Talk-Action=0, A Review.
Think you know everything about D.O.A.? Well, you’re fucking wrong! Do you love D.O.A.? Then you’ll love this fucking book!
Written by Joey Shithead himself, lead singer and guitar player of Canadian punk band D.O.A., this book takes you into the mess of thirty years plus of solid punk/hardcore ruckus. D.O.A. is the band that was responsible for playing the anti-logging fest that saved the Stein Valley watershed in the mid 80’s. They also raised funds for Oxfam which in turn helped them buy an ambulance in South Africa during apartheid. Also responsible for generally fucking with anything corrupt or devoid of humanity, they’ve been in action for over three decades so naturally have accumulated a lot of interesting stories.
This book, sharing the same name as their well known slogan Talk-Action=0, is more than just interesting stories though. This is a compilation of European work permits, crumpled old shit-stained pieces of paper with scribbled lyrics, posters, news clippings, this is everything. I wouldn’t be surprised to see blood, teeth, sweat, whatever in here. Joey goes through every scrap of memorabilia he has saved, telling the back stories and the details behind every experience, it’s incredible. The people who respect D.O.A.’s admirable and honest trek through tragic, chaotic, unjust and inspiring situations will love being taken into what happened. All the positivity and the punk that resulted in songs that stand for themselves, songs like Fucked Up Ronnie that called out a sleazy president and resulted in the band going down to DC themselves, playing in the flatbed of a truck at a political protest and then having to escape from the madness of crazed Americans rioting for a politician leading them to their conditioned dooms.
The handwritten lyrics to songs that earned them the moniker hardcore are in there along with posters for their fundraiser to bail their activist friends out of jail. There are posters from shows with the Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth, Bad Brains and the Ramones, not to mention rare treasures like hand-drawn posters from shows in Detroit, pictures of Joey Shithead taping his own head at a show in San Francisco right before he pissed on the crowd.
The book is raw and brutally honest. Would you expect anything less from D.O.A.? Joey tells unromanticized stories from the road. Being ‘persuaded’ by the Hells Angels to play shows, destroying venues, fans getting smoked with beer pitchers in the face, the difficulty of booking shows when things continued to get so destroyed, only having two bucks a day for food while touring. He tells everything in a way that is clean and exciting to read and his writing is mostly made up of captions under the thousands of saved pieces from the road, from activism and from life.
If you consider yourself a fan of artists who possess integrity, spirit and the crazed mentality to throw yourself face first into the world and fuck shit up with the purpose of making this planet more tolerable, then you’re probably already a huge fan of D.O.A., which means you’re going to be a huge fan of this book.