Dead Kennedys

Everyone loves Jello!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Live in Portland, Ore. 1979
*Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
*1978 Demo
*In God We Trust, Inc. EP
*Interview Disc
*Plastic Surgery Disasters
*Spend the 4th of July With Dead Kennedys
*Live At The Olympic 8/84
*Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death
*A Skateboard Party
*Jello's Revenge
*Never Been On MTV
*Live & Alive
*Bedtime For Democracy
*Live In Germany
*Mutiny On The Bay
*In God We Trust, Inc.-The Lost Tapes DVD
*Live At The Deaf Club
One of America's most legendary hardcore punk bands, San Francisco's Dead Kennedys combined high-pitched, often-echoed surf guitar tones with quivering vibrato-laden vocals to form a uniquely noisy and irritating high-speed music that earned them equal numbers of devotees and enemies worldwide. It didn't help that leader Jello Biafra was one of the most outspoken and sarcastic liberal loudmouths to ever play the game; while titles like "Kill The Poor" and "I Kill Children" entertained the crap out of young punkers, conservative adults couldn't sit through the messy racket long enough to realize that Jello was being ironic in the songs. As might have been expected, trouble ensued. Actually, trouble always ensued for this band, 'cause they were always looking for it; whether Jello was running for mayor of San Francisco, leading the band in a bitter attack on new wavers at the BAMMY awards, putting unauthorized photos of shriners on his band's covers, or performing on a flatbed truck outside the Republican National Convention, he was always doin' somethin' that was bound to get the band in some bigass trouble.

These days, of course, nobody ever talks about them. They mean nothing to a generation weaned on Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails. Too bad. Gina "Fucking Idiot" Arnold can trash their music all she wants, but the melodies were fantastic. Yeah, they substituted noise for power - that was their way of ensuring idiosyncrasy in a genre full of soundalikes - but listen through the racket and you'll hear wonderful melodies. And, as Frankenchrist shows, they were not a one-trick pony. They were just as capable of producing midtempo psychorock as they were at blazing out screechy hardcore anthems. And dammit, their lyrics were clever. I wish there was someone out there like them today, but I don't think there is. Again, too bad.

Reader Comments (Steve)
I'm not sure how long ago you wrote this intro, Prindle... but after "Police Truck" appeared in a certain Playstation video game in '99, DK fans sprung up everywhere. Maybe it's just a regional thing, but at least half of the Blink 182 fans in my area also listen to DK, including this 400 pound Christian quarterback who used to give me shit for my "In God We Trust Inc" shirt just a few years ago. I guess that in a way, it's nice to see this band finally get recognition.
As much as I love the music the DKs created, I hate what Ray, D.H. and Klaus are trying to pull right now. For those of you who don't know, here's a BIG FYI: there is an ongoing lawsuit between these three ex-Kennedys and Jello Biafra over the fate of the DKs catalog. The ex-Kennedys won the first phase and have taken all DK albums away from Jello's Alternative Tentacles Records. And, according to those in the ATR camp, on the re-issued DK catalog some artwork has been changed, the tracks remixed, and the song writing credits have been altered so that Biafra isn't credited as contributing to the music, he's only credited as lyricist. This is because, to paraphrase Ray (who now controls the DK catalog), "Biafra never played a musical instrument". But, worst of all, Ray and Co. are now performing live shows as the Dead Kennedys with Brandon Cruz (Dr. Know and Courtship of Eddie's Father) filling in on vocals. This, most will agree, is a travesty.

Of course the core issue is money. The ex-DKs feel Jello wasn't exploiting the band's catalog to its fullest monetary value. Owning a record label and having the Dead Kennedys as your best selling band isn't doing enough, I guess. Then when Levi's came sniffing around for something punk and retro to put into a Dockers ad Jello would not let them buy up "Holiday in Cambodia". AAaarrgh!!! That damned Jello!!! Ray and Co., rather than going out and forming another cool commercial jingle band or coming out with some new material to make a living from (as Jello has consistently done for himself over the years), they went and hired themselves a lawyer. This move smacks of bitter artistic jealousy if you ask me. Something about Jello's solo success must really irk Mr. Bay Ray.

It's time to start a discussion about this "Pink Floyding" of our beloved Dead Kennedys. The music, the history behind it, and the precedent it set for politics in punk... it's all worth defending and keeping out of the hands of those who would taint it.

What say you?!
Personally, I think the lawsuit is a crock of shit. DK without Jello is like the Misfits without Danzig. Wait a minute... Anyways, I, like many on this page missed out on DK's glory years because I was born about a year after Fresh Fruit came out. That hasn't stopped them from becoming one of my five favorite bands. So naturally, I would welcome the chance to see them live... but not without Jello, and certainly not for over $20 without Jello. (Could be worse, the Misfits 25th anniversary show was $35, no lie.) Nothing any of the other 3 DK's ever did after the group broke up was worth a shit, so obviously it loks like they're in this for the money. But fuck man, my favorite part of DK is Jello's lyrics. The music was awesome too, but the lyrics... there's a reason Jello's had what could be considered a successful spoken word career: he's that fucking good of a lyricist. I'm sure most would agree with me on this, because after all, Jello's spoken word albums sell while the other 3 former DK's (the involved in the lawsuit) post-DK projects have moved about as much as a dead guy's bowels.
Prindle, the kids love the Kennedys!

Live in Portland, Ore. 1979 - bootleg.
Rating = 9

Sound quality isn't always that great, but the songs are! And Jello's stage patter? Entertaining! Also, this was the show where they did "Night of the Living Rednecks" so you get to hear that again, and enjoy that delightful heavy echo on the voice for a full 45 minutes. Track listing includes "When you get drafted" when it was "Back in Rhodesia" or whatever the heck they're saying -- and "Dreadlocks of the Suburbs"!!! The lost reggae classic come home to roost. People keep requesting "Rawhide" and Jello gets annoyed but they end up playing it anyway. Lots of energy and great versions of these classic early tune-tune-tunes. I'm tired but I slept until 2:45 PM today so I'd feel guilty going to bed this early (2:49 AM). Am I a trust fund baby?

Reader Comments

LBW, The Right Wing Liberal
That must have been the concert at Starry Night's - or possibly Satyricon - I missed it because my second wife had to sense of humus.

For me, it's a tossup as to whether The DK's or Ramones were the greatest American punk band. Love them both, even with as I've said before, Jello's moronic rantings. Portland was apparently a popular place for the DK's because they played there a lot. I didn't get to actually see them until 83 at the Pine Street Theater on the other side of the river.

As for the records, they certainly bear witness to the musical writing and performing talent of the boys. If you thought punk was just a bunch of wankers who couldn't play then you bought into the hype and missed the music. You've probably got a closet full of Northwest flannel too. At least i have a reason to wear mine.

And you probably got your pecker pierced too. I tried to get mine done, but of course, they said it was to large for the needle - Quick Watson!

PS - As of this evening Teddy Jo Kennedy's senate seat has been captured by a Republican. The Dead Kennedys really are.

Add your thoughts?

* Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables - Alternative Tentacles 1980. *
Rating = 10

Okay, they started off as a pretty normal punk band. This stuff is mostly your basic distorted guitar barre chord stuff, but hits like "Drug Me," "Let's Lynch The Landlord," and "Stealing People's Mail" present the DKs as a much more spiteful and controversial band than most other punkers of the day, including those overrated superheroes "The Sex Pistols." Plus, a few of the songs, especially the eerie echo-ridden "Holiday In Cambodia" and the totally screwed-up "Ill In The Head," make it clear that this band has much loftier ideas in mind than just imitating The Ramones for the rest of their career.

This was the first hardcore album I ever heard, and it stayed in my tapedeck for months - for good reason. These songs are funny, vicious, violent, loud, fast, and not at all impenetrable like some later hardcore (and some later DKs, too, actually). Although it seems kinda slow in comparison to pogo-speed Minor Threat, Seven Seconds, D.R.I., and even their own later material, it still pretty much kicks ass all the way through. No ballads, and even the slowest songs are fast enough to bang your head to. And (if I may begin a sentence with the word "and" for a moment) "California Uber Alles" and "Holiday In Cambodia" are the most famous DK songs of all-time, making this record an essential addition to any punk rock collection. It's also the least irritating record they ever made. A few of the songs are a bit too similar (putting "I Kill Children," "Stealing Peoples' Mail," and "Funland At The Beach" all together in a row wasn't a terribly good idea), but the lyrics always make 'em interesting anyway. It's not an absolutely perfect record (very few are), but, being one of the first American hardcore albums ever made earns it very high marks in the "history" department, and it's still an awfully entertaining listen, especially for those unfamiliar with the "hardcore" genre.

Reader Comments (Vasco Rodrigues)
Hi! I really enjoyed your page. Although I'm a long time DK's fan, it was the first time I've seen someone going over their records with such a care for details. A curious thing about your comments is that, even though I share the same admiration for DK's as you do, I disagree with a lot of things you have wrote! :)

When you say that Fresh Fruit... is "the least irritating record they ever made," do you mean that DK's records are generally irritating? Also I disagree when you say "putting "I Kill Children," "Stealing Peoples' Mail," and "Funland At The Beach" all together in a row wasn't a terribly good idea"; It's one of the wildest parts of the album and Biafra hasn't wrote any other lyrics like those ones. They are reminiscent of 77 punk in the way they seem to be so nihilistic. I love those three songs, especially because they are together. I would probably rank it as the best all-time punk record. Not just because of the good music or lyrics, but because DK's had been together for such a short period of time before they have putted out this record. And also, Biafra was so young and already showed so much maturity and talent. (Jim Hull)
Wow. Got the opportunity to listen to this recently, and one thing that's really impressive about it is the fact that the sound is so confident. This was described to me as being a little slow when compared to a lot of the California hardcore of the era, and well, I listened to a lot of it, and while the DK debut is a little slower, it's still plenty speedy, and just a unique sound with a pissed-off, sarcastic yowler, who has all the piss and personality of Johnny Rotten circa 1977 and as an added plus, his rants even sound genuine--that was not a mean a surfy, twangy, reverby guitar and tight rhythm section...whew!
In response to your comments about some songs on Fresh Fruit... being slower than the music of the Kennedys' contemporaries, I came across a copy of the album released in Europe a year later on the Italian label Cherry Red, and some of the songs are considerably faster, and the song order has been changed so that the similar sounding songs were staggered (let's hear it for alliteration). I like the European version slightly better, but both are amazing and can truthfully claim the place of greatest punk/hardcore album of all time.

rojanko@pacbellnet (Rob Krohn)
My favorite album of all time! This is the one that got me into DK in the first place. In 1982, I spent a lot of time in the record stores. I used to flip through the entire selection of records at any given store a least once a week looking for something new and interesting. Sometimes I would buy a new album just because it had a cool cover or the band had a cool name (ahh records! So much more fun than today! Am I the only one who really misses the excitement of buying a new record -- slitting open the shrink wrap, checking out what's inside...). Who didn't?!? Buried deep in back of a rack of records was FFRV, by the Dead Kennedys.

"Dead Kennedys" -- hmmm, that sounds kinda cool.

"Even better than Judas Priest" my twisted piss-off-the-parents teenaged brain thought.

After hearing the first couple of notes (EEEEEEEEE --- FFFFFFFFFFFFFICIENCY and progress are ours ONCE-A-MORE....), wasn't sure I liked it. I thought it sounded kind of wimpy - weak production with a singer whose voice warbled all over the place. But after a few more songs, it grew on me (that damn "Let's Lynch The Landlord" is pretty catchy) much like "I Want To Hold Your Hand" must have grown on my parents. Therein lies the strength of the album: great melodies. Also surprisingly tight for a band which had only been together a few months.

And the lyrics! None of that "D&D crap" all the metal bands were caterwauling about! Songs about killing children and suicide...well not really. At age 14 I was old enough to understand the band was being sarcastic, but not old enough to get all of the references. No matter! Still cool. Even more cool because I was the first kid in junior high with this album. (I was living in Nebraska at the time where trends were 3 years behind either coast.)

