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How The Beatles inspired Death

The Beatles are the most influential musical outfit of all time; there can be no denying it. What the Fab Four did for the world of music and wider culture cannot be understated. When they broke through in the early 1960s, they set the world on fire, and as the decade wore on, their increasingly experimental and pioneering stylistic choices re-wrote the handbook of modern musicianship. 

Whether it be in terms of songwriting, musicianship, studio techniques or even off-stage activities, The Beatles made significant steps into areas that had not yet been explored. They were cultural astronauts, jumping headfirst into the future and reaping all the rewards. Given that they were so groundbreaking, there’s no surprise that they remain one of the best selling artists in history. 

The Beatles have endured in the collective consciousness more than any other artist, and it will almost certainly stay this way. Given that their work has persisted for so long, they’ve inspired countless subsequent musicians from Oasis to Nirvana and even Black Sabbath. This is perhaps the most compelling thing about The Beatles; their crossover appeal is of a kind that we’ve not since witnessed and will likely never do again. You can find elements of what they did in everything from dance music to metal, a dizzying feat. 

One band they had a transformative effect on was Death, one of the most influential punk bands of all time. Creating a visceral style of punk a couple of years before punk would rise from the streets on the coattails of the likes of Ramones and Sex Pistols, Detroit’s Death had been creating what became known as punk music before any of the familiar names were doing it. 

The story of Death: The most influential punk band you’ve probably never heard of

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Political, dynamic and totally refreshing, Death, comprised of the Hackney brothers David, Bobby and Dannis, were galvanised after watching The Beatles’ iconic first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. 

At the time, the young brothers were sat down by their father to witness the appearance of The Beatles on the show, as the band had been creating quite a storm across the Atlantic. Watching this pivotal moment in history, the fires of creativity were lit within each of the boys. As if a gift from above, David found a discarded guitar in an alley the following day and set about learning the instrument. Before too long, Bobby and Dannis followed, and the three began making music together. This was the start of one of the most influential bands of all time. 

While on a level it is genuinely astonishing to consider that Death were inspired by The Beatles, the reality, of course, is less shocking, as everybody who possessed an alternative spirit in their day were influenced by the Liverpool band. However, this anecdote clearly indicates just how important The Beatles were to the proliferation of a whole host of genres. As without Death, many classic bands wouldn’t have blossomed, including Black Flag and Bad Brains. 

Listen to Death ‘Politicians In My Eyes’ below.