Joe Keithley in Toronto

Tonight I went to see Joe “Shithead” Keithley, most notably of D.O.A. fame, speak about his new book at the Rivoli. Joe was a significant player in the original punk scene of yesteryear. The new book, “I, Shithead”, talks about Joe’s life in punk, and Joe entertainingly told stories on stage about things which I assumed also appear in the book. I had quite a few chuckles, and I could relate to some of it, having been in some identical band scenarios years ago. No death threats, though!
The thing I liked most and came to see was Joe’s obvious concern for the way the world works. He brought up the things I’m into: politics, environment, and anti-establishment issues. I need to hear other people talk about that stuff more often! It gives you hope and reminds you that you’re not alone in your thoughts about the planet’s problems. He mentioned the punk movement and how the lyrics at the time really meant a lot in the songs. Yeah! That’s why I do it too! Someone the other day asked me if I considered my music to be punk music when I told them about some of the lyrics. I said, “It doesn’t actually sound anything like punk music sonically, but I do believe that I write some of my songs in the spirit of what punk music originally was: expressing frustration.”