Listening to it today, I think it holds up against time beter than the other DK albums. It has many of their best tunes, and the production, while pitifully low budget, is great compared to PSD and BFD. Wonderful reviews Mark! (Greg Paradis)
This is the one music album I've listened to the most in my life so far... I just can't seem to get fed up. I disagree with the inappropriateness of putting "I Kill Children," "Stealing Peoples' Mail," and "Funland At The Beach" one after another; they are really short tracks, and I love that stretch of the album. It's like the songs are brothers (or sisters, or cousins, or whatever). Also, has anyone ever noticed that the lyrics to "I Kill Children," as published in the album liner, are missing a line: Ever wanna die? Of course you have. But I won't till I get my revenge. I've been buttfucked far too many ways. (the missing line) I don't wanna see people anymore. Things you never ever saw before. Gonna see them for the shit they are. Take as many many as I can away with me. Anybody can be king for a day! I could listen to this album on "repeat" for hours (have done so often, as a matter of fact).
DK RULE! I think is DK's best, wittiest, raunchy, punky, and intelligent album. I even bothered visiting a web page about Cambodia, at which the opening paragraph explains how "in the early 1980's, a no-taste, talentless American punk band called The Dead Kennedys thrashed out raucous numbers calculated to incense and offend....'Holiday in Cambodia' was a cynical swipe at regular notions of a holiday destination." I was laughing my ass off! Good for DK! Cambodia (the country) just can't accept that everything Jello said IS THE TRUTH. Fresh Fruit... tells of the secrets and hidden fuck-ups of our 'great' country, that closely reminds me of IN GOD WE TRUST, INC.. In short, no beating around the bush, DK rule! (Greg Ellis)
well we're in agreement here...fresh fruit was definitely their high-mark. i think their last two were kind of stale, and poor jello has sucked with every band he's worked with (pretty bad when nomeansno can't even carry a record for ya) since. anyway...reportedly 6025, their original guitarist, is now a right-wing christian who supposedly called the cops in to raid gilman street about three years ago when a spoken-word performer took her shirt off. that's what i read in mrr anyway, but they aren't the biggest dk/alternative tentacles fans these days. neat that east bay ray caught your site...
fucking punk on. Elvis music done DK style!!! What a great band. Where are the great bands today?
Simply, the album that changed my life. Honestly, my friends and me bought it almost as a joke, since the name was sooo offensive we thought it would be cool. But I consistently had this tape in my tape deck (home and car) for about two years!

Biafra is the master at pulling other people's chain - and they usually don't even know it! "Police Truck", "Let's Lynch The Landlord", and "Kill The Poor" rank as my faves. It's great to see someone devote a lot of space to honor this band, since most of what you would read about them during the early 80's was automatically negative due to the name of the band (again, Biafra's irony in action).
Fresh Fruit was the first album I ever bought. A few friends at that time were into DK, and they told me it was brilliant. I thought i'd give it a listen, and man, did it blow my mind. The lyrics are truly inspired, and might I mention, funny. The music rips.

This album has found a permanent home in my 5 disk cd player.
When this one came out, I was blown away. It became my favorite record for about 3 years. Every song is great, the Elvis cover is hilarious and these guys (at least to my impressionable mind) were gonna be the American Sex Pistols! Didn't quite work out that way, but shit happens! My wife and I have 4 different copies of this album!
Fresh fruit for rotting vegetables is the law, it is a masterpiece, just listen to "Holiday in Cambodia"... WOW. The lyrics are great, the singing is great, everything is great! This surely did some change in the punk scene. This one is the law.
Even if this isn't what people consider a great albumn musically or lyrically, it is still a great albumn when you put them together. It's only rival in terms of great punk albumns would live albumns of other bands or possibly Give me Convienience or Give me Death. This is one of the few albumns that sounds like it's live, and it adds to the feel of it. I dont know what you mean by "surf", but i don't hear any. This gets my vote for best albumn all-time (any genre). Jello at his best, before the public tainted him, and the DK's without any excess noise. (Chris Schwarz)
Before I owned any Dead Kennedys albums, I read all of your reviews (many, many times over!) to help determine which one I would eventually purchase. I wasn't too knowledgeable about the Dead Kennedys and their music, but decided to start from the beginning with Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables and work my way up. The first time the song "Kill The Poor" graced my ears, I covered them with my hands and said, "What the fuck is this shit?" (and I LIKE punk!) Mid-way through the song, I cracked a wry smile and knew I was into something good. I didn't really notice the bad/weak production on FFFRV until I listened to the other Dead Kennedys albums, but that still doesn't change my opinion of it. It's a fuckin' classic regardless of the fact that it doesn't sound absolutely pristine because the music, if you'll excuse the pallid, horribly overused buzzword, rocks! I enjoy each of the Dead Kennedys albums in their own unique way because they all have something different to add or put forth. Notwithstanding, FFFRV will always hold a special place in my heart (mainly because it was the first Dead Kennedys album I ever owned), and was my initial rite of passage into DK-dom. (Michael Rohm)
What can I say? The only regret I have in getting into the DKs is that I didn't get into them a WHOLE lot earlier. Biafra has some of the most 'sarcastic' vocals I have ever heard. As a matter of fact, this really shouldn't be for FFRV, since I think all of the DK albums deserve a 10, even though that's against the rules. ;P In a lot of ways, this band has changed my outlook on life - not necessarily that they've changed my opinions so much as they've expressed things that I personally feel. When people think of "punk rock," they typically think of undereducated kids with silly mohawk hair who hate the world. Who would imagine a "punk" band saying, "Our REAL test of strength is *caring*"? One of my all-time favourite DK songs is "Stars and Strips of Corruption," wherein Biafra tells people that caring for your fellow man, not lying and scheming to get what *you* want at the expense of others, and teaching kids communication and theatre is the way to go. Instead of "I wanna destroy!" by the Sex Pistols, Biafra says we must rise above the need for cops and laws - we must, ourselves, "change ourselves first - from the inside out." It is a true shame that the message of the DKs has been ignored because they're not "punk enough," or because they're not on eMpTyVee. And even 10 years later we can read the lyrics to "Riot" in the wake of the Rodney King riots and see that nothing's really changed...
In my opinion, this is the best DK album of all. I like the way it's kinda surfy and all, and I disagree with the people who say the production sux. I like it the way it is and I like the spooky riffs on "Drug Me" or "When ya get drafted" and I especially like the really "evil" sound of "Holiday in Cambodia". I also think the best Biafra vocals can be found here (I especially like the "stimulaaaaaation" part on "Drug Me") and the lyrics aren't as hardcore political as In god we trust, inc.. This one is a classic, and the Sex Pistols' Never mind the bollocks sounds a lot "nicer" than this.
I was introduced to the Dead Kennedys by my friend a year and a half ago. This was the album he had. I borrowed it and taped it. Upon first listening to it, I was surprised by Jello's interesting voice. Quite a distinctive voice. When I first put it on, I was hooked. I loved it. Although not my favorite album, it still ranks up there. The only problem that I have is that there's no sense of unity between all the songs. But they are great tunes in and of themselves. My favourites: "Ill in the Head", "Kill the Poor", "When Ya Get Drafted", "Drug me" (one of my absolute favorites), "Holiday in Cambodia", and of course the comical "Viva Las Vegas"... This is a great album, worth purchasing for those who haven't listened to it. (Elliot Imes)
When I heard about the Dead Kennedys and their song titles, I thought they would be this super-fast punk band with a dark, gruff-voiced singer with super-dark lyrics. Boy, was I wrong. This album is hilarious, offensive, catchy, and so sarcastic and ironic that it blows almost every punk band out of the water. Jello Biafra is one of my idols now, and his lyrics are so perfect and parallel to my beliefs. It sucks that they broke up, but I guess every band has to. Long live DK!!!!!
Yes this is album is worth a ten.

A great start for a great band. This album is diffrent from the others, this was their original sound. Ain't really hardcore, i call this "Old School punk with a Surf Guitar". Listen to "Let's lynch the landlord" its a good punk song, and suddenly you hear a kickass surf solo. That doesn't fit in... then again it DOES. And everyone knows California Uber Alles. (If DK was called Nirvana, California Uber alles would be Smells like Teen Spirit) I Kill children is great. "God told me to skin you alive" YEAH!!! Too bad they got a lot of Nazi Punks at their gigs who didn't know Biafra's lyrics were all ironically meant. (Matthew Saroff)
A couple of comments:

* The Dead Kennedys are actually decent musicians, with stuff like chord progression. There are plenty of technically talented people in Punk, but generally they try to cover it up.

* Mix up a tape with "Holiday in Cambodia" followed by the Monkees "Daydream Believer". It's a trip. (Evan Streb)
If you ask me, this album is best appreciated when you only listen to it like three or four songs at a time. Because some of the songs sound a lot like each other and it gets monotonous (I agree with the similarities between "Stealing People's Mail", "I Kill Children" and "Funland At The Beach"). Great album though.

Am I the only person in the entire world that thinks that the melody to "Let's Lynch The Landlord" is a complete ripoff of that old Nuggets song "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet"? Probably...

I don't think anybody's mentioned this yet, but did you know the Dead Kennedys actually achieved huge success in England? Both the "Too Drunk To Fuck" single and Fresh Fruit (which also went gold) reached the Top fifty in the UK charts. In fact, had "Too Drunk To Fuck" reached number 35 instead of 36, Jello and co. would have gotten a spot on Top Of The Pops! With a song called "Too Drunk to Fuck"! That would have been AWESOME! (Adam Turbit)
tis was my first ever punk record..........this album kicked ass all the way down here in australia....i never get sick of hearing it 20 years later......i kept buying their records after this one.....what sex pistols?????? (James Hippie)
So, uh, yeah, I'm not going to argue that the Dead Kennedys are undeserving of their place in punk's Great Hall of Iconoclasts. Hell, the DK's were my entree into punk rock in the first place. A chance hearing of Fresh Fruits. . . . in the summer of 1980 when I was 13 (also known as Boner Summer) probably saved me from a life monster truck rallies and Judas Priest jerseys, but it could have easily been any band from that era and had the same effect (I just thank Christ it wasn't Fear!) There's absolutely nothing wrong with Fresh Fruits. . . . (although I preferred In God We Trust, and not just because it was faster), but after I had a chance to look around and hear some of the other bands that were out there, well, the Dead Kennedys just seemed rather cartoonish by comparison. If you own Fresh Fruits. . . . and In God We Trust I'd say you pretty much have all you need by them. I don't know many people that bothered with anything after Plastic Surgery Disasters, although that is a great title and cover. You people on here are quite obviously deranged and without taste.

And you know, judging a band primarily on how fast they play is exactly why punk became so regimented and boring in the first place. I think the Dead Kennedys are as boring as fuck, the height of punk rock tedium, but at least they had a distinctive sound that was all their own. All you hardcore clones deserve bands like DRI. You really do. (Alex Stevenson)
An interesting band with a great surf/punk sound. Unfortunately, they are a little too mean spirited. Admit it, if you've got enough money to live in San Francisco and make records, life ain't so bad.
i think that DK is the shit i dont care what any one says.

Iam a long ti me punk and I got started into punk by my older brother and DK is one of the very first punk record i herd( i kill children) is a good song and stealing peoples mail and fund land at the beach. I think it was a good idea to put all the songs together was a good idea (Javier Blanco Perez)
Hi, mr. Mark Prindle. I agree that the first DK album is a masterpiece of punk, but some critics label it as Hardcore, so the question now is that if with Punk Rock, the beginnigs are kinda clear (maybe Ramones first album, and in a more meaner and menacing way, the Sex Pistols only record), and you know that it came after what is called the "proto-punk" era (with the Stooges, New York Dolls, MC5 or Dictators early records), i don't really know when and where Hardcore Punk begins. I supose circa 1980, with this DK debut, or The Circle Jerks first one, maybe Black Flag's Damaged or Minor Threat's self titled Ep in 1981. You know that you can find more punk influence on Dead Kennedy's debut or in the Misfits' walk Among us, or Fear's record than Hardcore influence, and in opposite way you can hear pure Hardcore influence and almost no punk rock on Negative Approach's, SS decontrol, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles or Suicidal Tendencies. So which is the beginning point? Which is the point when new bands left away the more rock influences that spread (in a fuckin' lovely way) the records of bands like Dead Boys, Sex Pistols, Heartbreakers, Radio Birdman, Stiff Little Fingers, etc., and become hardcore punk. Please somebody answer me. Thanx.
This is one of the most energetic early '80's albums I've ever heard. That's nearly all it has going for it.

Has anybody noticed that a full quartet of the songs on here are straight rip-offs of The Clash's "Protex Blue"? And that at least half of the others have the same rhythm as "Blitzkrieg Bop"? And that everybody seems to have a problem when Nirvana plays something on ONE SONG that sounds remotely like Boston? Whatever.

