Joe Keithley Interview Transcript

Joe Keithley Interview Transcript, D.O.A: THE LEGIT GODFATHER OF HARDCORE

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Craig Garber (00:01.084)
Hey everybody, this is Craig Garber. Welcome to Everyone Loves Guitar. And I’m so excited to have my guest today. I’m with Joe Keithley, formerly known as, or also known as Joey Shithead Keithley. He’s the often acknowledged as the godfather of hardcore. Of course, he’s the lead guitarist and vocalist of Canada’s legendary political punk band, DOA. And I wanna thank Corey Hawthorne for hooking us up. Corey, thank you very much. We’ve been trying to get together for a while. This is gonna be a really good episode. Joe’s got a.

completely veered left background after, or as he’s still in his music business. Okay, so DOA is often referred to as one of the founders of hardcore punk, along with bands like Black Flag, The Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, and a few others. Over the last 40 years, DOA’s released 16 albums, sold a million records, and played over 4,000 shows on five different continents. 4,000 shows, man, just grasp that.

joe (00:52.316)
Thank you.

Craig Garber (00:56.084)
Joe’s also a solo artist and his latest album is called Stan, which was just released. He’s been an activist since he was 16 years old. He stood up for causes like police brutality, sexism, war mongering, racism, the environment, First Nations, unions, and many other causes by organizing and playing at well over 300 benefit concerts. Joe’s also authored two books. This is a guy who doesn’t sit still, and I like that.

I shit head a life in punk and talk minus action equals zero. Ain’t that the truth? In 2018, Joe was elected the city counselor in Burnaby, Canada, which is just outside of Vancouver. And he was reelected in October 22. He’s also a member of the Canadian Independent Music Hall of Fame. And he’s the owner of Sudden Death Records. Joe, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time. Thanks so much for coming on the show, man.

joe (01:38.637)

joe (01:47.582)
Yeah, that’s great. Well, that’s a long intro that in real life. I’ve done a lot of stuff.

Craig Garber (01:51.228)
You’ve done a lot, man, 4,000 shows. I couldn’t even get past that.

joe (01:54.194)
I think we’re actually, yeah, I think we’re actually now we’re at 4500. You know, so, and we’re getting that we’re at 19 albums and starting to work on the 20th.

Craig Garber (01:59.912)
That’s nuts, man.

Craig Garber (02:08.744)
That’s wonderful, man. It’s so cool. Congratulations. All right. So as a leader of a hardcore punk band, your musical background is really interesting in that you started off playing folk songs on your guitar when you first started. People like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, how did you go from playing folk music to hardcore? Cause that’s definitely not the conventional path.

joe (02:11.372)
Yeah, thank you.

joe (02:32.498)
Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of funny because when we were about 18, we finally decided that we were playing like folk music, acoustic, you know that area, you’re talking about 1974 or something like that when we got out of high school in 1975. And then we thought we’d, we applied to get a job as a rock cover band, right? Playing the Steve Miller, Led Zeppelin, the songs of the day type thing, right?

And we got our first job up in a little logging town called Merritt, BC, which I renamed Demerritt, BC. And the people were really hostile. They wanted to fire us, want to beat us up. And the owner said, look, I’m going to do you a favor. I’m going to fire you so you don’t get killed over the next three nights. It’s that poor night stand, right? And of course, we cursed at the guy type thing and tried to get the money, which we never did. But on the way back.

Craig Garber (03:10.604)
Tiché, man, that’s a good one.

joe (03:29.782)
We’d been hearing about punk rock. We’d seen The Clash, The Ramone, The Sex Pistols on TV, you know, like on ABC News or whatever. And we said, hey, you know, this rock and roll stuff is all cracked up to me. We had done like two shows, right? So big time rock and roll veterans and said, let’s start a punk rock band. And our drummer said, well, yeah, sure, that’s a good idea. Why don’t we call it Joey Shithead and the Marching Morons? That was it.

Craig Garber (03:44.674)

joe (03:58.264)
that Marty Moore never took, but somehow has stayed with me. And we started a band called The Skulls, and that lasted for about eight months. And then DOA started.

Craig Garber (04:00.618)

Craig Garber (04:05.862)

Craig Garber (04:11.452)
Let me ask you a question. When you’re in session politically, is there any chance that anybody that’s in that room with you is actually a fan of yours from back in the day? And they’ll be like, shit, blurt out something inappropriate like that.

joe (04:29.374)
No, not in our council, but we have these meetings. It’s called the Council of Councils, like in Metro Vancouver. There’s 23 cities, like three million people type thing. And we go to that. So a bunch of the councillors from other cities are friends and fans from the old days. And they’ve gotten out of the music business and gotten into politics, kind of like me in that sense. But the funny thing, the mayor is a musician from Northern Ireland.

Craig Garber (04:46.837)
That’s so cool!

joe (04:59.054)
And so we often do shows together. So that’s a really good understanding that we have. We do benefit shows for different causes around our hometown here.

Craig Garber (05:04.861)

Craig Garber (05:09.48)
That’s so cool, man. Very cool. So in 1972, you’re 16 years old, and you and 300 other students participated in a walkout at school to join a protest organized by Greenpeace. That was your first experience with activism?

joe (05:28.934)
Yeah, Greenpeace, which started in Vancouver, organized all the kids during different high schools in Vancouver, Burby, et cetera, to go leave the school, march downtown, which is a long ways away, and then march around the American consulate, shouting slogans and stuff like that. Because they’re testing nuclear weapons in the Amchika Islands off Alaska, at the end of Alaska type thing.

And you know, we were marching around there. For all we know, the people at the consulate were probably off on lunch break anyways, never even heard us, right? So. But you know, we were trying, but the funny thing about that was, is that my old drummer, Dimwit, rest his soul, he took his bass drum to lead the march. And so we marched downtown, walked by other schools, and got other kids to join in from these other schools, and got to be about 600 people.

The really terrible thing was though, we ended up on the front page of the main paper. And, uh, I was supposed to be in school and my dad was a fanatical paper reader. And he’s also very right wing. So he wouldn’t have gone for this. So, uh, I grabbed the front page of the paper and hit it up in my room. He got home and said, God damn it. The front of the paper is gone. What happened? What happened to it? I said, ah, must’ve been that paper boy there, dad. I, yeah.

Craig Garber (06:47.765)
Oh, wow, dodge the bullet.

joe (06:51.206)
Anyways, that’s a long answer, but yeah, that was my first taste of activism. And that started the whole thing.

Craig Garber (06:59.129)
How did you feel after you did that, or while you were doing it?

joe (07:03.306)
Well, I mean, it was the tumultuous time. I mean, you had the Vietnam War was still raging, right? You know, not quite wrapped up. Um, the arms race between, uh, the Soviet Union and, uh, the United States was building up, obviously. Right. And, uh, obviously in your country, civil rights protests were like, uh, huge as well, obviously at that time. Right. Um, so it kind of.

Craig Garber (07:25.097)

joe (07:29.042)
I kind of thought that, yeah, it’s good to get out there and protest and say what you think about the world. And that’s sort of kind of in my mantra for lost, you know, 50 years since then. Right.

Craig Garber (07:39.993)
Right. So you felt good. Like there was a sense of like, hey, I’m contributing something worthwhile.

joe (07:45.278)
Yeah, but it was funny thing, it took me about 30 years later, my older sister, Karen, who’s about 10 years older than me, during that time, I say it was the tumultuous time, she kept bringing home these records that were like Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Pierre Paul and Mary, Arlo Guthrie type thing. And I didn’t realize that I was listening to that in the background. That’s where a lot of that consciousness, political consciousness came from. Right. And I was just like, it took me at

joe (08:15.018)
You know, I purposely or accidentally planted this political seed.

Craig Garber (08:19.284)
That’s pretty cool. Your dad really would have been pissed if he caught you doing that.

joe (08:20.543)

joe (08:24.638)
Oh, yeah, he’s like, God rest his soul. But, you know, like, let’s just say almost as a very right wing, it’s like Archie Bunker, right? Basically, right. So and then he got me a punk rocker. My older brother became a union organizer and my sister became a painter and a sculptor. So he didn’t get it. Yeah, he got exactly what he didn’t want. Right. But that’s what I.

Craig Garber (08:36.269)
Yeah. Wow.

Craig Garber (08:47.112)
So you all rebel, it didn’t work.

Craig Garber (08:52.968)
That’s hilarious. Yeah, absolutely, man. Yeah, absolutely. So being one of the early founders of hardcore music, what were some of the typical reactions you’d have to deal with in general? And especially as it related to, let’s say initially getting booked, being booked, getting gigs. What was that like?

joe (08:54.322)
I tell kids what to do. Yeah. You don’t listen. Yeah.

joe (09:15.25)
Yeah, I think it wasn’t too bad. I mean, obviously we never got, got paid anything, right? That was the big thing. You got somewhere to crash and lucky if you got 50 bucks and pizza type thing, right? You know, maybe a few beers thrown in there. Um, people were like most clubs are pretty hostile. One of the funniest ones I remember we got Marshall burl in LA was managing. Right. He was managing rats.

Craig Garber (09:27.068)

joe (09:43.158)
But somehow we got to meet him and he says, I’ll book you some shows. You guys seemed like you’re on your way up. We had Warren 45 out there. Then he sat in his big office. Yeah, I think so, yeah. And he’s the nephew of Milton Berle, the comedian, right? Right, right. Oh yeah, he’s been a while since, yeah. He’s not around anymore. But so he pulls up as the show in New York, Peppermint Lounge in New York says, I got DOA here, they’re breaking big. You better take them around and give them to the next guy, right?

Craig Garber (09:50.868)
With rat?

Craig Garber (09:56.66)
Oh, right, right. Yeah, man. That’s a name I haven’t heard in quite a while. Yeah.

joe (10:13.106)
more money than we had made in the last 20 shows. And we’re all going, wow, this guy’s good, right? And then he boned up club in Boston. Hey, I got him in New York, you want these guys? So the show in New York was great, we got to Boston, and somehow the guy thought DOA was an Irish folk band or something like that, right? And they got to the door to do the sound check, and he looked at us and said,

Craig Garber (10:34.292)
Ha ha

joe (10:41.642)
Hey, there’s no show. They closed the door and locked it. Right? And we went, what? And then we went down the street to another club and that’s where I met guys like Springer from SST Control and them. We became best friends with a lot of people in Boston, played up there a lot. And they got us another show, like at another club. So we actually played, made, and was our introduction to Boston, right? So, but the guy just looked at us like, ah, these guys are supposed to be a folk band.

Craig Garber (11:09.789)

joe (11:09.822)
And he just closed the door and locked it.

Craig Garber (11:14.573)
But Boston’s pretty far from you. I mean, that’s the other side of the whole, like, that was a massive…

joe (11:18.682)
Yeah, we worked on a tour driving up from LA, right? You know, to go into like, yeah, you know, hit the Midwest, Chicago, all that kind of stuff, right? So yeah, we didn’t fly out. We never flew because we didn’t have the mic. We just drive, drive in an old crappy van that barely ran.

Craig Garber (11:22.138)

Craig Garber (11:31.385)
Of course.

Craig Garber (11:35.236)
Were the fans, was the reception different in different parts of the states overall?

joe (11:42.33)
Yeah, I think a lot of Americans were really amazed because they were like, oh, and when they saw us, they didn’t know what to think. Oh, yeah, punk band from Canada. Well, that’s strange, right? They’re either from New York, LA or London, England. And yeah, exactly. Home punk rock or New York home punk rock, depending who you talk to. And we got up there, fast and furious and political and crazy on stage. And we’re like, these guys are from Canada?

Craig Garber (11:55.601)
London, yeah.

joe (12:09.49)
I thought the only you had hockey and snow up there, right?

