Joe "Shithead" Keithley The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Published Apr 01, 2000Who are you?
Joe "Shithead" Keithley
What are you up to?
Doing solo act, Beat Trash, acoustic songs/punk rock bedtime stories (spoken word), playing in DOA, running Sudden Death Records, will run for the Green Party in upcoming BC election, working on a book and a movie.
Hometown and current HQ:
American politics, hockey pools, fitness, the beauty of the natural world.
Mind-altering work of art:
Any book by Machiavelli
Most memorable/inspirational gig and why?
The Ramones in Vancouver in 1977. I had a great fucking time.
Don't believe the hype:
Canadian music business
Your greatest strength/weakness:
I'm not fucking sure, but ask anybody around me and they'll let you know about the weaknesses.
Your vital daily ritual:
Coffee and hockey stats in the morning. In the off-season I don't bother to get up.
I'm not that guilty about them, but mind your own fucking business!
If I wasn't playing music I would be
I went to S.F.U. to become a civil rights lawyer, then I purchased my first guitar. It has been downhill ever since.
Your most memorable day job
I was a night cab driver and I would always get the call from the Satan's Angels bike club because they wanted the "Shithead" to drive them around.
Best/worst advice received
"This record deal should really work out for you guys."
I would drop everything to play a benefit for.
Stompin' Tom Connors or Johnny Cash
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Nancy Sinatra singing in her birthday suit: "I'll be your good time girl."
What personal trait would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed? And have you?
I would never kick them out. I would put on the theme music for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, then I would just say "The time has come for a parting of the ways." And yes I have, for excessive drug use.
When I think of Canada I think.
I think of the Rockies, I think of wheat blowing on the prairies, I think of the Canadian Shield and I think of how the Canadian border guards hassle and search me every time I return from abroad.
Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
Being in a band is like being in a marriage, but fortunately I have never had to have make-up sex with any band-mates.
Strangest brush with celebrity
One time D.O.A. played with X @ The Starwood in L.A. In attendance were Gene Simmons of KISS, Danny Partridge and David Lee Roth. Our roadie Bob Montgomery got a drunken David Lee in a headlock and made him do a number of his famous screams.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
My dear mom (R.I.P.) used to read aloud press clippings on my misdeeds, but she would never say "Shithead" aloud. Then she would say, "You know, you would go a lot further in show business if you changed your name." To which I would reply, "Hey, I'm the only one that was proud enough to keep the Shithead' after you all anglicised it to Keithley when we immigrated to Canada."
Joe Keithley plays Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and London at the end of March, and on April 15 with 25-piece jazz ensemble The Hard Rubber Orchestra at the Kerrisdale Arena Ice Show in Vancouver. "Myself and some other singers will skating around singing and lamenting the state of Canadian hockey." DOA begins a European tour in May.