Sunday, May 6, 2012

Have DOA, will travel -- adventures with Joey Shithead and his punk crew

DOA's Joey Shithead at Riot Fest, Chicago 2008. (All Cat Rose photos)
By Cat

DOA, DOA, where do I start?  Let me count the ways.  If any of you are fans of our blog, you have probably been wondering "why no DOA?" yet anyway.  Well here it is.  For me personally, besides Mudhoney, DOA is my most witnessed band, and for both Andy and myself, the band we've seen in the most varied locations (dating back to 1981):  London, Los Angeles, San Jose, Chicago, Vancouver, Victoria and, of course, Seattle. It is also the band that we have had to work the hardest to get to see on various occasions. 

You're always guaranteed a rollicking good time with the Joey Shithead (Keithley)-led band (born in 1978), which bats out the classics, like "Fucked Up Baby," "The Prisoner," "Smash the State" and countless others, along with later songs, like "Marijuana Motherfucker" and "Just Say No to the WTO." (Jello Biafra joins them on their new single, "We Occupy," and a new album, "We Come in Peace," is set for a July 22 release.)

When Shithead cocks his head, snarls and does a kick-spin with guitar in hand, it's a blast.

A few trinkets:


We made our way to The Mean Fiddler in London in 1993 as we were not going to miss DOA with Rudimentary Peni when we were in town.  Andy and I were stoked, as neither of us had ever seen Peni before.  This is where I first experienced a Snakebite and Black--(which I refer to as a Black Adder).  A proper Snakebite is a lager, such as Harp, and a cider, and the "black" being a dash of Chambord--wonderful! Nevertheless, the night was embedded on my memory and it was actually one of the only nights that we got drunk and lost in London trying to get back to our friends' house (Carrie & Nugar's) in Stoke Newington during that vacation.


In 2003, we had to check out Joey doing his spoken word when his book "I Shithead" came out --and with the handy Victoria Clipper, we jumped on to get there quickly as he was going to do a spoken word at Russell Books and then DOA was playing a 25th anniversary gig that night at The Cambie on Esquimalt Road. 

But little did we know that the weather was not a friend that day.  We were denied the Clipper (which gets you from Seattle to Victoria in 3 hours or so) due to the heavy winds.  So they diverted us on a bus, which took forever to get to the other side of the border, then we had to get on a ferry over to Victoria. 

The whole process took us about 6 hours vs. the 3, but we made it.  Once there, we were able to find our way to Russell Books and got there in time for the full reading. (Russell Books opened in 1961 in Montreal and then added a Victoria branch in 1991.)

During the reading, Shithead acted out one rowdy scene in the book by falling on the ground and kicking his feet up in the air while saying something about guzzling "three or four beer." (Not beers, but BEER as plural.)

As an added bonus, he performed "General Strike" and "You Won't Stand Alone" solo acoustic.

From "You Won't Stand Alone":

They climb the corporate ladder
 They take the kickback
 They'd sell out their mother
 Well, they can go to hell

Time to make a stand, time to have our say
 Don't buckle under, get in the way
 There's many ears to listen and many hands to help
 Time to wake them up and give the liars hell

Then we had to figure out how to get to the show-- when we looked it up, it did not seem that far away, so we started walking. After about an hour of walking, it seemed we would never get there, but we pressed on and finally found the place. 

When we arrived, we were beat and we sat at the bar and discussed our hardships with the friendly bartender who helped us mend ourselves with a nice cold one.  Then as we sat there, Mr. Shithead came and sat near us, and the bartender then relayed our story to him and he grabbed a poster to sign for us.  We said that no, that is okay, but being the cool person that he is, he insisted and signed the poster shown below, thanking us for coming the "long way around" to get there.

** Vancouver:

We heard about this "Vancouver Complication" LP reunion show in 2004 not long before we decided to head up there--Some of the bands on that record, including the Subhumans, were going to play w/DOA and had not done so for many years.

We did not think we would need tickets ahead of time, usually not a problem for most shows we want to go to.  But when we got there, we found out it was sold out.  We were not going to be denied, though.  We first got our way into the WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England) Hall's exclusive bar/lodge-- the guy at the front door was really cool and he let us go in there even though we were not members and let us play pool and buy some beer. (The club/hall dates back to 1958 for you history buffs.) 

After that, as people started to line up upstairs, we were able to get in line and wish for them to have some additional available tickets.  We ended up befriending a chick who was as determined as we were to get in and she started making friends with everyone until, lo and behold, she found someone with extra tickets---3 for us--awesome!  At that time, we had been without beer for awhile since there were no bars around; but we were able to get her in w/us downstairs to the special members-only lodge to get beers while we were waiting for the doors to open. 

They were totally cool to us and let us in (along with our new friend) as we had been there earlier; but everyone trying to follow us in were denied.  Nice.  When the show started, we cheered beers with our new friend, whom we quickly lost in the crowd, and proceeded to thoroughly enjoy the full show, which included Randy Rampage playing bass with DOA again.

Shithead at the Congress Theater in Chicago.
** Chicago: 

This was the Riot Fest in Chicago in 2008, and was not especially hard to get to or any extreme circumstances to overcome, but was a great show at the historic Congress Theater (opened in 1926). We could not believe that DOA was playing early in the day -- compared to many of the less-stellar bands that played-- and we were able to catch Joey after the show in the main photo at the beginning.

           Hopefully there will be more adventures for us involving their shows in the future-
                  Cheers to DOA, and may they continue to live long and prosper... 

Classic poster in Cat and Andy's upstairs hallway.


  1. Great band. I remember being at a middle school dance in 6th grade and hearing "Ronald Reagan You're Fucked Up!" come over the speakers from the Rat Music for Rat People comp. I've only seen DOA in Chicago 4 times, and all have been great. Drank a beer with Earthdog and Joey at the DOA merch table at Riot Fest. Great guy and great band!

  2. Nice school dance, for sure! cheers, Lew, and hopefully we'll see ya (and e-dog, and Joey) at a gig soon.

  3. Great stories! Thanks for letting us know about this blog. I'll pass this link on to Joe now.


    Shane (D.O.A. WebMaster)

  4. Right on, Shane. Thanks for sharing the link. cheers