Craig Garber (12:13.18)
Dude, that’s, I’m a New York guy. That is such, we are like so myopic on anything past our block. That’s just the way the city is.

joe (12:20.318)
Yeah. But then we, but that immediately established us as like, Oh, wow, these guys are great. And the word got around them like, and there’s lots of some documentaries like the one that David Roll did called, how we drive or something like that. And they, they credit the early path or like route routing of punk rock tours to do to myself and do away like they have some sort of cartoon illustration of me right doing this going around America right. And that

And you know, obviously, we were friends with all sorts of bands like Black Flag, and we would trade info like, don’t go there, you get ripped off. Or this is not bad. Like, pals with the Black Flag, especially Chuck Dukowski, we would sure strategize about which places were worth going to and which ones you should avoid.

Craig Garber (12:57.652)
Ah, okay, cool.

Craig Garber (13:08.412)
Oh, that’s awesome. See how things work before the internet. People forget that you could actually talk and make a phone call and like, you know, to share.

joe (13:14.084)

joe (13:17.922)
Hey, our first tour to Europe in 84, a guy sent us a letter and said, hey, we’ve heard about you and your song General Strike. And that was going on in Poland at the time. We’d like to come here and play. So we wrote back a letter. Yes, we’d love to come and play. So the Hoor got booked by snail mail, right? You know, it took a while, obviously, right? But, you know, if I tell kids that today, they’re going, what?

Craig Garber (13:33.305)

That’s amazing!

Craig Garber (13:43.584)
Yeah, you know, have you seen these videos like kids listening to 70s music or kids, you know, having a fax machine or seeing a, you know, a regular phone with a cord on it, and they’re just looking at it like, it’s really funny, man. That’s what this kind of reminded me of when you said that. Yeah, yeah, of course, everything, you know, because you didn’t know anything better. So you mail a letter, hey, great, I can’t wait till the letter comes back, you know.

joe (13:55.786)

joe (14:09.13)
Well, the original single we put out about June 78, Disco Socks, like a four song seven inch EP. And I would just get like an envelope. There was no padding. And I put like the single in there and a letter said, hi, we’re punk rock band from Canada. Can we come and play in your town? I just made a lot. And we could read it out late for the for a long distance. Won’t go. They were like super expensive in those days. Right. You could.

Craig Garber (14:15.676)

Craig Garber (14:21.634)

Craig Garber (14:28.754)
Oh man, awesome.

Craig Garber (14:34.28)
Sure. Right.

joe (14:37.258)
rack up a thousand bucks without trying, right? You know, and then we were broke, right? So, you know, I just go into a record store and look in a magazine. I couldn’t afford the magazine. Like, oh yeah, I was putting on gigs here and I just copied down the address and that’s who I mailed it to. Yeah.

Craig Garber (14:39.763)

Craig Garber (14:43.154)
And tschüss!

Craig Garber (14:52.348)
That’s awesome. That is so cool. Even I think just sometimes the phone ringing in general was like a big deal back in the day, you know? It was exciting, like, oh, the phone’s ringing. Which sounds very dated, but it’s how it was, man. Hey, so what was your first like big break, the DOA’s first big break that sort of opened the door for you?

joe (15:16.802)
Um, you know, I think it was really going to, um, San Francisco, because we, like I said, I mailed one of these letters and, uh, mailed one to, I think it’s CK SF or Kent, uh, in San Francisco, like a college radio station. And about a month later, this letter came back and said, Oh, Disco Sucks was number one on CK SF or whatever the station was. And we thought this was some big giant station. We looked at it and we’re like, wow, we’ve made it.

We’re number one on this station, man. Like we were 19. We didn’t know, we didn’t know Jack. Right. And, uh, so I phoned up the Mubuhe Gardens, a famous, uh, Dirk Dirk. Yeah. The legendary place and Dirk Dirk’s the man. Um, so we can, can you book us? And he said, sure. I can’t give any money, you know, that kind of thing. And we got two nights and, oh, well, I gave us one night with you. Yeah. It basically.

Craig Garber (15:49.158)

Craig Garber (15:56.319)
Oh yeah, sure.

Craig Garber (16:08.48)
Sure, I can’t give you any money. What a great business model.

joe (16:16.23)
I said, okay, I’ll take my chances. And we, I took a train, Randy and Chuck took a Greyhound bus and Brad, our guitar player at the time, hitchhiked down the Interstate 5 with his lusk ball in one hand, no case, with his thumb out and got to the show 10 minutes before we started. And we got to meet Dirksen at the Mubuhe and I befriended.

Craig Garber (16:33.448)

joe (16:43.798)
The guys from, they’ll come back to me in a sec, started some early SF bands. Anyways, but Dirkston said, “‘Okay, well where’s our equipment?’ I said, “‘Well, I didn’t bring any.’ And Dirk looked at me, he says, “‘Are all you Canadians this stupid?’ And I said, I was so taken aback, I said, “‘Gee, I don’t know.'” So we rounded up some gear and played the show, and made friends, played the Avengers.

Craig Garber (17:05.095)
Ha ha ha. You might be right.

joe (17:13.846)
Macchiello to be awkward that weekend and yeah, saw them play because they played at the at the move, but boo hey that weekend as well. And that kind of started that. That started the whole thing in California for us.

Craig Garber (17:22.162)

Craig Garber (17:25.971)
That’s fantastic. Yeah, I just had, do you remember Romeo Void? Do you remember that band?

joe (17:30.751)
Yeah, a little bit, yeah.

Craig Garber (17:32.232)
They, I just had their guitar player on Peter and I’m having a brain fart is last thing, but they just released something from the 80s, their live concert from the Mabuhay. Yeah, yeah.

joe (17:44.202)
Wow, okay. Yeah, it was a great place, because at the end of the show, Jerk would get on the stage and he says, “‘Okay, the show is over. “‘You’re now trespassers. “‘Put your garbage in, the receptacles provided, “‘and resist the temptation to throw yourself in there “‘because you are human garbage.'” Yeah, oh yeah, yeah. He was a comedian, right? It was great.

Craig Garber (18:02.676)
That’s what he said? Holy shit!

Craig Garber (18:08.112)
That’s funny, man. 81, DOA releases their second album. You release Hardcore 81, follows it up by a huge North American tour. And at that point, things really seemed to be happening. Was that the product of this breakthrough at the Mabuhay?

joe (18:28.054)
Well, I think it was that the Mabuhay was 78. We went down there and 79, we played this huge, like huge rush, just like 5,000 people rock against racism on the Lake Shore in Chicago, like right by Bear, Costa Bear’s, the Bear Stadium type thing. And we made a lot of connections there because they’re really political as rock against racism. So we met all these people from around the Midwest. And then in 1980, we got our first album,

Craig Garber (18:32.332)

Craig Garber (18:42.204)
And that’s a good show.

joe (18:58.002)
something very changed and that kind of set everything up. So when we got the idea for Hardcore 81, it gets a really good publicity because I thought, okay, let’s have a hardcore festival. So we invited Black Flag up to our buddies with Wright and most of seven seconds, they couldn’t quite get the whole lineup. So they, you know, most of them played right. And, and that kind of started, that was the first hardcore festival ever, right. And then we have like a 50 show tour around Canada and the United States.

that spring when the album came out. And then people went like, well, okay, this is like, this type of music is different than the Ramones, it’s different than the Colossus, the Sex Whistles. It’s faster, it’s heavier in a way type thing, right? Yeah.

Craig Garber (19:41.808)
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I would imagine people were starving for that at that point in time.

joe (19:50.366)
I kind of think that, you know, I mean, everybody in those days, when we were a young band, we all took our turns singing with a fake British accent. Like, oh, this is not cool, right? And I was like, sort of stuff like, wow, why the hell was I doing that, right? type thing. But whatever it is, this will make us cool. We’ll be like, yeah, we’ll be like these guys in England and in London, right? And just, sorry, I’ll say the question again.

Craig Garber (20:01.661)
How did ya?

joe (20:19.178)
I got off my tangent there.

Craig Garber (20:20.118)
I said that people are probably starving for that at that point in time.

joe (20:24.226)
It was just, well, I mean, a friend of mine says he saw me say that term, come up the hardcore term, back in 79. I said, there’s only a few hardcore bands in the world. It’s like Black Flag, DOA, Bad Brains, Dead Candies, that kind of thing. And then when we thought, let’s put it on an album title, then people said, well, what is hardcore? I said, well, it’s like kind of no holds barred, it’s less emphasis like on having a Mohawk or a Statue of Liberty and

a hundred studs on your jacket like, you know, discharge or something like that. And it’s just a really straightforward, hard hitting punk rock. And, you know, to me, it was like really rooted in Canada and the United States. You know, it caught on in other places, too, obviously, right.

Craig Garber (21:13.532)
You know, what’s funny is when you said to everybody you try to sing with a British accent, meanwhile, when English guys sing, you can’t hear their accents. Right? I mean, it’s very, right? You don’t like, it’s only, you know, maybe the Mersey beat guys, a couple of them you’d hear it, but like it’s really, and maybe some of the clash, those guys, but for the most part, they’re neutralized for some reason when they’re singing, which is really always fun.

joe (21:23.782)

joe (21:36.338)
Yeah, I would say, yeah, we listen to the Clash Records. You don’t hear that much or some other ones, right? Yeah, I mean, that’s true. But somehow there’s a bit of a British thing in there that people want to imitate. Yeah.

Craig Garber (21:40.484)
Right. Yeah.

Craig Garber (21:50.564)
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I think it still exists today and I know it’s vice versa on their end.

joe (21:57.082)
Yeah, it’s hard to, but it’s hard to sound like an American unless you have some practice, right? I’ve heard some really terrible imitations of American accents in my time.

Craig Garber (21:57.949)

Craig Garber (22:03.3)
Yeah, yeah, totally, very much so.

Craig Garber (22:14.552)
In your opinion, how has or has the definition of hardcore changed since you came up with it?

joe (22:20.422)
Yeah, so like a lot. I mean, because people now they kind of think more hardcore, like, you know, more akin to like agnostic front or something like that bad, you know, mad ball bands that, you know, good bands, right. And so I think, you know, hardcore time, we just always hardcore, but I think now you say somebody like, like D way, we say it is a hardcore punk band, as opposed to a hardcore band, because hardcore kind of crossover, you know, took on

Um, little bit of metal type influence, you know, maybe between the 86 and 1990, it transformed, right? From what our original conception of it was. Like I say, like, you know, like the circle jerks, DOA, uh, bad brains, black flag type thing, right? That was our conception of what hardcore was, right? And I’d still say all those bands are like hardcore punk bands and that’s it. But the heavier ones, like I say,

Craig Garber (22:52.452)
Mm-hmm. Definitely.

Craig Garber (23:13.395)

joe (23:17.678)
New York hardcore or whatever, there’s lots of variations on it. To me, yeah, now that’s kind of hardcore. So it’s two different camps, you know. Although they put together, we play shows with those guys and it’s great.

Craig Garber (23:26.192)
Yeah, I think so.

Craig Garber (23:30.756)
Yeah, they fit together, but it is interesting because the definition has it’s gotten a little more like. Like I never in look in retrospect, I look back now to hardcore bands and I never feel today I’m looking back and like, well, it wasn’t really violent. And now some of the other bands, there is an element of violence, a little bit of it now, some of the metal guys.

joe (23:56.098)
Yeah, God, I’m not sure if they’re defined as the hardcore band, but I think it was this band from the UK we played up, this open air in Belgium a few years back, might be called Broken Bones. And the people were just sailing off the stage. I remember there were like six guys with dislocated shoulders, elbows, knees, and like, we’re standing at the back watching these guys go, holy Christ, I’m not going on the pit there.

Craig Garber (24:23.312)
And then they come home like, how was your day? Oh, fucking great, man. Ha ha ha. Yeah. I don’t get that stuff. But yeah. Yeah, but I think.

joe (24:26.83)
Like hang on, let me see if I can pop my shoulder back in here. Yeah, I mean, if they’re having fun, they’re having fun. So whatever, right? Yeah.

