"This is my home. Home is where the disease is. As long as I stay in America, I'll never run out of subjects for songs."
Jello BiafraA true American Patriot, Jello Biafra is coming up on his 50th birthday. Dang. Hardcore is getting old. Jello's old band the Dead Kennedys might have been the biggest of the California Punk bands of the early 80's. In fact, they might have been the most famous American Punk band aside from the Ramones. Certainly their name got em press. And their first album; Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables is easily in the top ten punk rekkids of all time. You got "Kill The Poor", "Holiday In Cambodia", "Stealing People's Mail", "I Kill Children" and "Viva Las Vegas" for chrissake. The DK's had it all, the ubiquitous logo, the notoriety, the cleverness in their lyrics and catchy tunes. Their shows were absolutely epic... I saw em many times and they never disappointed.
They were as close to a breakout Punk band in the early 80's as we were gonna get.
My mom absolutely hated that I walked around with a big "DK" on my mc jacket and I had a huge poster on my wall of their In God We Trust cover, with Jesus hanging from a cross of dollar bills.
Ah, youthful hi-jinks!
The In God We Trust Inc lp took them into Hardcore territory as they seemed to court the mosh pit kids. Of course, they did have a song called "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" on the album. Plastic Surgery Disasters brought em back to the classic punk sound and then it all came crashing down with Frankenchrist and the lawsuits inspired by the HR Giger "Penis Landscape" artwork.
I sorta lost interest with them around this time, as the DK shows had evolved into "amateur hour" for wanna be punks. As they were the most famous punk/hc band, all the assholes and jocks would come out for their shows. This was certainly not lost on Jello, and the concerts became sermons, as Jello lectured and berated the crowds.
"never since the nazis have so many people looked and acted the same"
(attibuted to Jello Biafra)
Their last album in the classic line-up was 1986' Bedtime For Democracy.
The band broke up due to legal and money issues soon after. The DK's have toured intermittently with-out Jello over the years, but have mostly reunited in the courtroom over copyright and licensing garbage.
Today's toonage is the Dead Kennedy's demo's from 1978. Many of the songs later appeared on the Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables lp.
Alot of it is pretty raw, but hey, it's 30 year old Dead Kennedy's demo's! How they even still exist is a miracle.
And as an added bonus, the great "Too Drunk To Fuck" and the sorta spoken word (but still relevant) "Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round".
Have at em.
Dead Kennedys Demo's 1978
Dead Kennedys - Too Drunk To Fuck
Dead Kennedys - Kink Sex Makes The World Go Round