Joe Keithley

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Joe Keithley
Joey Keithley playing in Montreal with D.O.A. 2010.
Joey Keithley playing in Montreal with D.O.A. 2010.
Background information
Birth nameJoseph Edward Keighley
Also known asJoey Shithead
Born (1956-06-03) June 3, 1956 (age 67)
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
GenresPunk rock, hardcore punk
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, politician
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, drums
Years active1977–present
LabelsSudden Death Records

Joseph Edward "Joey Shithead" Keithley ( Keighley; June 3, 1956)[1] is a Canadian punk musician who is best known as the lead guitarist and vocalist of the punk band DOA. He was elected a city councillor in Burnaby, BC in the 2018 municipal elections as a member of the Burnaby Green Party.[2] He was re-elected in the October 2022 municipal election.[3]

Early life[edit]

Joe Keithley was raised in Burnaby,[4] British Columbia, and attended Burnaby North Secondary. At age 11, he began playing drums after being inspired by a drummer in a jazz band at his sister's wedding.[5] [6] Keithley recalls his father's chagrin at Keithley "banging on a kit of his own", describing his father as "super square... completely right wing".[7] He would later take up the guitar and vocals, with some of his classmates becoming his bandmates.

In 1972, in light of the ongoing Vietnam War and the American's planned testing of nuclear weapons off the coast of Alaska's Amchitka Island, 16 year old Keithley and 300 fellow students participated in a school walkout to join a protest organized by Greenpeace. Since then, music and activism have been "fused at the center of Keithley's life".[8]

Musical career[edit]

In 1977, Keithley, along with Chuck Biscuits' older brother, started a band called the Skulls.[9] After the breakup of the Skulls, Keithley formed D.O.A. with Biscuits.

In 2004, he published the autobiography I, Shithead: A Life in Punk.[10] He was inducted into the Canadian Independent Music Hall of Fame the same year.[4] He has also done solo work, releasing a mix of music and spoken word. In 1999, he released his first solo record, Beat Trash. This was followed by "Band of Rebels" in 2007.[11][12]

Keithley appeared in the punk/cult film Terminal City Ricochet, as well as contributing music (through D.O.A.) to the soundtrack.[13] He and D.O.A. appeared in Bruce McDonald's 1995 cult film Hard Core Logo. He was interviewed for a documentary titled Let's All Hate Toronto, produced by Elevator Films and published by The Disinformation Company. In 2006, Keithley was featured prominently in the feature-length documentary American Hardcore.[4] Keithley was also featured in the 2010 documentary Open Your Mouth And Say... Mr. Chi Pig, a film that looks at the life of Mr. Chi Pig of SNFU, directed by Sean Patrick Shaul and produced by Prairie Coast Films.

In 2008, The Vancouver Sun newspaper named Keithley one of British Columbia's most influential people of all time.[14]

During D.O.A.'s 2011 Canadian tour, Keithley gave free solo acoustic performances in three of the 10 cities that had appeared across Canada in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests, Occupy Ottawa, Occupy Regina and Occupy Vancouver.[15]

He owns and operates his own record company, Sudden Death Records.[16] The recording company was started in 1978 as a DIY response to lack of interest from major labels. His motto is 'TALK-ACTION=ZERO.'[4]


D.O.A. is known for playing in peace rallies and environmental events. Keithley has been increasingly interested in politics, saying that shows where he can make a difference are more rewarding. While studying at the University of British Columbia, he planned to become a labor lawyer, but found music irresistible.[17] In 1996 and 2001, Keithley ran in the British Columbia provincial elections for the Green Party of British Columbia.[18][19] In 2001, he received the highest percentage of the vote next to party leader Adriane Carr. He ran for the Burnaby-Lougheed seat in the 2017 British Columbia provincial election.[20] On October 20, 2018, he was elected for Burnaby City Council in the 2018 municipal elections as a member of the Burnaby Green Party.[2]

2017 British Columbia general election: Burnaby-Lougheed
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Katrina Chen 10,911 48.06 +3.80 $74,356.10
Liberal Steve Darling 8,391 36.96 −3.63 $71,973.42
Green Joe Keithley 3,127 13.77 +5.54 $8,745.26
Independent Sylvia Gung 145 0.64 $87.90
Libertarian Neeraj Murarka 129 0.57 $329.94
Total valid votes 22,703 100.00
Total rejected ballots 188 0.82 −0.29
Turnout 22,891 60.81 +4.57
Registered voters 37,641
Source: Elections BC[21][22]



  1. ^ [1] Archived September 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "D.O.A.'s Joe Keithley Elected to Burnaby City Council". Exclaim!, October 21, 2018.
  3. ^ [2]. Burnaby Now, October 16, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d "ABCBookWorld". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  5. ^ "Welcome to SDR". March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  6. ^ "What the hell happened to Joey Sh*thead?". September 28, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  7. ^ "What the hell happened to Joey Sh*thead?". September 28, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  8. ^ "What the hell happened to Joey Sh*thead?". September 28, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  9. ^ "D.O.A." Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  10. ^ [3] Archived May 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "Joe Keithley on Outsight Radio Hours : Outsight Radio Hours : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "Band Of Rebels: Joe Shithead Keithley: Music". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  13. ^ [4] Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ [5] Archived May 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "D.O.A.'s Keithley visits Regina 'occupy' camp". CBC News. October 29, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  16. ^ "2006: Keithley still going strong". March 7, 2008. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  17. ^ [6] Archived October 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "MEET Joe Keithley the CANDIDATE!". Archived from the original on December 5, 2004. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  19. ^ Gill, Alexandra (May 1, 2001). "From D.O.A. to MLA? Only in B.C." The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Analysis: To win, NDP must add 10 more seats, including several swing ridings, and that won't be easy". The Vancouver Sun. April 8, 2017.
  21. ^ "2017 Provincial General Election - Statement of Votes" (PDF). Elections BC. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  22. ^ "Election Financing Reports". Elections BC. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  23. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Title Info Page". Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  24. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Title Info Page". Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2015.

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