Still, this ain't ALL boredom and unoriginality. It has at least three inarguable classics (California Uber Alles, Lynch the Landlord, and Chemical Warfare), and the instrumental prowess of the bass player is pretty impressive. Plus Jello sounds like a Yank version of Johnny Rotten. And the rest of the songs, though mostly forgettable from a writing standpoint, are at least fast and hilarious. Maybe not the towering rock and roll classic it's made out to be by those who were 13 in 1980 (as well as those 13 now--coicidence? Hell no.), but at least a pleasant diversion from living in fuckin' Kansas in fuckin' January 2005.

Bush? More like TUSH. 'Nuff said.


Add your thoughts?

1978 Demo - Bootleg.
Rating = 9

I nearly squirted jets and streams of jizm all over my mailman's shirt when this disc arrived in the mail for me (luckily I was able to hold off for another thirty seconds so he could have an ass orgasm and I could pull out and shoot in his mouth), and for good reason! This is slower, we're-still-learning-the-songs versions of some of the greatest punk songs mankind has ever known! Demos of half of FRESH FRUIT are here, along with early versions of some popular later tunes (including "Kepone Factory" with different lyrics!), and most excitingly of all - rare tunes you've never heard them do!!! Not just "Dreadlocks Of The Suburbs," but a couple other killer punk tunes and an awe-awe-awesome "creepy" guitar-interplay tune that might remind you of "Ill In The Head," but in a slower, longer way. I forgot the name though, and it could take up to 45 seconds for me to find it for you, so don't hold your breath.

Reader Comments (Evan Streb)
That's disgusting.
I don't have much to say about these demos, but they are fascinating to hear from a historical standpoint if you really like the band.

The band started off as a quartet consisting of Jello, Ray, Klaus and 6025, who was actually the band's first drummer. People say that's the lineup on this release, and that might be true on a song or two, but I definitely hear a second guitar in almost all the songs, and there's no way the band were overdubbing. So I think that the demos are a mix of the original quartet and the quintet with Ted. 6025 switched from drums because the band decided that either he wasn't playing fast enough or he wasn't good enough, and they decided to get Ted, but they still liked 6025 at that point, so they promoted him to second guitarist before he left. I can kind of hear what they were complaining about - some of the demos here are quite pokey, (especially "California Uber Alles," which is slower than a Kiss song) though that's as much Ted's fault as anyone else - but 6025 seems pretty competent where I think he's drumming and sometimes the songs benefit from somewhat slower tempos: "Kepone Kids," which is the one song where I'm sure there's no second guitar, actually sounds better and far more enjoyable as a "Fresh Fruit"-esque swinging sneer than it does as a billion-miles-a-second hardcore rant on "In God We Trust" called "Kepone Factory."

Basically, it shows that the band was already unique in 1978 - I still think no hardcore band sounded like the Dead Kennedys did on most of their releases - and that even some of the songs they didn't end up releasing were great: "Dreadlocks of the Suburbs" is a hoot and a holler, "Kidnap" sounds like it could have fit in on "Fresh Fruit" with no problem, "Cold Fish" sounds like the Dead Kennedys' version of a blues-rock song, complete with overactive lead guitar (and it's fucking hilarious), and "Mutations of Today" is one of the most completely off-the-wall, fucking bizarre songs they ever did, which is no mean feat. Unsurprisingly, it's a 6025 tune, who also wrote "Ill In The Head," which has a similar composition style. The tracks with unknown titles are just fragments, though one of them sounds like a dry run for "Ill In The Head" - it has that distinctly sick chromatic riffing style that characterizes 6025 songs. There's also a hilariously awful version of "Viva Las Vegas" where the drummer struggles to play the beat correctly and Jello sings completely off-key at the end.

Man, the Dead Kennedys were such a consistent band. These demos are only worth it if you really like the band, but they're worth hearing if you do.

Add your thoughts?

In God We Trust, Inc. EP - Alternative Tentacles 1981.
Rating = 9

They replaced their drummer with a Rastafarian who can play about eighty times faster than the other guy, and hooeee Dave Thomas of Wendy's fame, did they take advantage of it. The first six songs are interchangeable hardcore rants clocking in at about a minute apiece, then there's a lounge jazz update of "California Uber Alles" and a funny punk cover of "Rawhide." This record certainly wouldn't make one a fan of hardcore music, but if you're already a fan, you'll dig the hole out of it. "Religious Vomit" is hilarious, and "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" is an extremely ballsy statement for Biafra to make considering (a) DK audiences were chock full of Nazi punks, and (b) Nazi punks are, generally speaking, huge people. The other songs are similar to those on the first album, but much shorter and quicker.

Although not exactly highly-respected by music critics, it's still a pretty dang funny record if you aren't a-feared of fast noisy blasphemy. And the cover drawing of a golden Christ figure being crucified on a cross of dollar bills is wonderful (and, of course, got them banned from several chain record stores).

Reader Comments (Gerwyn Evans)
In God We Trust is one of the DK's best albums - it is so fast and sounds heaps good. The new drummer was heaps better. "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" is the best song and I agree with the lyrics strongly. (Krizman)
I really like In God We Trust, the best out of the five DK albums I've heard. "Religious Vomit" and "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" are the greatest. (Peter Nicholson)
You would have to say that his album is the epitomy of punk thinking. "Nazi Punks..", "Moral Majority" and "Religious Vomit" are the three best songs of the DK's first couple of records, as they are more confronting than any others, I believe. This is the quintessential punk rock record. (Jim Johnson)
This is the all time best fucken record. It starts out good and ends with a bash. The only bad sone is "DOG BITE." But is there one album that does not have a bad song? DK Fucken Rock and there ain't no more.
Peligro was dreadlocked but I don't think he was a Rasta. Listening to the EP today, I'm still overwhelmed by the sense of urgency about---snotty and angry and genuinely concerned about the power of the schmucks condemned in the songs. These are perhaps the most straightforward (lyrically) songs Jello has ever penned (with the exception of the surreal/hardcore "Dog Bite"), probably due to the fact that songs like "KIll The Poor" were often misunderstood by the jock types that were beginning to flood the hardcore scene.
Let's please not forget the cassette version of this record, which featured a blank side so you could bootleg your favorite corporate rock band. One of the absolute coolest things I had ever seen. ..and "Dog Bite" doesn't suck, yet it captures the "studio live-ness" of the album with the "hold it, too slow" beginning. (Rice)
Although the first two songs on this record are THE SAME SONG this album is still great. "We've Got A Bigger Problem Now" is just great. The way Jello just replaced lyrics of "California Uber Alles" is so awesome. And its not like he said ok we need another song to fill up space in this album, it's like he saw that bastard Ronald Reagan for what he was and stuck it to him! That one song alone gets my adrenalin pumping faster just by listening to it! BANDS THAT ENTERTAIN AS WELL AS MAKE YOU THINK RULE!!
In God We Trust, Inc. The name, first of all, is a statement of what religion has devolved into in America. (Everywhere else, for that matter) Bible-bashing TV evangelists caring for nothing more than the dollar. It has become a business.

"Nazi Punks" is a brilliant song.

"We've got a bigger problem now" is the best song on the album. It pumps out dissatisfaction of Ronny's policies and points out where it's all heading for. This song really gets the blood pumping unlike any other.

Yet another great album.
A real letdown. The songs thrashed so much that they became indisguinshable and the jokes are lost. Jello during this period was stating how this was a "response" record to the early Hardcore but it was not their finest hour. (Chris Schwarz)
Very, very fast! In God We Trust, Inc. is, without a doubt, the VERY EMBODIMENT of hardcore punk and what hardcore punk means. This fuckin' shreds. No bullshit. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables is more esoteric, more read-between-the-lines type political humor and content, whereas In God We Trust, Inc. is Jello saying the same thing - only in a much more frank and angrier way. The songs are short, fast, funny, and to-the-point. This album contains so much energy, too, and I bet it pissed off an armada of religious fundies upon its release. (The collage picture of the old religious fart with glasses ripping the In God We Trust, Inc. record sleeve in half says it all!) The cover art can't be beaten! I want to get it tattooed on my back!
Yeah, this one is pretty cool too, the most hardcore of all their albums. I love "Religious Vomit" and "Nazi punks fuck off" is so damn cool, because it deals with problems within the punk scene (As does some stuff on Bedtime for democracy like "Anarchy for sale" and "Chicken shit conformist"), and it also deals with stuff that is real, happening and not made up. The lyrics, however, are a bit too... Biafra type (whatever that means) for somebody, who isn't into politics.. I mean this isn't the album for your average NOFX-rule-I-m-a-punk punks. They will go :"Uh huh..." and look real scared after Jello finishes "Moral Majority", which is real cool. I just hate "Dog bite", because it's too long! I mean, why does he sing the whole lyrics twice, when they are this dumb? Or maybe I'm dumb...
This record sounds like punk should sound: fast and aggressive. It's my all-time favourite. I had one big orgasm listening to it. Wow, it's great. (Luke)
inc. was the first dk i bought (Elliot Imes)
So what if "Religious Vomit" and "Moral Majority" are basically the same song? They both kick ass, and they both have lyrics that make me give an "amen" to Jello. And "Nazi Punks" is just plain great, although it's probably one of the reasons that Jello got the crap kicked out of him that one time. Anyway, this is a great add-on to Plastic Surgery Disasters (which is just barely not as good as IGWTI).
hey i just got this album a few days ago and it totally rules. in my opinion, its better than fresh fruit. "religious vomit" and "moral majority" and "hyperactive child" totally rip my flesh off and "we've got a bigger problem" is hilarious and it is also a great song. my only complaint about this one is that the songs are so fast that east bay ray doesn't really get a chance to do his "surf" thing on the guitar which is one of the big reasons that i love this band. and this is in response to the guy who said "nazi punks fuck off" is the reason jello got the crap kicked out of him-no, thats not the reason. the stupid asses who beat him up thought that he was some rich rock star.
this is the best cd ever created fuck off nazi punk all religions make me ill
In God We Trust, Inc. is by far the best album, along with Fresh Fruit. Today I was downtown and two other people and I got into a conversation about the radio station playing in the store we were in. One guy was complaining about the station not playing Bare naked ladies. I complained that it had never played Dead Kennedys. The first guy didn't know who DK were. I explained to him that they were the best band ever. The third guy, who I thought listened to oldies, spoke up at my mention of DK, and added "They are also the most talented, most intelligent, most literate band ever to show it's face on Earth." I couldn't agree more. The Dead Kennedys broke up well over a decade ago, yet they are still the best band to ever put out an album.
Allright they're trying anything to piss Republicans off, lyrically of course they already did like with the release of the "Too drunk to fuck" 7". And now musically. Let's make some NOISE!!!! And thats what this is, noise. Sure it's hardcore punk but i dont find the songs catchy. They're just trying to play as loud as possible. What makes this one worth buying is California Uber Alles part two: We've got a bigger problem now, and the kickass Rawhide cover. DK is a great band but if you want Superfast hardcore punk that kicks ass try the first SUICIDAL TENDENCIES album (Lachlan Watt)
Dead Kennedys was the first punk band I really got into and they certaintly mean a lot to me. While Plastic Surgery Disasters remains my favourite Dead Kennedys album, the In God We Trust Inc. EP is great because it shows that the band never took themselves too seriously. I guess they left the hardcore evangelism to MDC.

BTW, the "old religious fart with glasses" in the collage art is actually Winston Smith, the artist who designed the album cover, the DK and AT logos, and came up with a bunch of the material for Jello's collages.
Great music! Great Album artwork! Great Package! I honestly think this is when "Punk Rock" reached it's peak......
okay the authors of the songs were never printed in the booklet of this record they were on the 12" but not the CD comp with plastic surgery: so heres who wrote the songs for this album
Religious Vomit-6025
Moral Majority, Hyperactive Child, Depone Factory, Nazi Punks Fuck Off-Biafra Dog Bite-Klaus Flouride
Weve Got A Bigger Problem Now-all the DK's plus John Greenway who helped Jello write the original California Uber Alles
Rawhide-i forget these guys's names they wrote the Rawhide TV theme song
A great album. The songs are fast and furious and the lyrics are thoughtful and funny. I especially like "Religious Vomit", which is so fast that you cant even understand what Jello is saying unless you read the lyrics, and even then its kinda hard to follow. Hilarious song though. "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" is a great song as well, really makes fun of those wanna-be dumb-fuck "punks" who think punk is all about violence and shit like that. Very short, but awesome album. 9/10. (Ben M.)
For the most part, this is generic hardcore. What makes it different is Jello's unique voice. So with that in mind, I'd say this gets a 7.