Craig Garber (24:36.888)
I guess, absolutely man, you got that right. In 2008, so the Vancouver Sun names you, Vancouver Sun newspaper names you as one of British Columbia’s most influential people of all time. What do you feel was the primary reason they gave you this accolade and in general, how do you feel about things like this?

joe (24:40.526)

joe (24:59.962)
Yeah, I mean, when I saw it was on the list, I mean, there’s some people that have done far more for society than me. But you know, why was it me? I’m trying, I’m trying here, right? But I was glad I do my best here. I was grabbed by see my name on there. But I think it was like, you know, that people knew about the activism, like you said, in your intro, like over 300

Craig Garber (25:13.244)

joe (25:29.862)
And people got that and people kind of went like, yeah, DOA, they’re like Vancouver’s protest ban, right? Because people had a cause, they go like, who should we get? Well, let’s get DOAs, get those guys around. We would do this like that, defend the forest, stand up for people’s rights, go on a picket line, that kind of thing, right? And so it got named there. And then the funny thing was, it’s that because it was an online poll to vote. So.

I really got, I got our fans and our fan base, go and vote for DOA, go and vote for me, right? Type thing. And then I won as the most influential person. But the banker’s son refused to acknowledge it because he said, oh, this is skewed because of this much online voting, right? I mean, I

Craig Garber (26:04.052)

Craig Garber (26:17.744)
Oh, like nobody else was telling their, you know, followers not to vote for them. What kind of bullshit is that?

joe (26:23.678)
Well, I guess, and some of the people on the list are dead, so they didn’t have followers anymore, right? I mean, you’re talking about the first Premier of British Columbia in 1854, he was on there, right? So I go like, this is easy peasy. I know how to do this. I know how to organize. So I wanted them, rather than being a big thing on the front page of the Vancouver Sun, they buried it like in section two and page eight or whatever. And I just go, hey, you know, I won fair and square, right? But whatever.

Craig Garber (26:28.079)

Craig Garber (26:38.916)
Yeah, right.

Craig Garber (26:47.464)
That’s really shitty.

joe (26:52.498)
It was fine, it was just like something fun to do. And I’m sure they were mystified, going like, what, this guy, how dare you type things.

Craig Garber (26:56.069)

Craig Garber (27:02.212)
Yeah, yeah, but that’s good, man. You want to be the guy, you know, that kind of ruffles the feathers, you know.

joe (27:08.382)
Yeah, and people will just go like, yeah, okay, these guys have done a lot, or Joe’s been involved in all sorts of things. And it’s just like, people got that, right?

Craig Garber (27:17.392)
Yeah, and you know, making 300 events, that’s not an easy thing. I mean, first of all, the amount of time that you selfishly are giving to do that. That’s not easy, man. That’s a lot of work.

joe (27:31.622)
Yeah, I like doing it. We did a great one last year, DOA played and we got about five other bands play at a big theater in Vancouver. The money raised six, eight grand or something like that all went to First Nations groups to help them, you know, like for mostly youth type things. So I thought that was a great thing to revitalize that because we ended up, I said we did that

Craig Garber (27:48.253)
That’s great.

joe (28:00.214)
But in order to get that organized, then I organized one of those in Vancouver, like the first one, because they were like big in England, right? And we’d read about the like, wow, Rock Ants racism, that’s a great idea. So I started one in Vancouver, one in Chicago, and then I revitalized it last year type thing, right? So probably do one again next year, right? So yeah.

Craig Garber (28:06.867)

Craig Garber (28:16.488)
That’s so cool, man. You like putting, I’m gonna switch my mic. You obviously like putting those shows together.

joe (28:24.382)
I think you just get like a really great feeling from people that they’re just going, well, this is really cool. And of course, we go and play. We do the same thing we always do with DOA. It’s like it’s as loud as fast. It’s political. It’s funny. I hope or I think it’s funny anyways. And we just do a thing that we’ve been doing forever. And that doesn’t change that. But it’s the cause. I think it’s a good thing to do. And I always thought like, you know, like…

You got like people, if they got talent or notoriety, they should lend some of that. Like say modern athletes, a lot of them have a lot of fame, a lot of things going on. But you know what? It was a guy like Muhammad Ali who actually stood up and did something and put his fame and career on the line. You know, I mean, so to me guys like that, going like, well, this is the most famous guy in the world pretty well in a lot of ways, you know, for a long period of time. And he did this.

Craig Garber (29:07.561)

joe (29:20.43)
I thought that was so great. So stuff like that is fantastic, I think.

Craig Garber (29:25.256)
Where do you think for you that, cause this is very like sort of like of service. Where, and what you’re doing now as an elected official is also of service. I mean, you’re getting compensated for it, but it’s an of service business. You don’t wake up and doing that for the money. You know, you’re waking up and doing that because you feel you can make an impact. Where do you think, where did this come from for you?

joe (29:47.686)
Um, hmm. Yeah, I just think, uh, just got like an early political education. Uh, like I said, my brother was involved with a lot of good causes and stuff like that. And I saw that as a teenager. And like I said, it was a really tumultuous time to grow up to be a teenager type thing. Um, you know, during the early, late sixties, early seventies type thing. Um, and just one of the things I saw people that inspired me, you know, one of them, uh,

One of them actually got to meet and play shows was Pete Seeger. And that was that, yeah, later on, much later after we stopped playing folk music and we were a punk rock band and they, um, kicked all these people to put on is called X-FIL 86 and they kicked all these people out of their long-term buildings, like you’re talking people without barely anything, right? It was hardly two pennies to scratch together to make way for the tours.

Craig Garber (30:20.652)
Oh really?

joe (30:43.094)
And they contacted Pete Seeger and Orla Guthrie, who were going to play there, said, well, we can’t cancel the show, but we’ll do a benefit concert. And so the organizers, you’ve got this big open air benefit thing in our main park downtown, Stanley Park, kind of like New York Central Park type thing. And they said, we’ll do a free show there. Who should we get? And somebody said, well, we’ll get DOA. And then the parks board and the city council went, oh, that’ll be terrible. DOA is obnoxious.

Craig Garber (31:10.152)

joe (31:12.594)
And there was the park, the city zoo was right next door. It will scare the animals, their music, and their fans will trample the flowers, which are probably right on both counts, right? So, and so they said, okay, you can play, but you have to play acoustic. So we played all our songs with an electric bass, a drum step, and Dave and I, Dave, Greg, both played acoustic guitar. So it wasn’t so loud. And we got to meet our little Guthrie.

Craig Garber (31:14.74)
That would be terrible.

joe (31:42.512)
and Pete. Obviously it was a real thrill.

Craig Garber (31:45.492)
Did you get to have a conversation with those guys?

joe (31:47.562)
Yeah, we did. Yeah, we got some got a classic some classic photo of somebody was smart enough to get there with a good camera. So they have the six of us all together like. Yeah, anyway. Yeah, it’s a great photo. Yeah.

Craig Garber (31:58.396)
That’s awesome, man. That’s a really cool photo. Yeah, thank you for sharing. That’s a good story, man. All right, so 2012, you decide to run for political office in a local election. And I, you know what, this whole thing, I found it very interesting and impressive. Interesting because it’s extremely uncommon for someone to get into politics at age 56. You know, no, it is. I mean, come on, most people are like,

joe (32:26.149)
Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (32:28.076)
I want to be, whether their motives are good and altruistic or like evil, they’re like, they’re going to sink their teeth into it one way or another, but it’s not at 56. Right. And I found it impressive because I would imagine getting elected to office has got to be incredibly freaking difficult. I mean, I, I don’t, I don’t even know how the hell, where do you even start with like, how did you say, well, okay, like, you know, if you got to bake a loaf of bread, it’s like,

joe (32:37.964)

Craig Garber (32:56.936)
some recipe or something and is a baseline, how do you run for office?

joe (32:58.73)
Yeah, yeah.

joe (33:02.666)
Well, I mean, okay, so I started earlier, but I ran three times around for a provincial election, like British Columbia in 96, then I ran for state council in 97. And I think I finished like second to last or something like that. I had 24 candidates. It didn’t quite work put that way. And I ran again. Yeah. The 96 one was great because a guy pulled me up from the green party. He said,

Craig Garber (33:21.092)
Yeah, man, but you kept coming.

joe (33:27.914)
Hey, my name is Tom. I’m an organizer for the Green Party. And we’d like you to run in this, this riding in Burby, this district. And, uh, and I, I asked, I said, you know, you’re talking to him. You’re talking to Joey Shihab. I ain’t running for you guys. And I hung up and like, I ain’t got time for this crap type thing. And then two weeks later, I saw some more stuff by election. I thought like, I’d like to do this. Right. And then it’s like, well, we got to actually, I’ll be, I’ll be your guy.

Craig Garber (33:45.06)
Ah, yeah.

joe (33:55.642)
And it was so disorganized that the total sole support I got, they gave me three canvas signs because they wanted to be recyclable signs, not plastic or paper. And that was it. I got three signs. And that was that. I go, okay, so the campaign. And I get people in your country, most of them are like, what? And then so what I print out was a bunch of flyers.

Craig Garber (34:10.508)
Here’s your campaign assets. May God be with you.

joe (34:22.106)
And my kids were like six to eight years old, my two oldest kids. And so I bribed them and said, okay, you come around and blow the requires with me and at the end we’ll go to the 7-Eleven and you can pick out a dollar’s worth of candy type thing. That was the deal every day. Right. I’m like, okay, okay. And so that was the sole campaign team was my oldest son, Jake, eight, my daughter, Georgia. Uh, my wife, uh, Laura helped out. And.

Craig Garber (34:35.388)
Sure. Yeah.

joe (34:48.638)
I didn’t do that well, but I ran again in 1990, provincial election. I didn’t win, but I did pretty good. I got the second highest total of any green in British Columbia, a lot of 85 seats. So it was very encouraging. I think it was in 1990. So I ran 86 in 90, provincially 87 council. But in 2012, that was an interesting one.

Craig Garber (35:03.516)
And this is when, what year was that?


joe (35:17.014)
I tried to run for a bigger party called the called the NDP, the New Democratic Party, right? Which kind of like a left of center type thing, right? You know, and I worked my ass off trying to get the nomination, but they’re going like, you know, and I got raked over the coals, you know, because they do a vetting thing, right? So they got one of them, one of the big cheeses who had been like a powerful minister for years in the previous government. He pulled me out.

And I go, okay, you’re going to talk to Moe Sahoda. I’m going to be like, okay, this is probably not going to go well. Right. You know, and I thought he was going to rake me over the coals. Um, this wedding process about being a punk. And he says, didn’t have anything to do with that. He said, they didn’t like the fact that I have been the green party. Cause it was competition. Right. Uh, on that, in that stream of thought or that side of politics, like left of center type politics, right. And, uh,

Craig Garber (36:01.893)
Oh my gosh.

joe (36:09.726)
So he eventually went, yeah, no, I think you’re okay. We’ll go with this. Right. And, um, but I ended up losing a nomination by five votes after working for about four months, uh, you know, like every day you’re talking to every day. I went out there and door knocked and, uh, but the good thing was the guy who beat me by five votes, um, he got asked completely kicked by the right wing guy. So I’m glad I didn’t waste another four months on that one, right? Cause he just got smoked like 60% to 40% type thing. And, uh,

Craig Garber (36:32.741)
Right. Yeah.

joe (36:39.134)
So I just went like, okay, I think I’ve had enough of this. Like, um, it’s been an awful lot of time and I, um, yeah, retired, retired from that. I, I gained to like really 20, like say 2012. Yeah. 2020. Yeah. So I retired between 19, 2001. So it was 90s. Yeah. Anyways, then it was mixed up 96, 2001, the second time then 2012, when I tried to get a nomination. And then I ran a game.

Craig Garber (36:52.817)

joe (37:07.862)
Like by the time I got elected in 2018, that was my sixth election.

Craig Garber (37:13.032)
What made you go back?

joe (37:15.514)
Well, it wasn’t my family. They all said it was crazy. They have me have enough of getting beaten up verbally, mentally by people. Said, no, I like it because I was always interested in politics. And so I was like in high school, in high school, my goals. So I thought, okay, I got to play defense for the Boston Bruins. Right. This was my team at the time. Right. That didn’t quite work out. It wasn’t good enough, obviously. Then I thought, okay, I got to be a civil rights lawyer. So I went to a university to become a lawyer.

