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Sun, Jun 16, 2024

Dead Kennedys

Shows: 774
Earliest: Jul 19, 1978
Latest: May 4, 2024

[WikiPedia] Dead Kennedys are an American punk rock band that formed in San Francisco, California, in 1978. The band was one of the defining punk bands during its initial eight-year run. Initially consisting of Jello Biafra (lead vocals), East Bay Ray (guitar), 6025 (guitar), Klaus Flouride (bass), and Ted (drums), 6025 left in 1979, and Ted left the following year after the band recorded their acclaimed first album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980). The band's longest-serving drummer was D. H. Peligro, who replaced Ted in 1981 and remained until his death in 2022. Dead Kennedys recorded the EP In God We Trust Inc. (1981), followed by three more studio albums, Plastic Surgery Disasters (1982), Frankenchrist (1985), and Bedtime for Democracy (1986), the latter of which was recorded and released shortly after announcing their breakup in January 1986. Most of the band's recordings were released on Alternative Tentacles, an independent record label founded by Biafra and East Bay Ray. Following Dead Kennedys' dissolution, Biafra continued to run Alternative Tentacles, and went on to collaborate and record with other artists, including D.O.A., NoMeansNo and his own bands Lard and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, as well as releasing several spoken word performances. In 2000 (upheld on appeal in 2003), Biafra lost an acrimonious legal case initiated by his former Dead Kennedys bandmates over songwriting credits and unpaid royalties. In 2001, the band reformed without Biafra; various singers have since been recruited for vocal duties. Although Dead Kennedys have continued to perform over the years, they have not released any more studio albums since Bedtime for Democracy. Dead Kennedys' lyrics were usually political in nature, satirizing political figures and authority in general, as well as popular culture and even the punk movement itself. During their initial incarnation between 1978 and 1986, they attracted considerable controversy for their provocative lyrics and artwork. Several stores refused to stock their recordings, provoking debate about censorship in rock music; in the mid-1980s, vocalist and primary lyricist Jello Biafra became an active campaigner against the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). This culminated in an obscenity trial between 1985 and 1986, which resulted in a hung jury and also hastened the band's demise.