The first song and last 2 songs are good. "Religious Vomit" is pretty catchy, and the first minute of "Moral Majority" makes me chuckle. The other songs passable but nowhere near the best the DK's have to offer, it's not even the best hardcore. "We've Got A Bigger Problem Now" and "Rawhide" are happy fun tracks, but not their best.

This record has energy, but it's a let down for me. "In God We Trust Inc" would be more enjoyable if the DK's used their vicious/hilarious satire off their other albums. This is too straight forward. The only reason it was made was to piss off Christians with the cover, it's why the album was made, the cover. Great picture though (even if I am a practicing catholic).

In conclusion, this is a rather bland release for the idiots who don't understand the humor of their previous album. Christians, politicians, and punks alike. The DK's were a great band and were talented musicians, but this record was too rushed to make decent music it seems. If you want speedy hardcore/thrash played by great musicians, check out Bad Brains' debut. (Sandra Terry)
Just reading about this album makes me nostalgic for my "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" armband that came with the record. 'Course, I had to add inch long cleat spikes from Foot Locker to the outsides of my boots when I wore the thing in public. "Trash a bank if you got real balls", shit yeah! Dissing Republicans and Christians really wasn't as dangerous as us reactionary poser punque roquers made it out to be, but when the Nazi punks were hit with the reality of what Jello thought of them, they were madder than an art fag at a Thomas "Painter of Light" Kinkade gallery. Saying that Nazis are bad seems like a whole lot o' nuthin' in these topsy-turvy days when hippies and punks are practically interchangeable, but it was dangerous back then! Good thing for Jello he lived in Frisco; lots of us speculated that he might get snuffed when they played in places like Washington state. But one thing people tend to overlook when talking about the DK's was how much fun they my not at all humble opinion, too much attention is paid to the political aspects of their (admittedly strongly political) music. "Rawhide" and "Viva Las Vegas" are pure giddy glee and "Too Drunk To Fuck"...well, just saying the title out loud puts a grin on the ol' piehole every time! Also, Jello is a great singer; his wobbly noise blows Marilyn Manson's wobbly noise to smithereens.

Add your thoughts?

Interview Disc - Red Door 1981.
Rating = 7

It says "Dead Kennedys," but it's really just a twenty-minute interview with Jello Biafra. The interviewer is a British man who says "...sort of..." about sixty million times, and Jello sounds all stuffed-up as he recites the same things he says in every interview - Reagan sucks, the Religious Right sucks, the FBI reads his mail, etc. Still, he's a fairly entertaining speaker, so it's a fun enough listen - and it's a picture disc!!! So you can lick his cute little chest all you want.

I mean...uhh...if you're one of them.

Add your thoughts?

Plastic Surgery Disasters - Alternative Tentacles 1982.
Rating = 9

One of the most irritatingly-produced records I've ever heard. The guitar is too tinny, the bass and drums are all muffled, and it's all so damn messy! Still, the melodies are there - in spades! ? Guitarist East Bay Ray has his foot all over that delay pedal, trading in distorted barre chords for the high-pitched echoey psycho-surf noise I described in the special introductory paragraph, and the bass lines are unceasingly terrific. As messy as this album is, there's no obscuring the sick loveliness of "Moon Over Marin," the hopelessness of "Dead End," or the amazingly intense chaos of the masterpiece "Riot" ("Tomorrow you're homeless..../Tonight it's a blast!"). Plus, all the speedy ones on side one are fine too - in the In God We Trust, Inc. tradition, but even more paranoid.

I've always complained about the production on this album, but I recently ran across an old Jello interview in which he states that they purposely made it sound annoying - you see, he felt that this particular lo-fi reverbed high-pitched muddy pain in the neck sound was just the thing to adequately complement his paranoid political musings. Well, I'll give him this: it certainly doesn't sound like any other hardcore album ever made (thank God!). Luckily for us, most of the melodies and arrangements are stunning enough to overcome the slackass manner in which they are presented to us.

Reader Comments (Vasco Rodrigues)
I've never paid attention to that really. I thought it was due to my tape recording since I've never had the chance to listen to it on a record player.
I LOVED the production on this! It sounds so great, (tinny is a great description) and scratchy. Beautiful. Some classic songs on this one too, "Govt. Flu," "Moon Over Marin." (Gerwyn Evans)
This is the best Dead Kennedys album ever, full stop. Name me a bad song. (Peter Nicholson)
I would like to echo Gerwyn Evans's comment: this album rules. You don't listen to punk rock for the musical quality! (John Zinger)
Regarding your beef with the production of the Plastic Surgery Disasters album: I don't understand the legitimacy of your complaints on the production and sound of it. The album sounds excellent (very clean, crisp, energetic, etc.) to my ears! =) Upon listening to it I found nothing wrong with the sound quality or the production -- and I still don't. In fact, I like the production/sound on it -- it makes the album sound much more powerful and in-your-face than Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. The second you hear the first few bars of the first song, "Government Flu", you can tell how much more power and energy there is on the album than on Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. You used the description "tinny", etc. for the guitars too, but I really don't notice that at all. In any case, a few people who have also posted their comments for others to see (DougS, Gerwyn, Peter, etc.) have said that they think Plastic Surgery Disasters is the best Dead Kennedys album ever. I would have to agree with them. For me it's a tie between Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, Plastic Surgery Disasters, and In God We Trust, Inc. -- but I would have to say that Plastic Surgery Disasters definitely shows the Dead Kennedys at their very best. (Michael Gilmartin)
Plastic Surgery Disasters is my favorite album of all time. When I was a teenager, the intro to this album scared the crap out of me... I LOVE IT!!! (Tim Moore))
Plastic Surgery Disasters is THE best DK album by far.

amber@chelsea - (Paul Heidtman)
plastic surgery disasters is the one album solely responsible for making me into a punk. when i was in the 7th grade, i broke my leg and the doctor said i'd be in bed for at least 3 weeks. i literally had no music collection at the time, and my mom who was all broken up about my injury asked me if there was anything i wanted to keep me occupied. i knew all i wanted was music (i hate t.v.) but i wasn't sure what i wanted. then i remembered that a few weeks earlier a friend of mine played me a song by the dead kennedys and i liked it so i said i wanted a dead kennedys tape. the next day she brings home plastic surgery disasters and i loved the fuck out of that tape! I listened to it every day, all day until i fell asleep for 3 weeks straight. when i went back to school, i "borrowed" my dad's headphones to listen to it at school whenever i could. when i got caught in school listening to it, i was sent to the principal's office where i was told it would be confiscated. i thought to myself "fuck that" and i hobbled out the door with my cast and crutches and skipped school for the very first time. i just waited 2 hours until the bus came, listening to dead kennedys the whole time. my love for this album is unprecedented. not only is it a kick ass album by the best punk band ever, but from there it became a gateway for me to experience new, exciting music. from that day on, i was a punk, i knew my role in life. i now am a proud owner of every dead kennedys cd (even a few bootlegs [shame on me]), all of jello biafra's solo projects, spoken word cd's, coalitions with d.o.a., nomeansno, and recently mojo nixon. the dead kennedys kick ass and anyone who badmouths this album is a fuck! thank you.
Plastic Surgery Disasters is the Dead Kennedys album that all others try to measure up to! This album's got it all: thumpin' drums, crazy bass, wailin' guitar and JELLO'S SARCASTIC, NASAL LYRICS AT THEIR VERY BEST!!! In my opinion, this record leads the pack because a) the mix of songs are good (not one bad one, I'd say), b) the lyrics are the best ever with so much political wit and humor to them (see "Government Flu", "Trust Your Mechanic", "Well Paid Scientist", "Halloween", "Bleed For Me", "I Am The Owl" and "Moon Over Marin"), and c) to release a first album like Fresh Fruit... is amazing, but to follow it up with something even better (the best ever!) in such a short amount of time afterward (1-2 yrs.) is FUCKIN' UNBELIEVABLE!!! I didn't think they could match (or even top!) Fresh Fruit..., but they did -- Plastic Surgery Disasters IS IT, baby! BEWARE - THIS IS THE RECORD YOUR MOTHER/CHURCH/SCHOOL WARNED YOU ABOUT!!! (Not Peter Nicholson)
I just noticed in the Plastic Surgery review that you wrote "thank God". Now, why did you put an upper case 'g' on god? Not like the almighty, all powerful piece of shit even exists, so why give the all non-existent one the privilege of upper case? Anyway, the album rules, and does not come out of my 3-disc carousel for more than a day at a time.
personally, I think this is the best I>I< album. The best tracks are "Terminal Preppie," "Forest Fire," and "Moon Over Marin." The songs have so much meaning. Remember - there will always be a moon over Marin!!!!
This is definitely the best. I agree with most of the other people who have left comments. This was the first album by DK that i ever heard and even though it does sound "tinny" it's still the best one ever.
Quite possibly the best American Punk/Hardcore album of the's musically explosive, combining fast as hell psychedelic-hardcore (?--if there is such a thing, this is it) with odd little touches like the intro to "RIOT," the tango horns on "TERMINAL PREPPIE," the slow parts in "TRUST YOUR MECHANIC," and the great spoken word/noise intro & outro. Jello's lyric's are as snotty, sincere, and humorous as ever, the LP's unique sound (which hooked me instantly) is impossible to ignore, and the packaging is great--specifically the booklet of collages by Jello & Winston Smith (a chaotic collage for each song). On CD it's packaged with IN GOD WE TRUST, INC, making it one of the most powerful politico-punk statements to erupt from the USA.

rojanko@pacbellnet (Rob Krohn)
God I hate the production too! Great album that sounds terrible (if that makes any sense). It's Klaus' finest hour and we can't hardly hear him, except at the beginning of songs. He's covered up with East Bay's guitars which sound like they were recorded in a lavatory with sandwich wrap covering the amps. Every word Jello sings with an "S" sound in it sounds like "ssssssssth"

I don't understand it. John Cuniberti (one of the producers) should have been sacked - he's at least partially responsible for Bedtime for Democracy sounding bad too.

Songs are great though. But I like side 1 better. I liked DK in their "short song" mode better overall. 4/5 songs on side 2 are great; I didn't like "I Am The Owl." All songs on side 1 are wonderful; "Well-Paid Scientist" and "Buzzbomb" are a couple of the best DK songs. (Thorbjoern Mann)
I think you fucking complain too damn much! "This is too slow" or "that's not MIXED well enough!" Maybe you should shut your fucking mouth and remember that the lyrics are what counts, even if the song isnt fast enough for your "punk" taste.
I've just gotta say that I agree that it doesn't matter if the music is sloppy; a wise man once said "punk is about playing as sloppy as you want as long as its got spirit." I have to agree with him. Oh, by the way, that wise man was Kurt Cobain.
This album is definitely the best DK album ever made. I love the crazy basslines and the high pitched guitar. It also has a lot of songs which makes it even better. This is the only album that I have found without any bad songs.
Tinny? Maybe, maybe not. WHO CARES? This album has ATMOSPHERE. I defy you to find one bad track on it. There are so many classics. "Well Paid Scientist", "Trust Your Mechanic", "Forest Fire", "Buzzbomb", "Riot", "Moon Over Marin."

Get the picture? And to follow up two *Great* albums Fresh Fruit and In God is simply an indication of the brilliance of Dead Kennedys.

This is by far my favourite album of all time.
A great recovery- This album slows down the thrash a little but adds more punch then Fresh Fruit. A terrific combination of both sounds. "Moon Over Marin" is an epic! I never noticed the tinny production- always figured that was part of their sound.