Craig Garber (37:36.892)

joe (37:45.554)
And that lasted about six months. All of a sudden I was in a punk rock band. So that didn’t work out right. But I’m really keenly interested in politics since I was a teenager.

Craig Garber (37:56.18)
That’s great, man. I give you so much credit for like, you know, here you are pursuing your dream. You know, that’s so cool.

joe (38:03.634)
Yeah, it was, I mean, I had a lot of help from my family. They did a great job. My, my, my wife would be the campaign manager. My daughter would run the campaign office. Um, my oldest son was in Toronto, Jake, so he couldn’t help, but my youngest son, Clay, um, he’s stumped around before elections and after the getting reelected in 2022 and, you know, and I moved up, I did really well. Um, he says, dad.

It’s been kind of fun, but I don’t think I could do another election. I think I’m through because you just walk miles and endlessly door knock and deliver fires and that kind of thing because we have no money. So it’s all volunteer type things. Yeah.

Craig Garber (38:36.348)
My career, my career is done, yeah.

Craig Garber (38:44.808)
Yeah, of course.

Few questions. So you’re a city counselor for people like me and for others listening who aren’t hip to Canadian politics. What is a city counselor and what do you do in that capacity?

joe (38:57.258)
Yeah, there’s eight councilors and there’s a mayor. So there’s nine of us that make up formerly called the Burmese city council, right? And we enact bylaws that affect your life. And when people think about, when it comes to civic government, it can be like New York city, Toronto, Burby, Albuquerque, whatever, Calgary, that we do the stuff that affects your daily life. We pick up the garbage, we build the roads.

We make sure the sewer system works. We make sure you got clean water. We make sure you got a park that works, that you have somewhere to take your kids or go relax in. So it’s really the day-to-day stuff. So like, it’s kind of like the big governments, like, you know, for us, provincial, for you state, and the federal governments, they’re the ones that get all the coverage, right? But I mean, it’s really, they, it’s the day-to-day stuff that a city government does that really affects your life the most, right?

Craig Garber (39:44.147)

Craig Garber (39:51.88)
Yeah, I didn’t realize that actually.

joe (39:53.906)
I get calls like Joe that you get emails, Joe, God damn it, why are they cutting down these trees? And I’ll answer everyone. Yeah, and they’re like, why are they doing this? Why isn’t it? And I try to answer every email or phone call as fast as I can. And it’s like, I go, hey, no guarantees, but I’ll see what I can do then try and alleviate the situation or correct it.

Craig Garber (40:01.204)

Craig Garber (40:15.036)
Oh my God, that is so cool. That’s, I mean, God, the thought of picking up the phone or shooting an email, like in this country anyway, like you just assume if you’re sending someone an email, you’re getting, well now an AI chat bot, but you know, they’re just, I recently read this or heard this on an interview. Somebody was saying that when they get phone calls, they put a slip of paper and they’re just trying to see who’s for and who’s against and how many votes it is.

joe (40:23.277)

joe (40:30.847)

joe (40:43.771)
Right, right.

Craig Garber (40:44.704)
they’re not really interested in actually doing anything. It’s just like, okay, thank you very much. We’ll take care of it. And then it’s like, oh, well, which pile do we need to look at?

joe (40:55.062)
Yeah, you know, but people, if you do make an effort to help them get something done, they remember that, right? I think that’s like door knocking. I mean, it’s like, and you door knocking, and man, I’ve knocked on like 20,000 doors, like over my political career. And it’s like every it’s like open up the box of chocolates. You don’t know what’s behind that door. And you really got about 30 seconds before they slam the door and say, don’t are coming back, right? You got 30 seconds to say who you are.

Craig Garber (41:00.996)
Oh my god, yeah, who-

Craig Garber (41:21.105)

joe (41:24.886)
picture what you’re doing and you go like, what could then I was on part of it is also like, what would you like to see done? What can I help you with? If I’m going to be your representative, right? So I think that’s really important. People are like, you know, then you and I think you would learn a lot from people like people would point out stuff like, let’s get this done or why aren’t you guys doing this or this? I go like, you know what, you know what? Sometimes I’ll know a lot about that subject. Other times I won’t. So I’ll go like, you know what?

Craig Garber (41:32.04)
Yeah, how can I help you? Yeah, right. That’s so.

joe (41:52.946)
I think I’m going to research that, I’m going to get back to you and see what comes to you because I’m not going to claim I know everything there is to know about that particular topic.

Craig Garber (42:01.385)

That’s really cool. I listened to an interview you did and it just ties to what you said here. In the interview you said one of the biggest misconceptions is that most people seem to believe change comes from the top. But I guess this is what you’re talking about where it comes, it’s not really from the top. It’s guys like you out in grassroots knocking doors and shaking hands and actually like saying, hey, let me find out why your trees are getting cut down.

joe (42:30.45)
Yeah. And I think that real change starts from a local level. Because to me, it’s always like, if you got a good idea, convince your neighbors, convince your family. It’s a good idea. If it’s a good enough idea, all of a sudden you convince the people in your town. If it’s really good, all of a sudden you convince the people in your province or your state or whatever. And it spreads out, right? You kind of type thing. Because you need a mass of people to make change. As I say, change comes from the top.

Craig Garber (42:49.233)

joe (42:59.934)
Yeah, sure it can because, you know, like the people, the top of the federal government in Washington or Ottawa, have a lot of power. The prime minister, the president can do a ton of things as Congressman and as Sanders can do, right? You know, I have a lot of my in lost way, but really good ideas come from the people and the smart politicians picks up on that and goes like, oh, okay. I can get behind that. And like you say, a lot of times it’s they just do it for their advantage.

But once in a while you’ll get somebody who’s actually doing it like, you know, from the heart, right? That they, it’s like, okay, man, I should have been doing this five years ago. And they’ll go like, they get on board and they help, right?

Craig Garber (43:31.06)

Craig Garber (43:38.804)
What’s the most rewarding thing you’ve been involved with?

joe (43:42.814)
Um, I think, uh, really changing our, our old mayor, uh, Derek Corrigan was, uh, just an evil man and, uh, he was in government for like 31 years and the new

Craig Garber (43:56.464)
I like that you called him out right here. You said he’s an evil man. No ambiguity how you feel. Not why he wasn’t a very good guy. No, he’s an evil man. That’s great.

joe (44:00.129)

joe (44:03.771)
Ha ha ha!

He was an evil man, right? He didn’t turn up that way, but he became more evil and more as an office, which happens a lot, because people forget where they come from. And I think that happens to politicians constantly, right? So, but what was happening, we have a wealthy community, like fairly wealthy, and people were getting kicked out of their homes so they could build new towers. Like, so a little two, three story walk-up apartment, right? Built in the 50s or 60s, a lot after the Second World War here.

Craig Garber (44:14.118)
there. Yeah.

joe (44:37.078)
That was the only place people could afford. You pay $800 a month rent instead of 2000 or 2500, whatever type thing. And they’re getting kicked out to make way for towers, 40 story, whereas rents were like two or 3000, they couldn’t afford to stay there, right? So Mike Curley and I said, this is wrong. It was called demo evictions, as opposed to rental evictions. Demo, like demolish the building, put up a new tower, right? So what we did, after we got Corrigan kicked out,

And it was funny the process because I’d be campaign I’d be like at a Costco or something like that like a big Retail store talking to people outside hanging up wires And I get old ladies or older fellows go like oh, yeah Yeah, I think I’ll vote for you, but whatever you do Can you get rid of that a whole core again like and this be like a 75 year old lady going like that I go ma’am. That’s my that’s what my goal is right because you have no compassion for these people. So

Craig Garber (45:27.228)
Really? So that was…

Craig Garber (45:33.492)

joe (45:36.45)
When Mike and I got elected, we immediately got, well after six months, not immediately, six months a year, new rules. So if somebody does get out of their building and there’s a new tower going in, the developer has to give them a replacement unit at the same cost in the new building. And while that building is being built, they have to pay the difference in the rent, the top up. So this person’s still paying those $800, $900, $1,000 a month.

Craig Garber (45:52.845)
Oh, that’s great.

Craig Garber (46:01.161)

joe (46:05.39)
Because you’re talking like a lot of people, they’re new Canadians, they don’t have money, or they’re pensioners. And it’s the one thing that really gets me about pensioners, the mistreatment. These are the people that built this country, you know, that worked their entire lives, paid taxes their entire lives, served in the military, volunteered, coached at sporting associations, stuff like that, whatever they did to help the community. I mean, it’s like these people don’t deserve to be like this.

Craig Garber (46:17.597)

joe (46:35.909)
And that was the difference, like getting Mike Hurley and myself elected. People realized that one, like, yeah, this is really cool what’s happening.

Craig Garber (46:43.956)
and you got that done. That’s so cool, congratulations, that’s really nice. You know, it’s interesting because, you know, I just turned 60, we had talked about this and I’m not probably lumped into that category with people visibly look at me yet, but I’m starting to become aware of it. Not necessarily for me, but just seeing how others are treated and sort of like, you know, if you’re not on the, if you’re not, well, would this person be on the Kardashians? No.

joe (46:45.558)

Craig Garber (47:13.508)
So their value is less, you know? And it is a sad thing because these are the people that fought in war, you know? And it’s just like, wow, yeah. So it’s interesting that you bring that up because I have thought of that. Just I’ve observed it because I’m getting older myself.

joe (47:15.561)

joe (47:22.518)

joe (47:31.702)
Yeah, there’s a lot of poverty amongst seniors, right? The money is run out. As we all know, things are just completely unaffordable right now. From whatever, food to housing to heating fuel, whatever, right? Yeah.

Craig Garber (47:34.76)
Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (47:41.276)
Yeah, it’s pretty bad.

Craig Garber (47:47.172)
Yeah, yeah. So that’s the thing that that’s the project you put through that was most rewarding. Is there something that like just really most regret that you weren’t able to put through?

joe (48:01.093)

Not yet. There’s one other project I mentioned that was really cool. I think it would be tied with the housing though Those not as impactful I Tried to start five years ago, but took about three years to get going I finally got the same going as gold called harmony for all and What I did I got people to show up around Christmas time and donate at musical instruments They weren’t using and of course this was easy. This was like easy to get publicity for from the local TV stations. I

Craig Garber (48:26.472)

joe (48:33.15)
newspapers, whatever, you know, famous musicians doing the same. So the instruments were bought in and what we did, we got the kids could get the instruments on the loaner and then I got the city to put in a bunch of money. The big thing with getting a guitar, that’s like two or $300. That’s not a big thing. The big thing is paying for music lessons. They’re expensive, right? You know, because people teach them they got to make a living. I get it, right? So I got the city to finally enact.

Craig Garber (48:52.82)
Yeah, very much.

joe (49:01.302)
the money so the kids could get free lessons. Because, and I said, the whole idea behind this was that, you know, I remember being in high school and just being like an outsider. But when people found out, oh yeah, me and my friends, the five of us, oh, you guys play music? Oh, that’s pretty cool, right? And it’s an immediate door opener, right? Like, you know, it didn’t matter that we were a terrible crappy band in high school, right? You know.

Craig Garber (49:04.378)
Oh wow.

Craig Garber (49:23.57)

joe (49:29.814)
We named it Lead Balloon because we thought it was going to go over like a lead balloon.

Craig Garber (49:35.525)
Yeah, but you’re right. That’s such a unifying, especially to people who are kind of outsiders.

joe (49:38.792)

Yeah. And it’s also like a welcoming thing because like, Burnaby, we have like, uh, like 120 languages spoken here. We’re probably the, the most diverse community in all of Canada. So I think it’s an opener for new Canadians. They go like, yeah. And, you know, we never said, okay, it has to be this kind of music. It could be like, uh, Bangra to electronic, uh, to punk rock to, to pull to country. Right. It doesn’t matter. Whatever music you want to play, play it. We’re going to try and help you play that music.

