Local. Independent. Out of Print.


1971 Recordings

Release Year: 1971
City / Region: Milwaukee
Record Label: Not On Label




  • Brian Koutnik - Vocals
  • Michael Sullivan - Lead Guitar (tracks 1-4)
  • Keith Sommer - Lead Guitar (tracks 5-6)
  • Chuck Meyer - Rhythm Guitar
  • Jim O’Connell - Bass Guitar (tracks 1-4)
  • Ed Heinzelman - Bass Guitar (tracks 5-6)
  • Jack Stewart - Fender Rhodes Piano
  • Jim Richardson - Drums (tracks 1-4)
  • Ted Jarvis - Drums (tracks 5-6)

Additional Information

Members also in: The Uptown Savages

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  • Jack Stewart says:

    Thanks for putting “Death” on! Thanks to Liz for having this stuff and Paul for submitting the it. These were all recorded on a hand held cassette recorder so excuse the sound quality. The first four tunes were recorded during a band practice at “Death House.” The last two are from our first gig at UWM. If I remember correctly, the initial band was pretty much tossed together to play this gig. There were basically three versions of “Death.” The first version is the members that are listed above: Brian aka “Sterling Silver,” vocals; Keith, lead guitar; Chuck, rhythm & lead guitar; Jack (me), Fender Rhodes piano; Ed Heinzelmann, bass; Jim Richardson, drums. Ted Jarvis played drums for the first gig, maybe two, and then quit because it was “too intense.” This first version played Stooges and Velvet Underground covers and is heard on tracks 05 and 06, (our first gig). The second version of the band had Michael Sullivan on lead guitar and Jim O’Connell on bass. This band is heard on tracks 01 – 04, and primarily played originals (as are tracks 01-04). The third version of the band was the same as the second with Jim Siegfried aka “Dr. Sax” on sax, Jim who’s now better known as James Chance describes “Death,” it’s formation and progression as well as anyone in a 2003 “Pitchfork” interview. Ignore the reference to me, he obviously wasn’t listening closely. http://pitchfork.com/features/interviews/5904-james-chance/

  • Jim Richardson says:

    Thanks for correcting the band members. I just wish we had some photos. I think I remember flashes going off while we were playing. Maybe it wasn’t people taking pictures. Could have been something else. An illusion. Or people shooting at us. Hard to say. I was wearing shades.

  • Ed Heinzelman says:

    A co-worker found this site…I’ll have to check the tracks after work…but my last name is Heinzelman. And I have some photos (if I can find them – I’ve seen them recently) and the negatives (but they may be really hard to put my hands on cause they are stuffed in a book somewhere). The were from a afternoon benefit for the Underground Switchboard in the UWM Fireside lounge. The band at the time was Brian, Keith, Jim, Jack, Chuck and myself

  • Ed Heinzelman says:

    btw: Dr. Sax was in the group while I was still part of the band…

  • Grey says:

    THANKS for this! I’ve been trying to find more from this band since I heard Depression on the History in 3 Chords compilation.

    Great stuff!

  • Luciano says:

    I have long been convinced that these Death and Death from Detroit were the same band, but it seems that it is not like that. However, this is great music. halfway between the Velvet Underground and the bleakest Stooges stuff. Great roaring singer!!

  • Jim Richardson says:

    Just heard from Jack Stewart that bassist Jim O’Connell passed away June 25, 2013. He joins Brian and Keith in the great beyond. Jack, Chuck, Ed, Mike, James, and I are still kickin’.

  • I just discovered this site by way of Dave Marheine – an old friend from way back then. I never had the good fortune of seeing Death live, but was acquainted with most of members, and was, for a short time, a co-worker with Ed Heinzelman at Dirty Jack’s Record Rack. Mark Schneider (another DJRR co-worker), Ed and I were inspired to form our own group, calling ourselves “Oscar Wilde” after experiencing the debut of Forearm Smash at Marangelli’s in the spring of 1974 (if memory serves) featuring several ex-Death members. Oscar Wilde never really took off (our repertoire was only Velvet Underground and early Lou Reed solo material), but while forming the Red Ball Jets, Mark Schneider and I had the privilege of playing with Jim Richardson when he stopped by to audition for the RBJ. Glory days indeed!

  • mikael says:

    This is greatness beyond human belief. Do you have more stuff? Do you have recordings by Forearm Smash as well?

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