waterways is insane."
The pipeline which runs from Edmonton, Alberta to its terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia has applied to Canada's National Energy Board to triple its capacity and will greatly increase the amount of tanker traffic in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet carrying unrefined bitumen. A dangerous move that is being pushed by Canada's risk taking ruling Conservative Party. The federal government has made only the token of effort to try and speed up our transition towards renewable energy. After a recent D.O.A. tour Joe said "While touring Germany and I was stunned by the amount of wind turbines and solar panels providing renewable energy, especially when you compared to Canada. We are failing a great test as a country, we should be ashamed."
Details of the January 31st Rickshaw Theatre benefit show will be released shortly.
In the meantime Joe will be performing acoustically Saturday November 8th at Burnaby Mountain Park between 1PM and 3 PM along with Holly Arntzen, Ta'Kaiya Blaney, the Solidarity Choir and members of the Boom Booms.
Follow Joe Keithley on twitter @DOAJoe
Join the Facebook Page for this Saturday's event.
D.O.A. is back for keeps! New studio album and Worldwide Tour in 2015
True North Strong and Free Tour in support of Welcome to Chinatown Live Album
Beau’s All Natural Brewery creates Hardcore 8.1 Malt Liquor in Tribute to D.O.A.
D.O.A., Canada’s most politically astute, controversial and always wildly entertaining band is back. The godfather of hardcore Joe Shithead Keithley, had announced his retirement back in 2012 to take a run at formal politics in his native British Columbia. That is out the window and D.O.A. is all set to come back with a vengeance. As Joe recently said “When I lost my nomination by five votes, I was pissed. But I soon realized that I had not forgotten how to write songs, how to sing and play guitar and how to kick ass up on stage! So I am ramping up D.O.A. again and we’re going to let our street politics tell the stories about what’s really happening!”
D.O.A., the Men of Action have a ballsy new lineup featuring the additions of Paddy Duddy on drums (Circle The Wagons, Rusty Nails) and Mike Hodsall on bass (Circle The Wagons) They are starting work on a new studio album (their 16th) that will be out March 2015 and are making plans to tour the world. Which will include Europe, North America, South America Japan and China (for the 3rd time!).
This fall D.O.A. will the road this fall on their True North Strong and Free tour that will support of their latest album Welcome To Chinatown, a 28 song live classic. The D.O.A. tour will take the band through Ontario and Quebec before heading back west for dates in Alberta and B.C. Fans around the world have always proclaimed for the last 35 years that D.O.A. is one of the greatest and one of the most exciting live bands ever, the Welcome to Chinatown album backs that up in a big way.
Welcome to Chinatown released by Sudden Death Records delivers an unbelievable cultural and musical thrill ride with this epic release. The band gives you a tension filled ride through punk classics pulled from albums like “Something Better Change”, “Hardcore 81”, “War on 45” and “Northern Avenger”.
The dates in Ontario will be sponsored by Beau’s All Natural Brewing, who created Hardcore 8.1 Malt Liquor in tribute to the band. The brewery states that “Beau’s created Hardcore 8.1 to pay tribute to an iconic band we revere: Vancouver’s D.O.A., true pioneers and 35+ year veterans of the hardcore punk scene.” It’s the only certified organic malt liquor in the world. The beer will be available at all Ontario D.O.A. shows. No doubt, D.O.A. will be pulling out all the stops at their live shows, including their punk-i-fied version of Roll Out The Barrels, where they will invite the audience up to try and polish off a entire bomber bottle of Hardcore 8.1 in a single go on stage. www.beaus.ca Joe is really excited to backed by Beau's "It's a natural fit, D.O.A. and beer!" Joe remarked. D.O.A., just like the beer itself could be described as a classy, certified organic interpretation of the iconic punk rock style. In fact you could say, that D.O.A. are close to being the last real punk band in the world: The last band standing, so to speak. So don't be a fool, go see them while you can.