Hate to sound repetitive here, but PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS is not only the best DK album, but possibly the best album I have ever heard. Song after song of gritty lo-fi punk rock heaven (or hell??). The band is at their strongest and tightest, and Jello's lyrics on the album are the most finely tuned, pointed, barbed spears that ever tattered the flesh of the Great White American Underbelly. A+ to PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS.
I love the sight!! I must say that "moon over marin" is one of my favorite songs of all time, by ANY BAND. This is the perfect activist song against pollution. There aren't many songs that I can say I enjoy today as much as I did 7 years ago!! This is one of them.. Long live JELLO!!!!
I think that this is the best album by the DK`s......"moon over marin" is their best song EVER!!!!
I'm listening to that cd right now, and honestly, I've never considered the sound quality of it at all. It is a superb album and is more than worthy of the praise that has been given to it in the messages. I like the guitar a lot more. It is very unique, and they are very good at setting mood or atmosphere in their music. It's unbelievable. Although not one of my favorites, it has some stellar songs.... My favorites: "Government Flu", "Trust Your Mechanic" (one of the best on the album), "Buzzbomb", "Halloween", "Moon over Marin".
Plastic Surgery Disasters is the most kick ass record ever. Production sounds fine, except for maybe the bass. "Riot" is quite possibly the best DK song ever. (Elliot Imes)
Not as good as Fresh Fruit, but still fantastic. I love the message in "Well Paid Scientist", and "Trust Your Mechanic" is just fuckin hilarious. I've also come to the conclusion that it's impossible to hate "Terminal Preppie" (unless you're a prep or a jock, of course). The only drawback is the long intro before "Government Flu." But even that intro is hilarious, so it doesn't really matter. My favorite DK line ever: "Pull up to your sterile home/ You're drained/ Bite the heads off your kids/ Chew them well, they taste like you/ Just slam the door." Pure insanity. Jello is a twisted man. But a smart one.
This one kicks ass just as Fresh Fruit does. The production is A LOT diffrent though, all the instruments sound a lot heavier. especially the drums. And the songs are a lot more complicated. Don't expect simple songs like California uber alles anymore! The intro kicks ass with the creepy chick, and then it bursts into Goverment Flu starting with the kickass surf notes. Also Trust Your Mechanic and Well paid scientist kick ass, and so does Forest Fire. And Moon over Marin is a kickass Ballad in DK style. A few songs that suck though. like Terminal Preppie. The trumpets just don't fit in here. Id give this album a 7. (Ahnsu Adennorsn)
Well let me say that it's about fucking time that I've found someone who appreciates "Dead End" and "Riot". The whole album is a balls to the wall version of everything Crass could have been (but failed) and some of the best progressive punk songs ever waxed, but as far as I'm concerned "Riot" and "Dead End" were always major standouts for me. Riot as far as I'm concern does one of the best jobs I've ever heard of capturing the emotion of a moment musically and letting the lyrics paint a chaotic scene in your imagination. Just about the time Jello sings "Throwing a brick never felt so damn good" combined with the "quicky-getting-even-more-insane" guitaring of East Bay Ray sends chills up my spine every single time I hear it... Dead End is just a song that is never mentioned by anyone and could very well be one of their best musical moments. The dreary, slow, sonicy surf-punk hum of this song should send any average listener into ecstasy, but most people I've heard from don't even listen to the second side of the LP to begin with. Doesn't it sound like one of those songs you just know will end up in a Tarintino film one of these days (assuming Jello lets em use it)? Anyway, I go back and forth between this record and Fresh Fruit in which one is the best, but this record is certainly one of the top 5 punk rock records ever released.
The lyrics and vocals for "Forest Fire" are the craziest, wackiest, and funniest I've ever heard!!! This song simply smokes! Does Biafra always talk like that, too?
this album beats the fuck out of Fresh Fruit.when i first got it i only liked 4 or 5 songs and then the more i heard it the more i like it.the best song is moon over i the only person who thinks Frankenchrist is as good as this album?anyway i didnt like In god we trust,inc as much as plastic surgery but thats still a good album
"Plastic Surgery Disasters" was the Dead Kennedys' biggest attempt to break out of the confines of hardcore while still remaining punk. It contained a lot of great music, but there were problems with it. I wouldn't hesitate to say that "Plastic Surgery Disasters" is one of the least powerful Dead Kennedys releases. It's still amazingly good, but out of the DK's stellar catalog, it comes off as more than a little forced at times. For one, we've got the astoundingly bad "Winnebago Warrior," which gives new meaning to the term "incompetent drivel" - what the hell is Jello trying to say here, that people who drive Winnebagos and litter everywhere are really bad guys, people who think of themselves as "Yankee pioneers" and such? Thanks, Jello, I deduced that one for myself. Aside from the fact that the song is just pitifully dated, it doesn't fit in with the rest of the album thematically or musically - Klaus Flouride's bassline sounds like Joy Division-era Peter Hook with two fingers and a Saturday morning cartoon fetish. It's that annoying. And that semi-operatic wailing in the background is also terrible.

But really, Jello is the problem with this album - the music, aside from that one song, is unrelenting, sharpened like razor wire, and terrifyingly atmospheric. Yes, the production is a little irritating, but even that sometimes has the effect of heightening the song's atmosphere. What's wrong with the album is the lyrics. Simply, Jello's at his worst here. He really didn't put thought into some of these. "Halloween" has fantastic music - a brilliant hardcore smasher with a great rhythmic bounce - but those lyrics are lame: "So it's Halloween / And you feel like dancin' / And you feel like shinin' / And you feel like letting loose / Whatcha gonna be / Babe, you better know / And you better plan / Better plan all day / Better plan all week / Better plan all month / Better plan all year" - oh wow, like, deep, Jello. That so to-tal-ly slaughters uptight people, you know, just gets me wet with envy...those lyrics suck worse than Paris Hilton with her two front teeth knocked out. Concluding a song with "Why don't you take your social regulations and shove 'em up your ass" was better left to a song by a standard hardcore band, which the Dead Kennedys never, ever were. They were better than this lyrically on almost all of their other albums. "Buzzbomb" suffers from the same problem as "Halloween," and "Trust Your Mechanic" doesn't even make sense - blame your *mechanic* for the problems besetting you? This is just idiotic. Also, they're not even funny anymore, which they always were in the past - the biggest attempt at humor on the entire album is "Winnebago Warrior," which I've already trashed enough.

Fortunately, the music is so unceasingly terrific as to make most of these problems significantly less bothersome. Jello's delivery is at it's most venomous, Ray's guitar playing is inspirational, evil, and totally distinctive, Klaus's bass is almost always extremely and brilliantly melodic, and Peligro's drumming is heavy as hell while still allowing the music to shine through (as opposed to parts of "In God We Trust, Inc."). The riffs are almost always fantastically memorable, and when Biafra's lyrics are really on form, the songs are crushingly powerful. "Riot," "I Am The Owl," "Dead End," "Moon Over Marin," "Well Paid Scientist," "Government Flu," "Terminal Preppie" (which is hilarious) - all just brilliant, and "Forest Fire" is notably bilious and gonzoid even within this band's discography. But overall, the paranoia and the lyrical blunders don't always make this the best Dead Kennedys album for me.
*In response to: (Gerwyn Evans)*
This is the best Dead Kennedys album ever, full stop. Name me a bad song

"Winnebago Warrior" sucks shit. Everything else is great though, and this is the best DK's album because the guitar playing is more interesting than on Fresh Fruit, and Jello makes a clearer (and more vivid) album lyrically as well. Frankenchrist I used to think was best, but this one never stops being creative, each song different from the last, unlike Fresh Fruit, and the song writing is more sucessful than on later albums.

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Spend the 4th of July With The Dead Kennedys - Bootleg 1982.
Rating = 6

One of the worst sounding bootlegs I've ever heard. There is this godawful tape hiss covering the entire CD, making every great song scrape at your brain like a midget with a flying saucer. The songs are great though and Jello Biafra shits out lots of funny political stage patter, including beginning "Bleed For Me" with a synopsis of "Kinky Sex Makes The World Go 'Round"! But you haven't gotten that far. Keep reading. If I even mention that song. I probably don't. Okay, stop reading immediately, if only because of the POSSIBILITY that I may not have mentioned that song. We cannot accept such a fate. The world will not have it. Not you, not me, not Larry McGee. Spurt? Padiddle! Padiddly-doodly-doo! FWEE! Poop! Poop!

Who the hell does Martin Teller think he is, calling me "contrived"?

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Live At The Olympic 8/84 - Bootleg 1984.
Rating = 6

Another of the worst sounding bootlegs I've ever heard. Jesus, didn't anybody sneak 24-track studios into musical clubs back in the '80s? This one is about 18 minutes long and fades in and out and in and out like the words of a boring minister as he puts himself to sleep with sodium pentathol. The stage patter is great though, especially a short parody of "Whole Lotta Love" called "Whole Lotta Bucks." Another great part comes (reaches orgasm) at the end of "Nazi Punks Frig You" when some punk dumbo keeps screaming "Fuck off!" into the mic and Jello grabs it back and chides disgustedly, "Let go of the mic, boy - Jesus Christ!" I also really like that part where East Bay Ray tries to play a bluesy thang and Jello goes, "No, we're not gonna play 'La Grange'!" And how about that other part where he says that hilarious thing? And near the end there when he goes "doodly-doodly" and jams a screwdriver over and over into the bass player's eye?

Awwww I laughed so hard at that, I nearly bit Sandra Day O'Connor's clitoris clear off!

Say, while we're discussing clitorises -- now I don't mean to be arguing with the writers of Seinfeld here, but isn't the word pronounced "CLIT-eris"? I always thought "cli-TOR-is" was wrong. What's your opinion on this important matter? Let me know so I can tell my boss before she goes on maternity leave.

Reader Comments
Clitoris is pronounced with the stress on the first sylable. It also doesn't end with "es".

Yours truly,
Helen Hunt.
I collect a lot of live bootleg shows, and there are two venues that seem to have been fucking impossible to get a good sounding tape from: the Hong Kong Café, and the Olympic Auditorium. Why the hell did all the bands choose to play their cool unreleased songs at these two venues so I have to listen to them fade in and out for the whole recording? It's a big conspiracy, I tell you.

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Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death - Alternative Tentacles 1987.
Rating = 9

Actually not released until after the band broke up, this is a compilation of all the pre-Frankenchrist material that Jello could find in the vaults - generic punk B-sides, fantastic early double-guitar live tracks (including the :20 "I Like Short Songs"), early versions of Fresh Fruit classics, jokes, spoken word experiments, lounge jazz, musical parodies, plus some true classics like "Police Truck," "Too Drunk To Fuck," and "Life Sentence" that had been hard to find for quite some time.

Seventeen songs await your punk rock ear on this baby, most of them extremely entertaining. Plus, this one avoids the annoying DK practice of releasing albums wherein, due to thoughtless production, certain songs have the tendency to disappear into the wallpaper of that which surrounds them; featuring production by SIX different people, Give Me Convenience ensures that you'll be able to tell each song apart, even if the melodies don't vary all that much. So if it's diversity you're lookin' for, pick this one up. It'll give you a decent overview of all of the different sorts of music that this talented combo was capable of creating. Funny cover, too. And it comes with a wonderful little book! Actually, I think they all do! Buy DK LPs and you'll get special treats!

Reader Comments (Bad Mutha Fucka)
The Dead Kennedys were the first punk band I ever heard. And they are still my favourite today. I love everything by DK. My sister just made me a tape one day and said "listen to this" cos she wanted to get me into interesting sutff. So I did, and it had some Dead Kennedys songs on it. I loved it! It was all I listened to for a few months. Now I have all their records, and I`d hafta say my favourite would be Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death...gotta love that surf guitar. The musik kicks ass and the political views are rad. I am still looking for A Skateboard Party...if you know if any mail order carries it, please tell me. Anyway, I`d like to say this site rules. Thanks. Oh! My friend was telling me about how when his dad was in the Navy, and when the seamen (hehe) got a break, they went to a DK show cos they saw a flyer. This guy`s dad went right up near the PAs and it blew his eardrum out so he got out of the Navy. They weren`t sposta be at the show, and he said it was the loud guns on the ship. Cheers. (Lucas Moore)
Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death is certainly the best album but the versions of "California Uber Alles" and "Holiday In Cambodia" are crap. "Pull my Strings" is a hilarious attack on all that new wave eighties shit. I totally agree with the Lyrics of "Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round." If you are looking for a relatively recent band, try Aus Rotten. (James M. Poli)
I saw a fifteen year old kid on the street wearing a DK jacket thumbing his nose at the law. I thought: What an Idiot.

