D.O.A. with The Frostbacks
When: Sunday, 8 p.m.
Where: Club 9one9 (919 Douglas St.)
Tickets: $13 at Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records, and Strathcona Hotel
Note: D.O.A. also performs tonight in Cumberland at the Waverly, Friday on Lasqueti Island at Lasqueti Hall, and Saturday on Saltspring Island at Artspring Theatre
The in-progress tour that takes Vancouver punk legends D.O.A. through two provinces, two countries, and 17 cities ends with a career-closing concert on Feb. 24 in Banff.
It is being billed as D.O.A.’s final bow after 35 years in the punk business.
Joey Keithley, the band’s longtime leader and sole original member, is expecting to trade sweaty clubs and long stretches of highway for campaign offices and political meetings once and for all on March 3.
That’s when the 56-year-old intends to win the NDP nomination for the Coquitlam–Burke Mountain riding, ending — at least for the near future — the group he formed in 1977.
“I believe that I can win the nomination meeting and I believe that I can win the election. I’m confident of both,” Keithley said. “After March 3, we have scheduled no shows at all. People that are paying the freight for politicians expect somebody to be on the job full-time.”
Keithley has been a full-time punk rocker for much of his life, and while he admits it will be hard to hang up his concert chops, the timing of a farewell tour — election year or no election year — made sense.
“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think the time was right. There wasn’t one significant thing [that led to the decision]. Basically, I just thought there was a good opportunity with the election coming up.”
D.O.A., whose membership has changed regularly over the years, has issued 14 full-length albums during its career, in addition to numerous singles, EPs, side projects and compilations.
Keithley covered most of the bases in his memoir, I, Shithead: A Life in Punk, and been one of the most vocal proponents of the punk rock ethos in this or any other country.
Educated, articulate and opinionated, he’s a perfect politician-in-waiting. Ironically, he feels less like a punk than ever before.
“When I was younger I’d call myself a punk, but I don’t think I’ve been a punk for a long time,” he said with a laugh. “I’m a suburban, middle-class guy who has raised three kids, has been married for 26 years and has coached baseball for the last six. I don’t know how much more middle-class you can get than that — I just happened to play in D.O.A. at the same time.”
The life of a politician, such as it is, is an open book in the Internet era. When asked if he’s ready for the slings and barbs of his fellow candidates, let alone the opposition, Keithley let out a loud laugh.
He’s taken so much abuse on the road with D.O.A., which in the past decade has played between 50 and 60 shows annually, there’s literally nothing about the campaign trail that concerns him.
“I’m not worried. Anything I did as artistic expression had some sort of point or meaning to it at the time. Everybody may not see it that way, and I understand that. But I would say to them, ‘I’m honest about this, and I’m honest about that.’ And that’s one of those things that makes me completely opposite of the B.C. Liberal party.”
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