Saturday December 6th, Joe Shithead Keithley - Kootenay Coop Radio, Nelson, BC, Doors 8 PM
Friday January 30th, Gator's Pub, Abbotsford, BC
Saturday January 31st, Benefit Show Against Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion, Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC
Photo by Tom Wiebe
Paddy Duddy - Drums, Joey "Shithead" Keithley - Guitar + Vox, Mike Hodsall - Bass + Vox
Nash The Slash is gone, another great Canadian musician leaves us way too early R.I.P.
“Really sad to hear about Nash’s passing,” punk legend Joe Shithead of D.O.A.told Billboard in an email. “A few years back Nash and D.O.A. teamed up to play four shows together in Southern Ontario. D.O.A. would play a full set, then Nash would come on stage to join us for the encore. It was F-ing great! It gave a whole new twist to the songs having Nash’s incredible violin playing added in, and the looks on kid’s faces was pretty rich as well, it took them a minute but would get into it after about ½ a song. To me, having been a long time fan of Nash, it was a great honour. Nash The Slash, you will be missed! RIP my friend.”
*Quote and photo taken from Billboard Magazine's website. To read the full article, please visit the site: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/6084877/nash-the-slash-mysterious-canadian-experimental
Thanks very much to John Mackie at the Vancouver Sun for his article about Dave.
Read the article HERE.
Long live the spirit of Dave Gregg !!!
(Photo by Dan Scott)
D.O.A. guitarist Dave Gregg - Rest in Peace
It is with unbelievable sorrow that I have to talk about the passing of Dave Gregg. He died of a heart attack this past weekend. I can't even come close to being able to express strong enough condolences to his wife Cathy and the rest of Dave's family.
Dave was a member of D.O.A. from 1980-88 and played some screaming guitar licks on the following albums: Something Better Change, Hardcore 81, War on 45, Let's Wreck The Party, True North Strong and Free and finally on Murder. He was a great guitarist and an unbelievable showman.
But more importantly he was genuinely nice guy and a caring human being, who had one of the most wicked senses of humor I have ever come across.
On long D.O.A. tours Dave (usually the overnight driver) and I along with our comrades Chuck Biscuits, Randy Rampage, Ken Lester, Dimwit (R.I.P.), Brian "Wimpy Roy" Goble, Greg "Peckerwood" James and Jon Card would while away the hours with almost endless conversation. But it usually came down to Dave and I still gabbing into the wee hours. We would scheme about how to change the world and possible wild scientific breakthroughs as we endlessly put up really shitty music on the radio (not much has changed). Dave and I also became very familiar with prices of every kind of crop grown across America and many a gospel preacher on that same radio in the Dodge van we called the Blue Bullet. At one point when D.O.A. had been playing close to 10 years, Dave and I calculated that we had spent four of those 10 years in vans, traveling to shows. As Dave drove he would furiously work his way through bag after bag of spits (sunflower seeds), he would deposit the shells in the door sill of the driver side door until the pile would reach a height of about 12 inches, that was a badge of honor.
On our first tour with Dave he got really drunk at the second show and forgot about half the arrangements, as he stood on the opposite side of the circular bar at the venue we had just played, he smirked at me with a particularly dazed look, I realized I had to get him to shape up, so I threw my 3/4 full can of beer across the bar and nailed him in the forehead. Dave rarely forgot an arrangement after that and went on to become a consummate musician and performer.
I could probably write a book about funny Dave Gregg stories and maybe even promote his one man organization: The New Spartans! LOL
I really wish I had one more chance to sit down with him and cover some of that ground again and explore new avenues of thought, but I can't and that sucks.
Dave, we will all miss you tremendously, but you will live on in our hearts.
Long live the spirit of Dave Gregg !!!
Joe Shithead Keithley - March 31st, 2014
(Photos by Amy Mann from a show called The Eastern Front 1981 Berkeley, California.)
90 minutes of D.O.A. LIVE - 30 Classic D.O.A. hits. Includes free CD and bonus footage.
Produced by Marcus Rogers, Joe Keithley and Sean Holowaychuk.
Executive producer: Dominik Bednarski
Get yours HERE!
New 25 track D.O.A. double live album and 28 Track live CD out now! Get yours HERE!
Sudden Death Records is pleased to be reissuing the classic D.O.A. album "War on 45" for the 30th Anniversary of it's release.
To get your copy today, click HERE.