Give Me Convenience..... is the best album of the Punk genre. Working in silicon valley, I'm constantly reminding people who bitch about their jobs and bosses that they'd work harder with guns in their backs for bowls of rice if they were in Cambodia. (David Marote)
"Short Songs" is great & even shorter than most songs by the Minutemen. (see your punk history textbooks.) Too bad Give Me Convenience... has the cheap mix of "Holiday in Cambodia" & not the ballsy, guitar-heavy version (towards the end of which Jello frantically chants "Pol Pot Pol Pot Pol Pot Pol Pot" at extremely high speed) that set my musical gonads aflame when I first heard it on KROQ (Los Angeles) in the fall of 1980. (Ant)
I'm not really a punk or anything; I listen to all sorts of shit. But I couldn't help liking the DKs. A goth/indie nightclub I used to go to was always playing "California..." and sometimes "Cambodia". I made a mental note back then that one day I'd buy a dead kens album, and this Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death is the one I've eventually got 3 years on. Love it to bits. The first ten songs are better than the last seven, but they're all good. (Jason Hughes)
I am a 23 year old surfer from Durban (S.A.) and have been listening to the DK's for 9 years now. They had a big influence on a lot of my friends' surfing careers (breaking legs pogo-ing at parties), and I must just say that Give me..... is definitely the best album they ever made.
Give Me Convenience isn't too bad. It has quite a few songs that I never heard before. I like the production of this album. "Police Truck" is the best song on the album. I absolutely love the lyrics, and the intro sounds really cool.

What more is there to say? Yet another well thought out Dead Kennedys release.
I feel this album is for more of a fan who only has a low majority of their other albums. I think it's just a best of album. favourites on the album are- "California Uber Alles" (even though their version on fresh fruit.. was much faster better and pumped more raw punk energy) "Holiday in Cambodia" (again better in the first album) "Pull My strings" (a song which plain mocks all of their past stuff- quite a cool song) "Life sentence" (an excellent song- it was ahead of its time when it was released because it now resembles any Pennywise or Offspring riff- very,very cool song) and......"The Night of the Living Rednecks" (what can i say?) Long live jello, ray, ted, klaus and darren!
You ought to get this just for "Night of the Living Rednecks" if you live in Oregon. It's one of the funniest stories I ever heard. DK and Winston Smith are the greatest.
Unfortunately, only being 19 years old, I was unable to see the Dead Kennedys live. But I respect and admire them.... Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death is a remarkable album of their b-sides. Versions of "Holiday in Cambodia" and "Calfornia Uber Alles" are sub par..... Although not characteristic of DK, i like the song "Too Drunk To Fuck"... Not because of the lyrics, but because of the great riff by East Bay Ray....

My favorites: "Too Drunk to Fuck", "I Fought the Law", "Pull My Strings", "Night of the Living Rednecks", "Saturday Night Holocaust". (Elliot Imes)
Another classic DK record. One of my favorites has to be "Pull My Strings", if not just for the "Is my cock big enough, is my brain small enough" part. Every song is great, and after listening to "Night of the Living Rednecks" you will have a greater respect for Jello, if you didn't already. Hoo hah. A 9.
Yes!!!! more Fresh Fruit songs! Too Drunk to fuck!!!! Police Truck!!!! well lets say side A totally kicks ass, it has got a lot of unreleased old songs that u should OWN if u like DK, side B isn't that good. It has got live songs with crappy production and strange versions of previously RELEASED songs. Still Id give it an 8. (Ben Guevara)
Hell yeah man DK kicks so much ass . My favorite song on that CD is either Too Drunk To Fuck or I Fought The Law And I Won. You kick ass
"Saturday Night Holocaust"--One of the creepiest Goddamned songs ever. (Anthony Bozdogan)
Give me convenience..... not their best album but thats only cos they were so fuckin good. POLICE TRUCK and STRAIGHT A's are easily the best songs and still relevant today. But FRANKENCHRIST is better!
A fascinating little comp, definitely a 9. One of the band's best releases, and for a band so consistently high-quality, that's saying something...

Police Truck, Too Drunk To Fuck, and Life Sentence are all fantastic - is Life Sentence one with D.H. on it? The drumming style sounds different. Saturday Night Holocaust and The Prey are terrifying, drawn out slices of gross chordage, dire basslines, and Biafra gurgling like a lump of bile got stuck in his throat. Night of the Living Rednecks is absolutely hilarious, showing off Biafra's speaking skills (even though he may be arrogant, the guy can tell a HELL of a story), with a great tossed off Flipper reference at the fade out: "That story's true, just ask Bruce Lose..." I don't like Buzzbomb from Pasadena all that much, although the title should make the surf music influence on the DK's even more obvious than it already is (anyone else remember Jan and Dean/Beach Boys' versions of "Little Old Lady From Pasadena?"), the old woman's voice gets on my nerves, like the version of "I Fought The Law." The version of "California Uber Alles" isn't good, but it's okay. It is, though, way too slow.

One thing I really think kicks ass, however, is the version of "Holiday In Cambodia." The old version felt like an uneasy joke. This version is flat-out scary. Biafra's vocals are far superior (he sounded like a clown on the old version; this time out, he sounds like he knows in just how little time you'd splinter under pressure, and worse, he'd take pleasure in it - it's eerily calm), and the production is also far better - even though I miss the echo-noise intro, Klaus Flouride's bass intro here is just cruel, East Bay Ray plays a better guitar solo, and Ted's drumming is much more precise and intense. I just love this version. A lot of people don't, but I do. Great compilation!

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A Skateboard Party - ? 1984.
Rating = 8

A well-recorded live bootleg. Since all the early DK records sound as crappy as concert recordings anyway, the mix here isn't much of a letdown. Truthfully, it's a pretty great little record. Jello's "political" between-song banter is every bit as stupid as it is well-intentioned ("How many of you squat? Or are you all rich and live with your moms?"), and Ray does a supercool job with his delay pedal, adding unexpected dark solo bits to "Police Truck" and "Holiday In Cambodia." My only complaint is that they try to play the Fresh Fruit stuff at In God We Trust speed, and it doesn't work. Speed doesn't necessarily equal quality. See any late-period Ramones live recording for further proof. Here's a little tip: If the guitarist can't keep up with the drummer, SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reader Comments (Vasco Rodrigues)
I do not know why you have put Interview Disc and A Skateboard Party in the DK's discography since they're bootlegs. And shitty ones. (Dennis Drobot)
The BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For a bootleg this is a pretty good sounding album. The production is pretty good, meaning this was taped professionally by either the band itself, or, more likely, taped for a radio show in Britain. You can tell from the accents in the crowd that this show took place in England, which doesn't surprise me since DK first made their bones playing in England. Having said that I have to say that this is one of the sloppiest piece of shit performances ever committed to vinyl. The band itself is all over the place. D.H. Peligro blows at least one song, East Bay Ray blows at least three. You're absolutely right Mark about Biafra and crew playing Fresh Fruit stuff at In God We Trust speed. It DOESN'T work. Ditto for some of the Plastic Surgery Disasters songs. "Trust Your Mechanic" is a hopeless mess, with Peligro being all over the place and only Biafra's vocals prevent the listener from mistaking this song as some crude version of Grindcore. "Chemical Warfare" is a disaster with the band playing straight through the "slow part" at light speed, leaving the listener to think they've started a new song. "Let's Lynch The Landlord" also comes off too fast. I've heard slower and better performances of this song. The cruelest performance of all is "Too Drunk To Fuck". They absolutely MURDERED the fuck out of that song. Gone is catchy melody and grooving beat. The song gets stripped down and sped up and sounds more like speed metal than anything else. I haven't heard a worse performance by a great band since I saw Nuclear Assault destroy their songs four years ago. But it's not ALL bad though. DK puts out a faithful rendition of "Bleed For Me" that is quite good. And there is some innovation to be found on tracks like "Police Truck" and "Holiday In Cambodia", the latter having a very nice extended solo by Ray that seems to feel right at home in the song. Unfortunately the ending is mess. Overall this album is really nothing better than a novelty. I guess there's a reason why they call it a bootleg. It's not good enough to be released legit. (Jeff Eglinger)
Does anybody know where I can get a copy of this? I love DK. (Rob Krohn)
Admittedly, the sound is really good for a bootleg, but man-o-man was the band fucked up when they recorded this. As others mentioned, everything is played at light-speed resulting in a complete butchering of all but a handful of songs. The good: "Police Truck" - great extended guitar solo by Ray; "Bleed for Me" - more great guitar solos "Winnebago warrior" - simply a great song when played live.

The bad: "Trust your Mechanic" - Peligro takes off drumming at a million miles an hour and Ray is asked to do the impossible.

The horrible: "Kill the Poor" - simply one of the worst displays of musicianship ever. Despite this album's obvious shortcomings, it's still a lot of fun! You'll chuckle at every bum note and missed beat - all 350 of 'em!!
Regarding A Skateboard Party--

1) It was recorded somewhere in Germany, I think in Stuttgart.

2) I think that them playing the Fresh Fruit Stuff at In God We Trust speed kicked ass! "Holiday in Cambodia" and "Kill the Poor" are much more effective at breakneck speed. Peligro obviously had a huge influence on the band. Days away from seeing Jello live at NYU!
I personally have never heard the album, so I can't comment on the actual sound quality of the recording, but I'd be counting my lucky stars to find an even half decent DK bootleg. But, when you say the songs were too fast, that pisses me off. I have the Dead Kennedy's Live video and every song they play is fast. "Police Truck" is the speed of "Religious Vomit", and even "Moral Majority" is faster. IF the DK's played the songs at the exact same speeds at every show, people would get bored and just listen to the original recording. The DK's are full of surprizes. (Matt Weber)
I'm the biggest DK fan, trust me, and if anyone can sell Skateboard Party or the Interview disk, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!

Please post that I saw cd copies of A Skateboard Party on Ebay. They are from a seller in England. I got one and the sound quality is very good. Hope this helps.

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Frankenchrist - Alternative Tentacles 1985.
Rating = 9

Their one and only non-hardcore album. Ten songs in about forty-five minutes. But it sure ain't pop music! Ray's all over his echo pedal, creating really eerie melodies that wrap wondrously around Klaus's basic bass riffs while Jello criticizes corporations, jocks, MTV, politicians, racists, rednecks, and everybody else who's not quite as perfect as he is. But it's extremely sinister - well, side one is. The first five songs are really dark and twisted, reminiscent of "Holiday In Cambodia" and "Riot," but with more interesting guitar "soundscapes." God, I love that word.

Side two, unfortunately, is more light-hearted and goofy. It's still good, though. I mean, I wouldn't sit around and listen to the six-minute "Stars And Stripes Of Corruption" every day for the rest of my life, but Ray's synthesizer-driven "At My Job" is a hilarious and striking departure, "The Goons Of Hazzard" has a totally groovin' bass line that makes me shake my poop-filled butt all around (see- that's the thing about guys who ogle girls' butts - I always wanna say, "You know, poop comes out of that thing!"), and "MTV Get Off The Air," though kinda poorly-arranged, is still pretty damn funny. So there you go. Side two doesn't lack much, and what it does lack is more than made up for by the supersnazzy (here comes that word again!) psychorock on side A. Psychorock, psychorock, my kingdom for a psychorock!

Reader Comments (Vasco Rodrigues)
My favorite song on Frankenchrist is "This Could be Anywhere". Outstanding vocals, lyrics and "atmosphere".

rojanko@pacbellnet (Rob Krohn)
I hated this album when it first came out. HATED IT! After playing it once, it languished in the back of the closet for almost 3 years before I gave it another chance (but I taped the poster to a Dairy Queen drive-thru menu). Then, for some reason, I liked it. Can't explain why. Maybe it sounded better in 1988 because music was at its shittiest that year...remember Poison and Mr. Big?

This album sounds good production-wise; probably the only DK album that isn't spoiled somehow by poor production. And in retrospect, you have to give the band credit for changing their approach so much. But not really fast or appealing enough to win over anyone who wasn't already a fan. But since I am a huge fan, I'd give it a 9/10.
Frankenchrist is an extraordinary record -- a sound I've never found anywhere else and the kind of lyrics that make you want to vote for the guy...I mean, pissing on the capitol building while claiming a greater patriotism than Archie-Bunker-types? Beautiful! Where do I sign?

I really, really wish that the Kennedys were still around to do a 'bigger problem now' sequel to "MTV Get Off The Air." The original was done during the Martha Quinn phase of MTV. What do you think they could do with 'Beach House MTV' or Jenny McCarthy? Oh, the possibilities!

If you buy only one Kennedys record, make it this one in my opinion, and then start a political party so I can join it. If only Ralph Nader had these balls. While you're at it, buy some Velvets and Stereolab records, too...
Frankenchrist is a great album because it sounds so different to anything Dead Kennedys released previously. That's not to say that is the only reason it's a great album. Yet again, they bring an album with potent social commentary mixed in with some great music.

"This could be anywhere" sounds absolutely great. This song has 'Atmosphere', and then some.

"At my job" is the weirdest track on the album. It has a really spooky 'Nineteen Eighty Four' feel about it.