But for the regret thing, the only thing I would say like, it’s really difficult. We’re not building affordable rental homes fast enough, but I’m gonna throw that on the provincial and the federal government, because we’ve offered up land and money and their uptake has been really slow. They’ll start piling on soon because they’re both running for reelection soon. So that’s when they usually start going, oh yeah, sure, we’ve been there the whole time. Here’s a…

We’re going to help you out. I’m like, the prime minister was out here last night making an announcement. It was just kind of like, you’re building a battery plant. I go, okay, this is a, it’s just a bulk buyer is all it is. Right. And he goes, we’re going to lose lots for British Columbia. I go like, you’ve been prime minister for eight years. You ain’t done jacked.

Craig Garber (50:39.758)

Craig Garber (51:00.476)
That’s great, man. That’s great. Well, that’s a really rewarding thing, man. Thank you. Switch gears again musically. What would you say are the top three musical experiences you had? And why were they so memorable?

joe (51:05.003)

joe (51:13.338)
Yeah, um, can I say this is a really unique one. It was so strange. Uh, you’re familiar with Noam Chomsky, of course. Right. Yeah. Well-known activist speaker, brilliant guy. Um, he had a, he bent about 12 years ago on the, uh, downtown Vancouver, but on the beach, there’s a beach in downtown Vancouver, right? Uh, you know, where the ocean comes right up to downtown and, uh,

Craig Garber (51:22.632)
Yeah, yeah.

joe (51:42.21)
They said, yeah, we need to open an act. How about DOA open up for Noam Chomsky, right? I go, yeah, that sounds like a great idea. There was like 20,000 people showed up for this, right? And so of course we’re big and loud and we learned Bob Dylan’s Masters of War for the event. But yeah, excellent. And so then Noam Chomsky is getting pretty old at this point. So, and he didn’t talk very loud and the guy’s running the sound thing.

Craig Garber (51:49.18)
Uh huh.

Craig Garber (52:00.701)
Great song.

joe (52:11.762)
I go like, I’m just saying, why don’t you turn up the fucking mic here, right? Cause you have 20,000 people kind of leaning in like trying to hear what you say, right? After this obnoxious, he law punk rock band is open for him, right? You know, but that was a great event. Um, another great one was, um, uh, that first time I went to Rome. And I think that was like in, uh, probably 90, we’ve been to Italy, like eight, nine times, but the first time I went there, it was just called, uh, it was a big squat.

Craig Garber (52:18.698)

joe (52:40.994)
biggest squat in Europe where people, for your audience here, people take over a building that’s not in use and they squat it. They change the locks to get in, they get some legal rights. You can do that in Europe, right? And so they squatted this, it’s called Forteprentino, and it was so big, it’s what the Germans used for their command during the Second World War in Rome, right?

Craig Garber (53:06.472)

joe (53:07.426)
And they revitalized one corridor, put a stage, put recording studios, all sorts of things. And we got there, boy, I wonder what it’s going to be like, you know, something’s like 4,000 people are there, right? Or just going like, wow, that was pretty good, right? It was like crazy, crazy stuff, right? It was really good.

Craig Garber (53:19.997)

Craig Garber (53:24.648)
What’s Rome like? I’ve never been there.

joe (53:27.062)
Rome’s great. Italy’s a lot of fun, I love it, right? It’s just a fun country. Plus you stop at the gas stop, you get the best coffee in the world. And great food, right? And the people are passionate. I love Italy, it’s a great place. I mean, of course, there’s lots of right-wing nuts there, but they’re not the ones that show up at DOA shows.

Craig Garber (53:40.018)
Yeah, that’s it. Yeah.

Craig Garber (53:54.028)
No, probably not. Yeah, it’s self-vet with the music.

joe (53:56.822)
view of that, right? Yeah, I can’t see one side of that, right? So, but Rome is massive and then so historical and then we’re playing one show, we’re sitting out having dinner, waiting for the show and we’re sitting inside an old aqueduct and I’m looking at like, my god, this thing’s like 2200 years old and still standing. Boy, if you can’t even build stuff that well these days, right? You know, yeah, Rome’s amazing, right?

Craig Garber (54:17.649)

Craig Garber (54:21.825)
Oh my god, I know.

That’s cool. And what would be number three?

joe (54:28.35)
Number three. Right, right. Hmm.

joe (54:37.622)
She said that is a tuppy.

joe (54:43.402)
You know, if it comes to me, I’ll think of it. I can’t say number three. There’s a whole bunch there tied for number three.

Craig Garber (54:46.068)
Okay. It is interesting because my wife’s from England, so I’ve been over there a couple of times and I remember seeing like the church where she was christened in and it was like built in 700. You know, and we don’t have any sort of frame of reference for that here in this country. You know, like you said, if something lasts, you know, 60, 70 years, it’s like, holy shit, that’s great.

joe (55:13.866)
Yeah, okay. Well, maybe number three would be, uh, we did three trips to China. Yeah, it was like in, uh, 14, 17, 2019 type thing. And, uh, and Southeast Asia. We also played Taiwan and, uh, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. And, uh, um, then one of the craziest ones was this one in Bangkok. So it’s like eight, nine bands.

Craig Garber (55:20.089)

joe (55:41.738)
and they all seemed to have a different set of followers that didn’t necessarily get along with each other, a little bit somewhat gang like, you know, not quite right. And we’re sitting there, we were just waiting to play and the audience was great, the place was packed. And I’m sitting outside all of a sudden to see about eight cops come up. I go, okay, as a foreigner, I’m not gonna sit out here. I’m gonna get picked off here. So I went in, I grabbed the guys, go backstage, yeah.

Craig Garber (55:46.897)
Oh, that’s wild.

Craig Garber (56:05.819)

joe (56:10.73)
You know, just who knows what these guys want. And they came in and, uh, they were there to collect a bribe, right at the club to keep it open. You know, otherwise the Joe’s sat down, but when they’re can’t come in. And I couldn’t understand it because we didn’t know the language. These, um, these punks all started singing this song about the police. Uh, singing Adam as you’re walking through them and it wasn’t very, uh, polite towards the police. I don’t think. Right.

Craig Garber (56:20.232)

joe (56:40.763)
as far as I could understand. It was like that was really, really interesting, that whole trip, right?

Craig Garber (56:40.948)
It’s your stuff.

Craig Garber (56:46.012)
What was China like? I mean, like, did you feel comfortable there? Because I know people are there.

joe (56:49.394)
Yeah, the people were great. They saw a bunch of great bands and played, you know, played in Wuhan a couple of times. That was great. Played in Beijing about five times. Oh, OK. Here’s OK. Number three was this festival in Beijing, right? So it’s like three stages. We played the second stage. You know, the main stage was like 10,000 people. Second stage, about 5000.

And it was up in the hills north of Beijing. It was so windy that it blew over a Marshall cab. And I just grabbed our bass, where it got him out of the way before the Marshall cab him in the leg, like he had back to it and the whole drum, all the stands and mics wouldn’t blew into our drummer, right? But so people were going nuts and stuff like that, but they were lighting off these like flares, like shooting them over top of the crowd, right? And stuff like, you know, for fun, right? And, uh,

Craig Garber (57:27.985)
Holy crap.

joe (57:45.486)
And we’re going like, wow, and then they had these huge banners. And we didn’t know what they said because it’s all Mandarin, right? They’re carrying banners. But they’re shooting the players and almost hitting the banners, which would cause this like fire with a jam of five or 10,000 people, depending what stage you’re at. We’re going like, this is like nuts. Right. And then the way we got in, we had to submit six songs to the censor. Chinese authorities to make sure we’re suitable to come in and play in China. Right. And.

Craig Garber (57:56.75)

joe (58:14.762)
So we picked up the six most milked, toasty Dior songs you can think of, which of course we didn’t play one of those. So the tour manager goes like, I said, well, what should we do? He said, well, be careful what you say. But as soon as we got up there, we played police brutality and stuff like this. And my guys were looking at me like, oh my God, Joe’s insane. We’re going to end up in a Chinese jail.

Craig Garber (58:20.901)

Craig Garber (58:38.308)
Yeah, man, that’s not a far-fetched thought, actually. That’s the thing.

joe (58:43.217)
And I’m here to tell the tale. So that was okay. Yeah.

Craig Garber (58:44.904)
Yeah, is there a component of you that obviously you like, you don’t like being told what to do? And I can totally relate to that. No, because I there’s a thing, I get that I don’t like being told what to do. I have no interest in telling other people what to do. But for fucking leave me alone. Just let me be, you know, I’m not going to bother you just fucking leave me be.

joe (58:56.856)

joe (59:05.496)
Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (59:11.432)
How are you able to be that way at work?

joe (59:18.982)
Yeah, okay. So one thing about being on council, like, you know, when you see people in like higher levels of government, they get up, they stand up, put do one button on their coat and proceed to try and get like a sound bite like that. Basically calling the other guy across the aisle like a moron or whatever that you know, or this person’s, you know, you know, I mean, it’s just like, oh, right. But when there’s only nine of you, you can’t do that because it’s like pretty personal. It’s just one of those things that

Craig Garber (59:39.664)

joe (59:48.522)
You talk to people like, what do you think? You know, should we do this or is this gonna work? Or you bring forth a motion and you ask them on the side, do I have your support on this, right? And otherwise, you’re just gonna bomb and not go through, right, type thing. So there’s a lot of politeness. I know we never call each other names. I mean, I don’t like everything that everybody else does, but that’s the fact of life. It’s a democracy. You know.

Craig Garber (01:00:00.136)

Craig Garber (01:00:04.5)
Sure, sure.

Craig Garber (01:00:14.1)

joe (01:00:17.074)
And they got elected same as I did, right? I just try and take the same tact that I do in punk rock that you gotta stick to your ideals. And that’s what you get through. People always go like, well, what’s the difference? Well, difference is I don’t have a leather jacket and a guitar, I have a suit and a tie. But I’m still the same person. And it’s like, you know, sometimes you gotta take your lumps. Like, you’re talking about me and not being told what to do. Yeah, I don’t like that either. Because my father always told me what to do.

Craig Garber (01:00:34.248)

joe (01:00:46.635)

Craig Garber (01:00:46.816)
Yeah. That’s why I hate being told what to do. It was like a fucking thumb on my head for the whole… Yeah, so I’m allergic to that actually.

joe (01:00:55.096)

Yeah, no, I hate it, right? So, but you know, you just gotta figure out what’s gonna work and, you know, at the same time too, you don’t want to make it miserable. I know, I know, and you have somebody across the aisle that’s looking at like, I hate this guy, right? You know, so I get along with everybody on council. Like I said, we don’t agree on everything. But that’s kind of besides the point. We still, you know, we still have lots of laughs, right? You know, on the side. Yeah, then we go to

Craig Garber (01:01:16.861)

Craig Garber (01:01:23.696)
Yeah, you have to work together.

joe (01:01:28.213)
You know, you make the best of it. Have fun if you can, right?

Craig Garber (01:01:30.6)
Yeah, that’s great. What was Burnaby like as a kid when you were growing up? And in general, what was your childhood like?

joe (01:01:40.614)
Yeah, it was a lot smaller. It’s like a quarter million people now. And so probably like, I want to say like 80,000 people as a kid. It’s like grown. We’re right next to Vancouver, like the city right next door. So the growth they’re getting, we’re getting type thing. They figured out 20 years, we’re going from 250 to 350 is what the provincial government is figuring. Right. So this is why the housing thing is the big, big thing we’re trying to sort out.

Craig Garber (01:01:50.2)
Oh, that’s… Wow.

