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 64)
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
GenresPunk rock, hardcore punk
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, politician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, drums
Years active1977–present
LabelsSudden Death Records
Associated actsDOA
The Skulls
Band of Rebels[1]

Joseph Edward "Joey Shithead" Keithley ( Keighley; June 3, 1956)[2] 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.[3]

Early life[edit]

He was raised in Burnaby,[4] British Columbia, and attended Burnaby North Secondary. At age 11, he began playing drums.[5] He would later take up the guitar and vocals.

Musical career[edit]

In 1977, Keithley, along with Chuck Biscuits' older brother, started a band called the Skulls.[6] After the breakup of the Skulls, Keithley formed D.O.A. with Biscuits. In 1990 D.O.A. briefly disbanded, and in that time Keithley started a band called Joey Keithley's Instinct.[7] However, Keithley quickly turned back to D.O.A, re-constructing the line-up and releasing a new album.

In 2004, he published the autobiography I, Shithead: A Life in Punk.[8] He was also inducted into the Canadian Independent Music Hall of Fame.[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.[1][9]

Keithley appeared in the punk/cult film Terminal City Ricochet, as well as contributing music (through D.O.A.) to the soundtrack.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

He owns and operates his own record company, Sudden Death Records.[13] 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.[14] In 1996 and 2001, Keithley ran in the British Columbia provincial elections for the Green Party of British Columbia.[15][16] 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.[17] On October 20, 2018, he was elected a city councillor in Burnaby, BC in the 2018 municipal elections as a member of the Burnaby Green Party.[3]

2017 British Columbia general election: Burnaby-Lougheed
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
New Democratic Katrina Chen 10,911 48.06 $74,356.10
Liberal Steve Darling 8,391 36.96 $71,973.42
Green Joe Keithley 3,127 13.77 $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
Source: Elections BC[18][19]

Personal life[edit]

Keithley has three children; he says that fatherhood has added to his motivation for activism.[7] He was born Keighley (with a "g") but changed his name to Keithley because people couldn't pronounce it correctly.



  1. ^ a b c "Joe Keithley on Outsight Radio Hours : Outsight Radio Hours : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  2. ^ [1] Archived September 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "D.O.A.'s Joe Keithley Elected to Burnaby City Council". Exclaim!, October 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "ABCBookWorld". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  5. ^ "Welcome to SDR". March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  6. ^ "D.O.A." Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "D.O.A. Biography". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  8. ^ [2] Archived May 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Band Of Rebels: Joe Shithead Keithley: Music". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  10. ^ [3] Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ [4] Archived May 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "D.O.A.'s Keithley visits Regina 'occupy' camp". CBC News. October 29, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  13. ^ "2006: Keithley still going strong". March 7, 2008. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  14. ^ [5] Archived October 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "MEET Joe Keithley the CANDIDATE!". Archived from the original on December 5, 2004. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Gill, Alexandra (May 1, 2001). "From D.O.A. to MLA? Only in B.C." The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "2017 Provincial General Election Preliminary Voting Results". Elections BC. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  19. ^ "Election Financing Reports". Elections BC. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  20. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Title Info Page". Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  21. ^ "Arsenal Pulp Press Title Info Page". Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2015.

External links[edit]