Another great Dead Kennedys album (was there one that wasn't?)
I think that Frankenchrist is a weird album. The songs are a bit psycho. But i don't say that it's bad only that this album is the most different of the other albums. (Chris Schwarz)
Interestingly enough, Frankenchrist was the Dead Kennedys album I was LEAST enthusiastic about acquiring. I don't know why. Perhaps it's because I'm a hardcore afficianado and the songs on Frankenchrist are mid-tempo, or because this album was the least commented on by the readers of this particular page. Or maybe it was a combination of both. Whatever the reason, I finally obtained Frankenchrist and am happy to report that it's not as "mid-tempo" as I had originally feared. Yes, some songs are mid-tempo and slowed down ("Soup Is Good Food," "This Could Be Anywhere," "Goons of Hazzard"), but there are definitely some speedy numbers here! ("Hellnation," "MTV Get Off The Air," "Jock-O-Rama," "Stars and Stripes of Corruption") So, in the end, it all works out as the slow songs are complemented by the few fast ones sprinkled in between! The one thing I noticed about Frankenchrist is that the level of experimentation went up from Plastic Surgery Disasters (Ray's clarinet on "Terminal Preppie," etc.) -- with a trumpet (!) in "MTV Get Off The Air" and a synthesizer in "At My Job"! Even though this album has slower songs than the other Dead Kennedys albums, I don't think it's fair to brand it as "slow" (and therefore boring) as there are a couple of speedy songs on here and the musical growth of the Dead Kennedys is quite evident. Overall, I like this album a lot. The worst thing you could do is shy away from this album, LIKE ME, because of the terms "mid-tempo" or "slow" ... it's really very good!
If 'Dead Kennedys' is the best band name ever (and it is) then Frankenchrist is the best name to ever adorn an album (not to mention it would've been the perfect name for Marilyn Manson). PSD was my favorite DK album for a long time, but if I had to choose one or the other to bring with me to the gulag, Frankenchrist would be the one. The mix and sound quality are much better than previous DK allowing the listener more ways to explore the music and talent these guys had. It's too bad this is the album that, eventually, brought them down as a band. I'm just thankful Alternative Tentacles managed to survive. Oh, and 'A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch' is a great sing along song.
Frankenchrist is my favorite album. Although not as punk as other recordings, it's awesome. The musical ability is shown here, that they are not punks who can only do one thing. They can do hardcore, and more musical punk...... I play guitar, and it's my favorite album, especially for that. It's the only album that contains a song I absolutely hate: "Chicken Farm".... I can't stand that song.... Favorites: "Soup Is Good Food", "HellNation", "This Could Be Anywhere", "Jock-O-Rama", "Goons of Hazzard", "MTV - Get off the Air", "At My Job", "Stars and Stripes of Corruption". Hold on, I like most of the album.... (Elliot Imes)
Crazy stuff. "Jock-O-Rama" would be great to play at a jock party and just watch what they do. They probably wouldn't be able to hear the lyrics, and they'd be like: "No! Let's listen to this new Garth Brooks CD that I got! It's so good! Boy I love country music!!!" Stupid ignorant fucks.

Anyway, back to the album at hand. My other favorites would be "Hellnation" (i can barely make out a guitar melody in that song, though), "Soup Is Good Food" (perfect lyrics), "MTV Get Off The Air" (wonderful intro), and "At My Job" (which is more creepier than hilarious).

One last thing: I've seen the famous Frankenchrist picture that they got thrown into court over. Unless you want to be seriously traumatized, I'd advise you to not look at it. Ewwwwww. (Ann Rant)
What's "poorly arranged" about "MTV Get Off The Air"? Jeez, that trumpet is brilliant, it changes style about three times during the course of the song, and it's soooo satirical. If only the rest of us could do that...
Even more slowed down, and even more complicated songs. Except for some kickass fast songs like MTV Get off the air and Hell Nation. Again it starts with a kickass song, Soup is Good food, it rules. This album is great to listen to when ur drunk. Id give it an 8. (Anthony Bozdogan)
The best DK album. SOUP IS GOOD FOOD genius, total genius. so its not fast and furious, so what? it's still got Biafras lyrical genius all over it
I agree with Anthony. I think "Soup is Good" may be their most underrated song. Also, this isn't just an "album," it's an "education." (Brion Briggsh)
This album may be a bit slower, but in my opinion punk shouldn't be rated by its speed. this album is pure punk the whole way through and what it lacks in blistering speed is made up with a hell of a lot of content. songs like soup is good food and (my favorite) this could be anywhere, are definately a step up in musicianship for the band. The surf inspired echo guitars are fabulous and the basslines are really good and complex (as a bass player i can say that the bass on soup is good food is a lot more complex than it sounds at first-I still don't know what he's doing exactly!) When I listen to this album It reminds me of cheap B horror movies, (even though it sound nothing like the misfits) the guitar just sounds sinister for some reason! I personnaly like this more than fresh fruit.
Frankenchrist, oh Frankenchrist, thank you for the poster. It adorns my wall, adhering to its face with the help of some well-placed booger pasties. You have also provided me with some of my favorite DK songs. "This Could Be Anywhere" - holy moly. I could listen to that song 5 times in a row if I but had the time. Dammit, I'll make the time. Hang on a sec....

...And evidently Eric's going for a bit of a food theme here. "Soup is Good Food", "A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch" and "Chicken Farm" are all one side one! (not to mention that Eric goes by the hilarious pseudonym "Jello" on this album - who saw that coming?). I always liked "Jock-o-Rama" as a young lad, but it seems a wee bit corny to me today, now that I'm a grown man with Frankenchrist posters pasted on my wall with booger pasties. "Goons of Hazzard" - my second favorite tune on the album - uses those chromatic Pink-Panther-like spy music changes that go so well with Ray's guitar sound, and marries them to a great Klaus bass line. One of the few DK songs where the lyrics don't even really matter that much - the music carries the day.

"Stars and Stripes of Corruption" works better as a spoken word piece (on "No More Cocoons") than as the rushed mess it is here, though. Sounds kind of like an edited, friendlier version of Crass's "Yes Sir I Will" - too many lyrics trying frantically to keep up with the music, but failing. Failure! Bad! I AM YOUR CLOCK!

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Jello's Revenge - Bootleg.
Rating = 8

Another damn fine bootleg! This one has ten tracks from a January 1979 show (which must have been before they recorded Fresh Fruit because a lot of the lyrics are different!) and eleven songs from a 1985 show, all with decent sound and most of them played pretty well. The early stuff is particularly neat, because you can tell that the band is still learning the songs; this works in the collector's favor because you get to hear Jello's original lyrics (like "When Ya Get Drafted," which, at this point in time, had an entirely different title that I can't quite make out. Does anybody else know what they're saying? Kinda sounds like "Rock 'n' Roll DJ," but I don't think it is), but also sort of works against the interests of recent DK converts because holy crap does Ray massacre "Holiday In Cambodia" and "Chemical Warfare." Ugh. I mean, that guy has written some amazing guitar melodies, but... umm.... he hadn't quite figured them out yet when this tape was made. Harg. Alright. Oh! There's also a rare reggae rock track on here called "Dreadlocks Of The Suburbs" that'll make you bounce around and feel proud to own it because nobody else does.

As for the '85 stuff, it's good too! The rest of the band has caught up to D.H., so only "The Man With The Dogs" is the speedy cluttered mess that we heard on that Skateboard Party record. I like those Dead Kennedys!

Reader Comments (Rob Krohn)
This bootleg provides a good sampling of DK near the beginning and the end of their existence. The sound is typical bootleg (tinny), but both of the performances were tight. In fact, the band played *much* better during each of these shows than they did the night Skateboard Party was recorded. The '1979' side, recorded in San Francisco some time before the release of Fresh Fruit, features a very young Jello, Ray, and Klaus. (6025 apparently left the band sometime before this was recorded.) Different lyrics for many of the songs too! I didn't think "Holiday in Cambodia" was too bad, but "Ill in the Head" sure sounds like shit, mostly due to inept guitar playing. But we should cut Ray a break. The band was young and suffered the loss one of their guitarists. I also have no idea what is being said instead of "When you get Drafted" (Maybe "Rock in Rhodesia...?" Rhodesia was still a country in 1979?...) I love "Dreadlocks of the Suburbs" -- a nice little reggae ditty poking fun at stoner wannabes. It should've been recorded in a studio.

The '1985' side, while offering less of historical interest, serves up a good chunk of mostly Frankenchrist and Bedtime for Democracy tuneage. The echoey, surf guitar of EB Ray sounds really wonderful in this particular version of "Soup is Good Food". Only "Man with the Dogs" played at warp 9 will remind listeners of Skateboard Party. Jello's chastising the crowd to let go of the mike board, etc. is pretty funny too. This might be a bit tough to find (and expensive too!). But serious DK fans will find that it's worth the effort.

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Never Been On MTV - Bootleg
Rating = 8

Why do my legs ache? Do your legs ache? If so, why do our legs ache? If not, why do my legs ache? These are just two of the many questions facing our society today.

Here's a song I made up this morning while escorting Henry The Dog around a deserted basketball court in uptown Manhattan. It's not good at all, but I think it's a prime example of how my creative mind works, in case you ever want to map it on one of those brain picture thingies that scientists use.

Merry-Go-Round Steve was riding a merry-go-round
When along came Rollercoaster Bill, standing in line for a rollercoaster
Merry-Go-Round Steve continued riding his merry-go-round
And then went to the dentist's to look at his molar poster

Merry-Go-Round Steve and Rollercoaster Bill
Have differing opinions about climbing a hill
Merry-Go-Round Steve and Rollercoaster Bill
They don't get along and they always will

Also, I hate to seem like a complaining wart during a time of national tragedy, but am I schizophrenic or is it totally fucked that "Weird Al" Yankovic never did a parody of Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield" entitled "Above Is A Cattlefield"?

This Dead Kennedys botleeg is an audio copy of the popular DK live video "Live," filmed in 1985 at Dirk Dirksen's "I'm Closing My Club" show. I've watched the video about 5 billion times since age 16 and boy oh boy does Jello talk. Talk, talk, talk. "How many of you people think this country is a democracy?" Nobody answers, but he keeps going. Talkity talk talk. Between songs, during songs, after songs - talk talk talk. "I am your hope dope pusher! Shoot up with God!" "Is my leash tight enough? Now can I work at your office?" "What did I ever do to you!?" "This is a new one. Ahh, it's kind of along the lines of 'Too Drunk To Fuck.' It's about the people who think it's about everybody but themselves -- except when they're on parade!" "Say what you want about Dirk, but who else has been willing to put up with you and us for 7 or 8 years? No one else has lasted this long - anywhere." "The apartments are on fire! Nobody's doin' nothin' and the cops are just laughin'!" "So if you get a chance, throw a diarrhea-filled pie at Mondale." "This one goes out to Diane Fineswine, the dragon lady with no fuckin' heart." SHADDUPAYOUFACE!!! SHADDAFUKKUPAYOUFACE!!! SHADDAMUTHAFUKKINUPAYOUFACE!!! SHADDAMUTHAFUKKINKOKSUKKINUPAYOUFACE!!! SHADDAMUTHAFUKKINKOKSUKKINDOUCHELIKKINDROPKIKKINASSBITINDOGFIGHTINBUTTSCRATCHINEGGHATCHINUPAYOUFACE!!!

The disc features four In God We Trust, Inc.ers, three Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Deathers and Frankenchristers, two Plastic Surgery Disastersers and Bedtime For Democracyers, and not even a single Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetableser!!! Not even ONE!!!! Can your ass believe that shit? Christ, it's only like their BEST album!! Why not invite the Sex Pistols to play and then have them play nothing off of Never Mind The Bollocks?!? Why not invite The Clash to play and then have them not play anything off of Cut The Crap? What is this, a bowling alley???

Yeah, a bowling SHIT alley, maybe!!! Where people throw big balls of SHIT down a lane filled with SHIT, trying to knock over ten SHIT pins!!! That's my opinion! Don't wear it out!!!