Craig Garber (01:02:05.128)


joe (01:02:11.306)
Um, you know, I grew up, uh, my dad, after he got out of the Canadian army in the second world war, they all got two acres, a place called Burmese mountain and, uh, and it had a house and it was an old farm. It was at 2% interest and the thing costs $3,000 for two acres. Um, yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:02:30.992)
Yeah, but how cool is it that the government?

joe (01:02:34.642)
Yeah, they got a veterans thing. So every father on the block was a Canadian Army veteran, right? At just 7th Street, right? So that was the deal. But it was like growing up in a mountain, growing up on a farm. We had cherry trees, apple trees, grew grapes, all this kind of stuff. My dad raised bees, that kind of thing. So as a growing up on a farm, you go up there now.

Craig Garber (01:02:37.916)
That’s wonderful, man.

Craig Garber (01:02:43.731)

Craig Garber (01:02:58.068)

joe (01:03:02.13)
Every house is worth like four or five, six million dollars. And every lot is two million dollars. But my dad bought that entire thing. Yeah. Well, you’re talking 1947. So things have changed. So obviously, right.

Craig Garber (01:03:08.04)
from the $3,000. Wow.

Craig Garber (01:03:14.108)
Yeah, but still that’s a big return on investment, man. Holy shit.

joe (01:03:19.98)
Yeah, so it was a lot different. It was good though, like a good town. I mean, the good school system, I thought was fine. And played a lot of lacrosse for Burnaby. I played a lot of hockey for Burnaby, as the type of things Canadian kids do, right? So, you know, I would say lacrosse is always a good thing because like Wayne Gretzky played lacrosse as well as hockey. And that was the law of his agility.

Craig Garber (01:03:36.968)
Sure, yeah, right on then.

joe (01:03:46.218)
I’m not comparing myself at all. I was more like the guy I usually led my hockey team in penalty minutes every year. That’s my, my. The brutalizer.

Craig Garber (01:03:54.507)
Why am I not surprised that you said that? But I’m happy for you though.

Craig Garber (01:04:01.872)
And watching some interviews with you, it was really clear to me that no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s writing a book, playing music, politics, I really felt that being sincere and coming from the heart is something that’s incredibly important to you. And you said something, you said you don’t feel it’s possible to succeed at something unless you’re connected to that energy at that level from your heart. And I agree with you on that.

My question is, when and how did you come to that conclusion?

joe (01:04:36.182)
Um, I think it’s one of the things like a lot of things I do as Joe. I just like, I just hang around. I don’t step backstage and I just like people want to talk to you. Right. And then you like, and you get a lot of stories and you have a lot of laughs. And, and, uh, I think, and I think it’s also the part about being sincere. So sometimes I’ll see my old friends, I’ll see bands and like, and they’ll be really great. I go, wow, I’m glad they’re playing the game. And sometimes I’ll see bands go like.

wow, they’re really just mailing this in, like, you know, it’s a paycheque, right? And I get it, everybody’s got to pay their rent, gotta pay their mortgage or, you know, whatever. Like, if you had a skill, you wanna get paid for it, right? That’s obvious, right? But I think that if you find a way to connect with people and let them know that you care about them and their talent, we used to do the same. We’d go like, okay, hey, we gotta…

Craig Garber (01:05:08.442)

joe (01:05:30.958)
every record for you, right? But you’ve got to tell us who the most famous person from your town is, right? And I guess I hope I got this right. We were in Louisville, Kentucky, and nobody knew. We got the record. We go, well, it’s Muhammad Ali, right? And I hope I got that right. And so then we, you know, nobody got it right. We wouldn’t give them the record. We’d go like, we’d give them another question, right? And then get them a record, right? But it was just like, so to me, every time I would go drive into a town,

I’d ask people, so what’s happening around here? So what’s going on? What’s your city doing? Plus I’m a news addict too, so I know if there had been something horrible going on or something cool. And then people feel like, and I’m not doing this because I wanna impress people with, I’m doing it because I wanna know why they’re there, why they’re at the show, what’s their life like? So you get a different experience from every town, right?

Craig Garber (01:06:25.169)

joe (01:06:27.726)
They’re all different.

Craig Garber (01:06:29.5)
Yeah, I agree with you. That’s so cool. That’s great, man. I mean, that’s, uh, that’s no doubt why you’ve done well and everything that you’ve done because you’re doing it passionately. And people look, man, people could tell if you’re full of shit or not, if you have an agenda or not, it doesn’t, it doesn’t make, you don’t need to be a genius to figure that shit.

joe (01:06:44.226)

No, people, they pick up on it pretty quick.

Craig Garber (01:06:51.952)
Low points, what were some of the low points or dark periods you’ve had to deal with in life, Joe, and how’d you get through them?

joe (01:06:57.967)
Um… I’m pretty lucky, not too much, I mean, uh…

joe (01:07:06.33)
I mean, people pass on like your relatives and all that kind of thing. That’s not great, but that’s part of life. People get older, we don’t last forever as a species. I couldn’t say that I consider myself to be a pretty lucky guy and not too much bad is happening to me. And when something happens that’s not great, I kind of go like, you know what? I’ve got it so much better off than…

70, 80% of people in this world. So I’m not gonna complain about that. It’s not, you know, I’m doing okay. Me and my family, we’re doing well. We’re doing great. You know, it’s me and my wife and my kids. And I got three grandkids now, which are, who are all like great. I hope they all play, all three boys, all play in the same line. And then NHL playing hockey right now. Ha ha ha.

Craig Garber (01:07:39.664)
Yeah, let me suck it up.

Craig Garber (01:07:53.62)
Yeah, fingers crossed. Yeah, that’d be great. Absolutely, man.

joe (01:07:58.114)
Yeah, bring me some. Knock on wood, right? As long as it’s where the banker connects and not the Toronto Maple Leaf.

Craig Garber (01:08:05.096)

Craig Garber (01:08:09.632)
Along those lines, which of your personality traits do you feel have contributed to your success?

joe (01:08:17.854)
I think the real thing I got from my dad was the work ethic. Yeah, and I just like, you know, he just told me like, can I get this job done later? You know, because I do help him with house maintenance, cut the grass, help build rock walls, you know, like, and he’s just like me, Joe, there’s no time like the present. I don’t know if he got that from the army or what, right? But he’s like, yeah, okay, I’m going to get this done now rather than.

uh, procrastinate on something. So I think, um, it’s good to just work hard and get it done and, um, try and make your breaks from that. And I kind of really learned that in music that if you stay at it, I know that’s why I always say that people would like say, uh, younger bands, younger musicians, like, um, oh, how should I get my career going? I go, you know what? You got to develop a style, uh, get really good at it. Go around and play. Cause you know, you’re not going to.

that the odds on you ending up on the on the voice or America’s Got Talent or something like that are pretty low, right? You know, so you just go around and make a reputation and don’t change your style or don’t the other thing I say don’t follow the trends because by the time you figure it out the record companies have already exploited that and they’ve got their pick of who’s there, this person is going to be the best at doing hip-hop, this person’s the best at

pop electronic or whatever, right? And so I think just stick to your roots. Like the guys that I really liked, they don’t play anymore, but friends of mine, are a band called No Means No. And they’re really oddball kind of jazz punk, right? Sort of. And we took them on a couple of big tours in 86 and 87 around North America, and they weren’t typical punk. And people were going like, wow, why’d you bring these guys? And then they’d watch them play, like, wow, these guys are really good.

eventually they carved out a pretty good following of their own.

Craig Garber (01:10:16.584)
Yeah, I think you’ve mentioned them in one of your interviews. Yeah, because I looked into them. I’m almost positive you mentioned.

joe (01:10:22.41)
Yeah, and they didn’t change the approach at all. They just stuck exactly with what they believed in, right?

Craig Garber (01:10:31.232)
That’s great. I’m with you on work ethic. I think, in fact, I am like allergic. I mean, I have, it’s a very hard thing for me to be friendly with someone who’s lazy. I just like, it’s incomprehensible how you can be lazy. I don’t even, I don’t like, I don’t get it, you know?

joe (01:10:42.711)

joe (01:10:48.268)
Ha ha ha.

joe (01:10:52.322)
Yeah, it’s good to take a break, but you know, that’s what you do in life. You work, you get stuff done. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:10:58.328)
Yeah, what did you say? Talk minus equals zero. Yeah. So like, hello. Talk about music for a minute gear. What’s your what is your go to guitar that you’re playing now and has that changed over time? And like maybe what are your top three guitars that you play?

joe (01:11:01.427)
Action equals zero.

joe (01:11:15.29)
Yeah, my favorite is kind of funny is the 1972 Gibson SG Standard that I bought for 400 bucks when I was like 18, right? And oh yeah, it was a fortune like plus the tax, like 425. It’s gotten stolen three times, one time in Spain. About six months later, I got back with a note and smashed. The guy apologized. Some years later, eventually I met the guy.

Craig Garber (01:11:22.292)

Craig Garber (01:11:25.628)
which was expensive back in that day, man. That was not, yeah.

joe (01:11:43.35)
The promoter bought all the guys. Joey, this is the guy who stole your guitar. It’s up in the Uscati, like in the North of Spain and the Basque country. And I had two choices. Okay, I could just be consultatory, talk to the guy and say, thanks for getting the guitar back. Or I could jump across the table and lump him. I decided to be consultatory, right? Like you took one of my best friends away from me, right? That guy has been with me my entire career, wrote every song on this guitar. And…

Craig Garber (01:12:01.142)



joe (01:12:11.03)
But it was all fine, I got back. And that guitar, I thought I would retire it. And I was downstairs in the basement, I got this guitar stored. And I said to Clayton, my youngest son, he’s like 27, he says, Clayton, can you grab that SG for me, right? He says, dad, I thought you were retiring that. Like, it’s gotten too old, it’s more glue and wood chips than wood anymore, right? It’s been broken so many times. And we both went.

No, it’s like the Mafia. Once you’re in, you’re in for life. If I say we gotta go do a show, we’re going to do a show type thing, right? And so that’s my go-to, I love that thing. I’ve got a couple of new ones, the guys making guitars for me, it’s like Joe Keithley guitars, and very much like an SG, because obviously it’s got the shape and the width of the neck and all that kind of thing. That’s my Odyssey guitars. So I’ve been using that a lot lately.

Craig Garber (01:12:42.896)
Yeah, that’s right, man.

Craig Garber (01:12:47.665)

Craig Garber (01:13:01.137)

joe (01:13:08.374)
Another one I really like is a go to, I’ve got a 76, no 86 black Les Paul. Man, that thing we cook. Yeah. Well, the guy who builds guitars, I had one in the eighties and I said, I cannot find one of these, can you find one? And this is like three years ago. And he said, yeah. I said, I used to have one. He says, yeah, you sold, no, you traded it to me for a high watt amp. I go, why the hell does I do that? He says, I don’t know.

Craig Garber (01:13:16.592)
Oh, that must weigh a ton, right?

joe (01:13:37.638)
And I said, well, where’s that guitar? He says, I don’t know. I guess I sold it, right? This guy buys and sells stuff, right? And, uh, but this thing’s great. Uh, an old friend of mine playing in a band for years, he, uh, he wanted to buy his wife a special adverse you get. So he sold to me for a couple of grams. Another one I’ve got was really unbelievable in the studio. It was like, uh, at 56, uh, Les Paul Jr. Yeah. So it’s kind of like, wow. Uh, that’s like, you just plug it in and it was like,

Craig Garber (01:13:59.629)
Oh wow.

Craig Garber (01:14:03.604)

joe (01:14:06.591)
It just plays, right? You know, it’s a…

Craig Garber (01:14:09.108)
Wow, that’s like a relic, man. How long did you add that?

joe (01:14:12.094)
Yeah, it’s a bit beat up and I painted it with stripes and this weird paint because I was really like, I thought Eddie Van Halen was so cool at the time, so I thought I’m going to paint a guitar. Like it doesn’t look like that, but there’s a bit of that line type thing and different colors than Eddie’s famous guitar, right? So I just like, yeah, that thing is, I would not take it on the road though. It’s just like, it’s as old as me, put it that way.

Craig Garber (01:14:36.444)

Craig Garber (01:14:40.04)
Yeah, that’s an amazing guitar.

joe (01:14:42.539)
And I’m more sturdy than that guitar.

