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Talk minus action equals zero

Legendary punk rockers D.O.A. hope to inspire suburban kids into action with a free concert in Maple Ridge
Joe Keithley (above)

Joe ‘Sh@$head’ Keithley seems a little out of place in cul-de-sac in quiet suburbia.

He’s got a house with a basketball hoop out front, a mini-van – which he uses to ferry his kids to and from school – a lovely wife and a big, but skittish dog.

All the trappings of middle-class North American life, however, have failed to quell his punk spirit.

The singer and guitarist for the legendary hard-core punk band D.O.A. still considers the world a mess and won’t let the granite counter tops and manicured lawns of his neighbours dampen his activist spirit.

“This hasn’t mellowed me out,” says Keithley. “If anything, the world is more messed up. Just look at the environmental degradation, globalization. Everything is a commodity for sale.”

Formed in Vancouver in 1978, D.O.A. began as a trio with Keithley on vocals and guitar, Randy Rampage on bass and Chuck Biscuits on drum.

The band is known for its outspoken opinions and has a history of performing for many causes, including anti-racism, anti-globalization, OXFAM, First Nations rights, anti- censorship and the environment.

Thirty-three years and several line-up changes later, D.O.A. mainman Keithley has no plans of quitting.  D.O.A. is back in the studio in August to record its 14th full-length album. It will be released to coincide with the band’s 35th anniversary world tour in 2012.

Keithley, who has saved set lists and posters from nearly every gig the band has played in the past three decades, is currently flogging the band’s newest book Talk-Action=0, an illustrated history of D.O.A.

“If you have a purpose, you’ll live on,” Keithley says of D.O.A’s longevity. “People can accomplish a lot if you put your mind to it.”

‘Talk minus action equals zero’ is a D.O.A. mantra that guides Keithley to this day, despite the rise of what he describes as “mall punk” and the seeming disinterest of today’s youth in politics or global issues.

Keithley believes D.O.A. can still deliver a message as long as the band members stick to their tried and tested formula – social activism mixed with humour and loud, loud guitar.

“We wanted to change the world and have fun while we were doing it,” says Keithley.

“Now we impart what we know and understand. The idea is trying to inspire the audience into action.”

• D.O.A. headlines Adstock 2011, a free concert sponsored by the Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts on Sunday, July 3 in Memorial Peace Park on 224th Street in Maple Ridge. It starts at .



When Adam Rayburn through a free concert in his parents’ backyard for his 18th birthday in 2005, he didn’t plan on kick-starting one of the most anticipated youth events in Maple Ridge.

He called it Adstock – a play on his own name and Woodstock, the most famous concert in history that featured legendary performances by Jimi Hendrix, Credence Clearwater Revival, and Joe Cocker, among others.

Now in its seventh year and fuelled on DIY ethos that’s innate to punk, Adstock is bigger and better - and still free.

This year, Rayburn was tasked with finding insurance for the concert and covering the costs to bring in the headliners D.O.A.

Short of cash, Adstock was going to be canned, but Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts, where Rayburn teaches, stepped in.

“It never feels like it’s going to happen in fall,” said Rayburn.

“But we’ve made it happen.”


Adstock organizers Adam Rayburn and Polina Erovjenets are the organizers of Adstock 2011, which takes place Sunday, July 3 in Memorial Peace Park. The first band, All Consuming Black, takes the stage at 1 p.m.


1 p.m. : All Consuming Black

1:45 p.m. : Regime

2:30 p.m. : The Jen Huangs

3:15 p.m. : Bone Daddies

4 p.m. : Northern Guard

5 p.m. : Ivy League Brawlers

6 p.m.: Ninjaspy

7 p.m. : D.O.A.

• To learn more about Adstock, visit Adstock Maple Ridge Society on Facebook.