Craig Garber (01:14:44.86)
Yeah, of course. Wow. So all these guitars are not like, I mean, the SG’s a pretty standard punk guitar. And I guess there’s some, I mean, it’s not standard, but you see a lot of, you see, you do see Les Paul’s in there. But I don’t think, a Junior’s almost like a, like a blues or classic rock guitar.

joe (01:15:02.782)
Yeah, well, I wouldn’t. The funny thing was I took it on a road trip one time. It went from Vancouver to Providence, which is like 3,100 miles in the wintertime. And when I got to the show, the glue was so old in this guitar, the prep board had detached from the net.

Craig Garber (01:15:23.632)
Oh my God, what’d you do?

joe (01:15:25.71)
Well, I didn’t do anything. I finally got the tour took us down to Texas and the guy runs a shop who builds those little Chiquita guitars he built for like Billy Gibbons and stuff like that and He he reglued the frets but the fretboard back on So I didn’t have a spare for that whole chunk of the tour, right? So there’s no big deal, right? But you know, but that thing is great for recording that’s what I use it for

Cause if you want to get a different sound for a lead, that doesn’t sound like an SG. It’s just like, yeah. Yeah, wonderful. We used to, Dave and I, original guitar players, used to have guitars in the P90s, but we found we played in so many crappy old buildings with bad wiring, that was like, here you get this hum coming out of the amp, right? So.

Craig Garber (01:15:59.372)
The P90 is so nice. You know, P90 is such a great pickup, man. I love those.

Craig Garber (01:16:15.631)

joe (01:16:21.558)
We eventually got like, you know, just using like regular, uh, humbuckers or do more zoos type thing. Right. I use a zoom in my S G.

Craig Garber (01:16:29.912)
Right. What are you playing through? You mentioned a high watt. What are you typically playing through?

joe (01:16:36.562)
I got a Marshall 2000. Yeah, so that thing works great. And the other thing I’ve got is a really funny story. In 1984, our first trip to England, the guy running the record company, I said, well, we don’t have any gear for the tour. He says, no problem. I arranged for you guys to go to the Marshall factory and pick up amps there. We’re going, the Marshall factory? Like, we were thrilled. So we got in there and we’re going, the Marshall factory, this is it.

Craig Garber (01:16:40.058)

Craig Garber (01:16:57.584)
Oh, that’s cool. Yeah.

joe (01:17:05.194)
This is it. We made it. And I was in the door, like in the foyer, comes along and goes, that’s Jim Marshall. That’s the guy. And he kind of looked at us and of course we all got like hair spiked up and ripped t-shirts with skulls and the anarchy symbols. Like, you know, we looked like a punk man and he kind of looked at us suspiciously. And then one of us was the salesman who was dealing with us. And those guys go, yeah, he knows who we are. And I go.

No, he’s just telling the salesman to make sure these guys pay before they get out the door. Like, no credit. He just looked at us like, who are these scum, right? You know, and we went inside the factory and that was great because they had the amp. Japanese band Loudness, I guess, had a 10 foot imitation cab with a 12 foot Marshall head.

Craig Garber (01:17:40.502)

Craig Garber (01:17:46.568)
That’s so funny.

joe (01:18:02.75)
up on the wall, like a fake thing they’d use for a video. And we’re good with that, and it was like, it was great. So I’ve still got that 84 Marshall 800. Yeah, so I used that for recording too because it sounds great.

Craig Garber (01:18:05.629)

Craig Garber (01:18:13.588)
That’s cool.

Craig Garber (01:18:17.116)
That’s the JCM 800s, right? Yeah, yeah, those are great. Craziest experience you ever had with a fan.

joe (01:18:19.586)

joe (01:18:27.394)
Huh. Wow. Crazy experience with a fan. Huh. You know what? Let me think on that one. I can’t, the one doesn’t come to mind.

Craig Garber (01:18:39.249)

So you tell me your top three desert island discs man in no particular order just for like now But that changes a lot

joe (01:18:47.939)
Yeah, um…

joe (01:18:53.174)
Best of Queens Clearwater. That’d be one of my top three bands. I want to say.

Best of Johnny Cash and any of the early Black Sabbath albums.

Craig Garber (01:19:14.128)
Dude, those albums are so amazing.

joe (01:19:17.126)
Unbelievable. That was the first real heavy rock band we heard when we were 16. We’d go like, and we were like, how do they play like that? Right. It was like we had and we then we bought a box out of songbook. We’re like, oh, not that we can play like that, but you know, yeah.

Craig Garber (01:19:25.044)
It’s just amazing.

Craig Garber (01:19:32.476)
Well, Tony Iommi is just like, he’s a god. I mean, he’s just phenomenal. His playing is just off the charts.

joe (01:19:39.262)
Yeah, and so inventive too. And the, say that first album, I think it’s my favorite because it’s like, they’re a heavy band, but also at that point still like a jam band. So the drums are grooving, the bass is all over the place in a good way and the guitar is going like, wow. Like I was blown away. And every time I put that thing on, I’m going like, so many of the best records ever made, right?

Craig Garber (01:19:51.184)
Yeah, they were bluesy, and yeah.

Craig Garber (01:19:57.596)
very good way.

Craig Garber (01:20:05.576)
Yeah, those early Sabbath, I agree with you, they’re phenomenal. But how funny is this, man? The, the, uh, Godfather of hardcore CCR, Johnny Cash, when Sabbath makes sense, but CCR and Johnny Cash outliers wasn’t expecting that man.

joe (01:20:07.873)

joe (01:20:15.822)

joe (01:20:19.585)

Craig Garber (01:20:21.108)
Joe, tell me what’s the most important lessons you’ve learned from getting older?

joe (01:20:27.694)
Poof. Well, I mean, take care of your health. That’s the big thing.

Craig Garber (01:20:34.708)
Dude, that is so true. I mean, from practical standpoint, that should be number one for everybody.

joe (01:20:36.843)
Jeff, it’s really, I’m…

Yeah, I kind of get an ass kicking every once in a while. You’re like, you know, but, um, and, uh, you know, just, uh, catch up with old friends. I think that’s a good thing. I kind of really screwed up because I have about five former bandmates all passed away in short order about, uh, between six and, uh, three years ago. Right. You know, heart attacks, complications, uh, stuff like that.

Craig Garber (01:21:03.196)
Oh man, so sorry.

joe (01:21:08.11)
And after I got in the store, they pulled me up, Joe, did you hear what happened to Bill in the bank? And I go, nah, that was the worst thing ever. And then I think like, boy, I’ve been meaning to call him for a couple of years and I hadn’t. I was kinda going, they were stupid on my part, right? Just get together, have a beer, or just get together to talk or whatever, right? It’s like, it’s just kinda one of those things. So keep up with old friends, I think is really important. And I’ve done that a bit more lately. So I’m happy about that, like Steve.

Craig Garber (01:21:25.713)

joe (01:21:35.882)
stay connected with these people that you grew up with. And there are the people that helped you get there, like old roadies, people you stayed with, your bandmates. Sometimes I see regular, my old manager I’m in a hockey pool with, so we’re usually just cursing at each other, trying to get at bandmates, or trying to rip each other off in a trade. So. Ha ha ha.

Craig Garber (01:21:38.45)

Craig Garber (01:21:51.676)

Craig Garber (01:21:55.252)
That’s so funny. Yeah, but you know, I think they, I mean, they’ve actually done studies on this and the, you know, the, the depth of your social circle, not the depth, the intensity of your social circle, the interactions you have, and so important to you as you get older, both from a cognitively and physically. So I agree with you.

joe (01:22:18.082)
Yeah, and I think that you just got to keep learning about everything in life, you know, and try and catch up with things. And, you know, that, hey, like the more people you talk to, the more ideas you get, your brain keeps working better, you know?

Craig Garber (01:22:35.032)
Oh, man, that’s one of the biggest benefits I love about doing this show. I mean, it’s like a constant nourishment for me of connections, ideas, knowledge. And it’s, it’s been wonderful for me. I’ve gotten way more out of this show than I’ve put into it. And I’ve put a lot into it, but yeah.

joe (01:22:53.827)
Yeah, well, I imagine it’s really interesting people for sure. That’s great.

Craig Garber (01:22:56.764)
Oh, just some days. Yeah, loads of great people. Yeah, it’s just been phenomenal. Uh, Joe, wondering if you’re comfortable maybe sharing one or two mistakes that you made along the way and what are the lessons that you

joe (01:23:13.372)
Well, where do you want me to start?

Craig Garber (01:23:17.137)
That’s always a very common response.

joe (01:23:20.31)
Well, you know, a couple things, we probably could have made it a lot bigger if we had moved to LA and not stayed in Canada. Then again, I’m a Canadian and I wouldn’t have met my wife. I mean, I had all my three kids if that hadn’t happened type thing, right? So I don’t consider that a mistake, but career wise, we probably wouldn’t have been farther ahead. That’s kind of one thing. I got to say some of the labels that we signed with, right? That I won’t name them all, right?

certainly got like ripped off. And that’s eventually why I started my own, like in earnest, I guess a proper record company. You know, because just like kids have really tough business. So that’s some that used to be the cool thing, though, eventually that there’s gonna be this track record, we signed with about eight or nine labels, you know, do one or two records and things went sour went sideways, a bunch of those labels went bankrupt. So Dave, Greg and I would go, you know, like,

Yeah, I think we’re just label killer, right? And so, like, let’s see if we can get Dow Chemicals to start a record label and we can try and bankrupt them. Right? So, get some real evil corporations. You’re like, yeah, let’s see if D.O.A. will be your band. We’ll play the theme song, right? Yeah. Yeah, so.

Craig Garber (01:24:20.337)

Craig Garber (01:24:33.948)
You’re the cooler. You guys are the coolers, man. Yeah, that’s so funny. As far as labels like, like just ripping you off all your publishing and shit like that.

joe (01:24:44.342)
Yeah, not paying for them, trying to claim ownership, not paying royalties, not picking up options. We had one company, I won’t name them because they were getting a big bunch of trouble. They wouldn’t pick up the oxygen on the second album and the first album they had sold applied. It wasn’t knockout or anything like that. And then they just had it paralyzed for two years. Because it was just like, can I phone the guy and go, what’s happening? And the president, what’s this? Oh, it’s on his desk.

Craig Garber (01:25:07.956)

joe (01:25:13.526)
So I was like, right. It’s not on his desk. He crumpled up through it in the fucking garbage can, right? So, stuff like that. Or we got in a horrible lawsuit with one guy, one label. And it was just like, it was like bankrupting, right? So it was a mistake to sign with that label in the first place. So I’d say the label thing has been the worst. Worst of stuff’s been really good. Like my buddy, Jell-O-B-Oprah, he’s been totally square with us.

Craig Garber (01:25:15.719)

joe (01:25:43.486)
And he rescued us a few times and got records out for us. So like that’s been really good. And, uh, my, uh, my, everybody fat Mike from no effects. I tried to get on his label. He said, Joe, you’d be better off starting your own label. So that’s what I did. Better. You would control this, right? And he’s like, I went, yeah. And I thought about it and then went and I did that. So that was good. Really good advice from him.

Craig Garber (01:25:47.028)
That’s cool.

Craig Garber (01:25:55.232)
Oh, that’s so cool. So that’s what you did.

Craig Garber (01:26:04.916)
Do you put other bands out in there or is it really just a vehicle for DOA?

joe (01:26:08.962)
Um, well, when I first started to write the label in 98, I mean, I did singles for DOA between 78 and 82, but it wasn’t really a label. It’s just like put singles on them. Jordan Brown to record stores. Um, but 98, as soon as I got a label, then all of a sudden my, all my friends and my crew went like, wow, Joe’s got a label, maybe he’ll put on our record. I go like, as a couple of them worked out pretty good. And let’s say a few of them didn’t work out so well, right? You know, we did pretty well off a few of them. So I think at this point.

Craig Garber (01:26:33.438)

joe (01:26:38.982)
Uh, in the way of singles, DVDs, uh, one-offs LPs were at, uh, 136 releases. So yeah, it’s a lot. Yeah. So I’d say probably 50 of them are various DOA things. So the other ones would be other bands, right? But.

Craig Garber (01:26:47.252)
That’s quite a bit. That’s pretty prolific, though, man.

Craig Garber (01:26:56.148)
Well for this, a lot of people you’re working with.

joe (01:26:58.782)
Yeah, yeah. So it’s pretty organized. I mean, we’re short staffed. I’m the president. I’m the secretary. I’m the warehouse guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, Joe’s the open warehouse. Hang on. I’ll go here.

Craig Garber (01:27:11.59)
I see where you’re going with this.

Craig Garber (01:27:20.384)
That’s a labor of love. That’s probably why you’re doing it.

joe (01:27:22.246)
Mmm. It’s been good though. I like it. Like I started out just to do DOA records. It was just from our stop and that was good. And then it looked like that this is where it’s going back to just do DOA stuff. But you know what? There’s a good demand and we’re doing really well. The label is going great. The band is going great.

Craig Garber (01:27:41.748)
Does Sudden Death have a website? Is it just Sudden Death? Awesome, everybody check it out, Joe, best decision you ever made.

joe (01:27:44.223)
Yes, that’s


joe (01:27:53.2)
It’s very my way, Flora.

Craig Garber (01:27:54.78)
How long you guys been together?

joe (01:27:57.131)
37 years.

Craig Garber (01:27:59.464)
Dude, that’s awesome, man. That’s really cool. I’m happy to hear that. Yeah, that’s awesome.

joe (01:28:01.078)
Yeah, it’s really good. Yeah. And then, you know, to have kids, that’s would rate up there to have the three kids. Right. So.

Craig Garber (01:28:07.816)
That’s great, man. Congratulations to you guys. That doesn’t happen very, 37 years is a long time, man. That doesn’t happen often.

joe (01:28:10.315)
Yeah, thank you.

joe (01:28:14.698)
Yeah, we’re doing good. They’re doing good. Um, yeah, it’s like, uh, it just worked out. Right. So.

Craig Garber (01:28:20.58)
Yeah, sometimes that happens. What do you like most about yourself?

joe (01:28:26.726)
Huh. Is there anything to like about myself? I don’t know. I like, man, I really love playing guitar. That’s really fun. I’d have such a good decision to stop being a drummer, become a guitar player. That just opened up the whole thing. And I think, try and learn to listen, listen better. I don’t know.

Craig Garber (01:28:31.252)

joe (01:28:55.295)
That’s not really like about myself.

I don’t.

I don’t know if I like about myself, but I’m really attuned to hockey. So I usually do really good at hockey pools. So I said, if I could, a friend of mine, Jack Rabid out in New York, runs the big Takeover magazine, says, Joe, you’re playing hockey. He said, no, I’m working on becoming the general manager of the Bank of the Canucks because I was running the team. We’d have two or three Stanley Cups right now. He says, okay, well, that’s good. Why are you at it? Can you take over the New York Yankees? Yeah, good stuff.

Craig Garber (01:29:21.382)

Craig Garber (01:29:29.148)
Yeah, right, man.

joe (01:29:32.406)
I’m a fan, that’s my team. And he says, what a miserable season this year is just terrible, right? Like, yeah. And Jack is like the biggest Yankee fan. He can recite stats from the thirties and forties. It’s like, I remember back in 42, this guy who had a pitch and no hitter, right? And he’ll go like, when you remember that stuff, right? You know, anyways.

Craig Garber (01:29:50.832)
Yeah, there are a lot of guys like that.

Craig Garber (01:29:56.04)
toughest decision you ever had to make or most difficult thing you had to do.

joe (01:30:01.294)
Um, I guess some of the difficult ones were, uh, firing people from DOA. Uh, that had been really good bandmates, but, uh, had kind of fallen into that netherworld of, uh, doing too much drugs, right? Doing right. Which is like a real, that’s not the way to go through life. It’s really a mistake, right? You know, and, um, no matter how much you think it’s fun or it’s cool or something like that, it’s not cool. Right. You know, it’s, uh, um.

Craig Garber (01:30:08.253)
Oh yeah.

Craig Garber (01:30:17.544)
Drugs, yeah.

joe (01:30:30.542)
So pardon me if I’m being a few of those guys, was pretty tough.

joe (01:30:37.426)
Other than that, not too much, right? I’m pretty straightforward with people. So some, you know, I think some people say I’m hard to get along with. I mean, we’re onto 29 different members of DOA, so I would disagree with them. All they have to do is just agree with me and we don’t have a problem, right? Ha ha ha.

Craig Garber (01:30:57.32)
You don’t have a problem, there you go. Should have told them that upfront. Flip side, most fun thing you’ve ever done.

joe (01:31:07.485)
Oh, most fun thing. Wow.

joe (01:31:13.134)
Hmm. I don’t know. There’s lots of them. There’s a hundred event tie. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t have one that was just like, well, that was a complete riot. Right. So, uh,

joe (01:31:29.159)
I don’t. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:31:30.164)
Fair enough. Last question, biggest change in your personality, Joe, over the last 10 years, and how much of that change has been intentional, and how much is just a part of aging, a natural part of it?

joe (01:31:43.318)
Um, I’d say I kind of put it back a bit. 10 years. I don’t know. Um, I think the biggest thing was that I learned to be a father, you know? And so that’s going to my oldest boy is like 36, right? So I was going back quite a ways and then, uh, realizing, you know, like we talked about earlier with kids, all you can do with kids to me is that you can’t tell what do you just have to show them what the differences between right and wrong, and I think that’s the key thing.

Craig Garber (01:32:10.353)

joe (01:32:12.358)
And I’ve done that with all my kids. I got three great kids. Um, but in the last 10 years, um, well, uh, okay. Okay. There’s a good point thinking about retirement. You know, I thought it was the invincible Superman. I’d be keep doing this like playing until I was a hundred years old, right? You know, but, and I kind of think that I’ll be playing at least so I’m like 80. I’m 67 now. Yeah. Why not? Yeah. I mean, as you say, one of my old feet, Seeger, he’s playing to the

Craig Garber (01:32:33.181)
Yeah, why not?

joe (01:32:39.546)
He’s still playing in 93, he dropped dead chopping wood on his farm, right? You know, I mean, like he was still up there changing the world, playing on picket lines, helping people, right? And, uh, so I think just like, uh, biggest change now is just taking care of myself, uh, get into the show. Um, cause I don’t want to be like George Jones where he got named a no show Jones, right? I don’t want to be no show Joe, right? So.

Craig Garber (01:33:04.021)

Craig Garber (01:33:08.836)
I hear you. Hey, listen, I want to thank you very much. What can we promote? Where could people buy all your stuff? Your books? Is everything on

joe (01:33:16.754)
Yeah, yeah, go to The really cool thing we just put out was the 40th anniversary reissue of War on 45, which is like our third album. And with that, we added seven demo tracks that Chuck played on. So Chuck Biscuit is drumming on one side, as Older Barry Jimlitz is drumming on the other side, right? Yeah. And I did a whole booklet with that.

Craig Garber (01:33:30.376)

Craig Garber (01:33:40.326)
Oh that’s so cool!

joe (01:33:44.734)
and reissued Hardcore 81, 40th a couple years ago. And that also has like a 12-page booklet that explains the whole thing. So those are two of the cooler things that are on there. And there’s like tons, tons of stuff on there. You’ll see, right? You know, yeah. And you’ll see my smiling face right at the top.

Craig Garber (01:33:58.569)
On sudden death dot com. Okay.

I certainly hope so. Hey, are you guys any shows coming up in 2024?

joe (01:34:08.318)
Yeah, we will. The biggest thing we got coming up is we’re working on the documentary, something very change. Right. So with Scott, Scott Crawford, who did Solid Days about the Washington, D.C. punk scene and another one called Boy Howdy about cream magazine, Luster Bangs, the hilarious and cryptic Luster Bangs. And and then my old really old friend, my Paul Rockman is producing. He did American Hardcore.

Craig Garber (01:34:16.345)

Craig Garber (01:34:23.557)
Yeah, yeah.

Craig Garber (01:34:30.79)
Right, right.

joe (01:34:39.01)
So the three of us have conspired on this film for about the last four years. We’ve submitted it to a bunch of film festivals coming up. I just saw the latest cut last night. So once that’s out, then there’ll be like piles of shows, so like in Europe, Canada, the United States, like theoretically, we should be down. The next US shows will be down Texas in March, because it goes on for South by Southwest.

Craig Garber (01:35:04.22)
That’s what’s the name of the documentary?

joe (01:35:06.666)
It’s called something better change. Like DOA’s first album. And, uh, yeah, it’s half about DOA and it’s half about me getting into politics.

Craig Garber (01:35:10.108)
Yeah, that’s awesome.

Craig Garber (01:35:16.86)
Well, man, I’ll tell you what, if you want, you’re more than welcome to come back on here when it comes out and be happy to talk to you about it, man. I really, yeah, I’d be really happy to do that. I really appreciate your time. Man, I want to thank you. Thank you. This is I knew, you know, Corey said to me, you’re going to be a great guest. And he delivered, man. I knew this would be good because I started reading about you and I knew that you’re a bright guy and you’ve done a bunch of stuff. So I really appreciate you taking the time to come on the show and be so cool.

joe (01:35:21.622)
That would be great. Yeah, I’d love that.

joe (01:35:26.251)

joe (01:35:40.15)
Yeah. Well, thanks to Corey, because I’m not much of a podcast guy. So I know your show is really popular. So I just, but it was just Corey that tipped me off. He says, this is a great show. I listen to you. You heard this. I go, I never listen to podcasts. Like I’m an old analog guy in the digital age.

Craig Garber (01:35:53.691)

Craig Garber (01:35:59.954)
No worries man. Well, I don’t listen to them either. So that’s okay. We’re both on the same page Anything else I could turn people on to while I gotcha

joe (01:36:07.934)
Yeah, like you mentioned, got a solo record out called Stan and that’s like mostly acoustic. Some funny stuff, a lot of political stuff. Then there’s… Yep, and there’s covers of Lead Belly, Johnny Cash and Stomp and Tom Connors, one of the great Canadians of all time, which a lot of Americans haven’t heard of, but he was called Stomp and Tom because they put down a piece of wood underneath his right heel and we got really worked up.

Craig Garber (01:36:11.604)
Stand. Yes.

Craig Garber (01:36:18.06)
lot of political stuff on there because I did listen to it. Yes.

joe (01:36:36.574)
is usually after about 10 beer. He starts talking his cowboy boots and you can see the wood chips swine up. Yeah, he’s a great eater.

Craig Garber (01:36:42.856)
That’s crazy, man. Stomping Tom Tom, folk guy.

joe (01:36:47.578)
Uh, country book. Yeah. And yeah, one of the great, yeah. Kind of in that area. Right. And yeah. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:36:50.808)
Americana, I hate that word, but Americana, that’s the new. Yeah, yeah, very cool, man. We’ll check it out. Hey, hold on one second and we’ll wrap up. And I just wanna thank you again. Let me just sign off and say goodbye to everybody. But thanks so much for your time. And I wish you the best of luck in everything you got going on politically and with DOA. And thanks for taking the time being so cool to talk to.

joe (01:37:11.134)
Yeah, yeah, no, my pleasure. Thanks for having me on. It’s great.

Craig Garber (01:37:13.668)
You’re welcome. My pleasure. Hang on a second, Joe. Everybody. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoy this, please share it on your socials. We appreciate your support. Thanks very much to Joe Keithley for being so cool and open and sharing a big part of his life with us. And most important, remember that happiness is a choice. So choose wisely, be nice, go play a guitar and have fun until next time. Peace and love everybody. I am out. Thanks for everything, Joe.

Hey, hold on one second, we stopped the recording.

joe (01:37:41.964)

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