If you're into the Dead Kennedys for Jello, this is definitely the bootleg you want (unless you own the video, which you SHOULD). He was feeling about as talkative as any human being could possibly feel, plus you can hear all the instruments really clearly -- at least until the (insufferably long and preachy) middle of set-closer "Bleed For Me," when the entire bottom end completely disappears for some reason. It's back in time for the first encore ("Nazi Punks Fuck Off," which Jello dedicates to "the baby blue boys in black" !?), but by then Klaus Flouride has dropped his bass on the ground and gotten it so out of tune it might as well be Alanis Morrisette. ZINGER!!! (if this were 1995)

But remember -- to buy or sell an unauthorized bootleg recording is illegal. AND WHO NEEDS A SICK BIRD?!?!??! (ill eagle) HAH??? WHO NEEDS A SICK BIRD!??!?! HA!HA!HA!HO!HEE!HA!HEEEEHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!


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Live & Alive - Bootleg
Rating = 7

I was jonesin' for a bowl of JELLO the other day when suddenly I realized, "Hey! This tastes like a rotten horse's hoof!" So I washed my mouth out with FLOURIDE, took a few minutes to get my head on straight, and went to the EAST BAY, where I scared off a vicious gang of Mexicans with my cries of "PELIGRO!"

This is a special game! In the preceding paragraph, try to find the names of every Dead Kennedys member that you can. Don't continue on to the answers until you've looked nice, hard and juicy!


" a rotten horse's hoof..." - That's JOHNNY Rotten to you!
" a vicious gang of..." - SID Vicious anyone???
" my head on straight..." - Well if it isn't Dead Kennedys bassist Topper Headon! Hello Topper!
"I was jonesin' for a..." - And there they are, Steve Jones and Mick Jones, bringing a double heaping helping of hardcore action to the Dead Kennedys rock and roll machine!

Wasn't it a fun game we've all shared together? Hunting and searching? Sharing a warm beer and cold discovery? Now let's move on to a record review.

This bootleg is some lazy asshole's excuse for a ripoff. Rather than presenting a rare Dead Kennedys live performance or sharing a few rare studio demos, it simply collects recordings from PRE-EXISTING bootlegs (including A Skateboard Party, Never Been On MTV and others), removes Jello's banter, and strings 'em all together on one disc. Worse yet, half of the songs come in late or cut out early -- what is this, an African-American employee?!

NO! No it's NOT! Because African-American employees come in early and work as late as necessary to ensure that the work is done. God bless America.

Incidentally, I write 5/7ths of my reviews while on the clock at work. In fact, I'm "monitoring a press interview" right now! God bless America.

If you just really really want a Dead Kennedys live bootleg and this is the only one you can find, I guess you'd might as well grab it. At least with Jello's between-song banter gone, the fast songs sound really, REALLY great all strung together in a row. It's not until the second half that the songs suddenly start falling prey to weird, lazy edits (no intro to "MTV Get Off The Air"? Only the long boring INTRO to "Riot"? "Religious Vomit" starting during the third line?).

Features five tracks each from We Trust In God, Inky and I'd Like A Convenient Death, four each from Get Your Fresh Vegetables Here and Disastrous Surgical Plasticity, three from Christ! Frank'n'Beans Again? and one from Democracytime For Bed. Please note that these are not the names of bootlegs -- I have simply made hilarious jokes out of the names of every Dead Kennedys record. However, I do genuinely feel that any or all of my suggestions would make terrific album titles for any promising young emerging artist. For example, We Trust In God, Inky would be a fantastic name for a Christian rock opera based on the Pac-Man videogame. Likewise, Get Your Fresh Vegetables Here would be a near-perfect title for a recording of a guy shouting "Get your fresh vegetables here!" for 40 minutes. Either that or The Repetitive Grocer, but that's hardly a parody of a Dead Kennedys album title at all. Had they recorded an album entitled Gross Representations, that would be one thing. But they didn't. In fact, I'm pretty sure that nobody has. So that's ANOTHER great name for an album! Then you could record The Repetitive Grocer and people would get the reference. Until that time, however, I'd go with my original suggestion.

If I had to sum up this bootleg disc in one word, it would be "difficult". Luckily I don't have to, so I won't worry about it.

Reader Comments
"I'd Like A Convenient Death" is probably the Great Lost Punk Album Title. Thank you for supplying it to the world.

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Bedtime For Democracy - Alternative Tentacles 1986.
Rating = 9

Jello stuck this painting of a bunch of sexual organs into the sleeve of Frankenchrist, and the next thing you know, they're being hauled into court on charges of "distributing harmful matter to minors." They beat the rap, but the group and label lost tons of money, and the whole grueling episode was so successful in sucking away their sense of band unity, they decided to break up. Jello, though, had a lot more to say, which explains why 16 of these 21 songs are less then two and a half minutes long. (If you've got 21 songs, but not enough money to put out a double album, well, darn it, something's gotta give!) These songs are extremely speedy, if not especially memorable. It will definitely take you at least ten listens before you'll actually be able to recall how any of them go, but by the time you've done that, you'll be so attached to them out of familiarity, it won't matter that they all have pretty much the same melody.

The mix is strong, the high-pitched surf guitar is blasting out chords as fast as Ray can play them, and the whole experience is an awful lot of fun, if'n you enjoy speedy rhythms. Plus, as an added bonus, the ones near the end ("Where Do You Draw The Line," "Potshot Heard 'Round The World," "D.M.S.O.," and "Lie Detector") are incredibly catchy, and "Cesspools In Eden" is spooky enough to have been on side one of Frankenchrist. So that's something to hop up and down on one leg about.

Personally, I love this album - it took a while, but I love it. The lyrics are smart, and it really doesn't matter what melody you're playing if you're playing this fast - it's gonna kick ass either way. But, alas, you'll find they are catchy. Even inconsequential ditties like "Fleshdunce" and "Triumph Of The Swill" still sound great bouncing around in your head after you've heard them enough times to realize that they're actually two different songs. The only lousy one, as far as I'm concerned, is, ironically enough, the longest. "Chickenshit Conformist" has pleasant enough lyrics, but the dippy, snail-paced melody just blows it all to hell. And it goes on for six damn minutes!!!! If there weren't twenty other great songs to choose from, I'd be really bitter about the existence of that particular pile of asinine swallow.

Then they broke up. Jello's put out rock albums with D.O.A., Nomeansno, Steel Pole Bath Tub, Ministry, and Mojo Nixon, as well as four spoken word albums of varying qualities (The first one, No More Cocoons, is the best. They just go downhill from there.). Bassist Klaus Flouride has released an EP and two albums full of interesting avant-garde-ish pop and electronic music, guitarist East Bay Ray put out a boring funk metal EP with a band called Skrapyard, and Rastafarian drummer D.H. Peligro was in the Jungle Studs before creating a really lousy heavy metal band bearing his surname. If they've done anything else, I haven't heard about it.

I miss the Dead Kennedys. Even though I didn't get into them until about three years after they broke up, they meant a lot to me during those rough high school years. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that they made my sixteenth year on earth a simply divine one.

Reader Comments (Jett Janczak)
If you like DK you should try Propaghandi (if you already haven't). so what if they're on fat wreck, they still belt out lyrics in vein of dk's

they're a great band, although i only have their new release, less talk, more rock. the cd came with a foldout booklet which is mainly them speaking about animal liberation and feminism type stuff.

i agree with your reviews...except, i kind of like "Chickenshit Conformist." punk. (Vasco Rodrigues)
With the exception of "Lie Detector" (one my record's favorite) the last four songs on here are the worst songs DK's have ever recorded. They're no way "catchy". Overall side A is better, even though I don't like "Fleshdunce" because of the irritating back vocals. About "Chickenshit Conformist": Hey, I like that song! The melody actually matches very well with the words: there are parts of "disappointment" where the music is melodic and parts of "anger" and "protest" where the music is fast paced.

You wrote "I miss the Dead Kennedys. Even though I didn't get into them until about three years after they broke up, they meant a lot to me during those rough high school years. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that they made my sixteenth year on earth a simply divine one." Except for the "three years after" (it was "one year after" for me), every single word applies to me! How I miss those days when I was 16 and sat down entire afternoons listening over and over again to a tape with In God We Trust, Inc. and Bedtime For Democracy recorded on it! When I read that passage it brought tears to my eyes. I suddenly realized that it has been 9 years since I first listened to DK's, and now I hardly get any new punk-rock that I like. Dead Kennedys changed my life and I wouldn't be the person I am today and wouldn't have done the things I've done if I hadn't come across their records.

East Bay Ray
A friend of mine who is on the net, Red, showed me your site. I just wanted to send a note to thank you for the in-depth reviews of our records. Here's some updated biographical information on myself. I have a new exciting "heavy, sinister cabaret" band called Candyass (Skrapyard is no more). I play guitar on a CD entitled Sidi Mansour by Cheika Rimitti (known as the godmother of Rai music, an Algerian form of protest music) that also features guitarist Robert Fripp and bassist Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I produced a CD for the Screaming Bloody Marys called Get In, Get Off, Get Out on Doctor Dream Records. There is also a rare 7-inch single around that I did entitled "Trouble in Town" that's kind of a spaghetti Western tribute. Thanks for your interest in the Dead Kennedys.
The Dead Kennedys were the first punk rock show I ever went to in my life: September 5, 1981, at the Florentine Gardens on Hollywood Blvd., next to a giant porno theater. The opening bands were 45 Grave & T.S.O.L. It was a week before I started my high school senior year, and for three days after the show, I couldn't hear a thing. The whole experience affected me profoundly, and helped shape the person I am now in many positive ways. The Dead Kennedys' focused, intelligent anger has been a guide for me to this day. Since then, I saw many more punk rock shows & 15 more Dead Kennedys shows until their break up. They were definitely ahead of their time & could teach wannabe's like Rage Against the Machine a whole lot of things. If there is any group from punk's past who deserves a day in the sun, it is them. They were a light of hope during a very dark time in America & deserve recognition. (Alex)
I found your page and must say. great job. I thought people had forgotten what a great band they were. I'm just adding a comment on how sad hardcore music is today. In the early days, there was a message, it had personality, integrity and style. Today's music is all about being a whiny teenager full of agnst. Punk was about saying fuck you to problems not whining about them. I wonder if the spirit can ever be regained.
Re: "Chickenshit Conformist" - GREAT SONG. I saw nothing wrong with it.
I'm a 30 year old late comer to punk. In high school back in the early 80's punk bored me. I was into the early 80's metal scene and AC/DC was GOD as far as I was concerned. I didn't care for the "raw" style punk had versus the more polished metal sound. That slowly changed as metal went glam (Bon Jovi, Ratt, Twisted Sister, and a zillion more idiotic bands come to mind here). I was forced to go more underground with speed metal and bands like Anthrax, Testament, Metallica, early Megadeth, the metal version of Suicidal Tendancies, and, later Sepultura. That's when I started coming full circle and took another look at punk. For the past year DK has been in my obsession. One by one I've been buying DK albums and they (plus LARD) have been hogging my 5 disk CD player. These new so called punk bands, Nirvana, et al., can't hold a candle to Dead Kennedys.

Any hard core DK fan should scrounge for the DK videos. I've found three so far. The one "legit" one I've found was done back in 1984 at the last night of Dirk Dirksen's (local underground promoter in San Francisco) famous On Broadway nightclub. This is the one most easily available to the masses. The production values are good. My only gripe with it is that it has been edited in spots and certain DK faves like "Holiday In Cambodia" and "Too Drunk to Fuck" are missing (they may have been edited out or DK didn't play them, there's no way to tell).

There are two others that I've found. One is a two band (DOA being the other band) video called The Best of Flipside Video #3 This also was done in 1984 but at the Olympic in Los Angeles. The video itself is heavily edited and the DKs are only on for half an hour. There's a lot of redundancy between this one and the On Broadway show, the major differences being the performances of "Chemical Warfare" and "I Fought The Law". Major gripe: if they're going to edit the show this much they could have cut Jello Biafra's six minute speech prelude to "Moral Majority" while wearing a Ronald Reagan mask. I would have preffered another song or two to that. This video may be hard to find. You certainly won't find it in any of the major outlets. Check your local underground/ indie outlet.

The third is the real prize. It's called Dead Kennedys Part One (I haven't found Part 2 yet, if there is one). It's a local (San Francisco) production done by someone who must have had close access to the band over the years. It's a series of performances taken over the early years of the band and mostly taped at local S.F. clubs. Most of the performances were done before Fresh Fruit was released. Most of the songs on this video wound up on the Convenience compiliation album. The highlights include actual video of the second DK guitarist, 6025, a copy of a news report on Biafra's run for mayor, and the opportunity for the viewer to watch Biafra evolve his performance from traditional mike stand hugging (most visible on the video of "Kill The Poor" though he does dive into the crowd and try to mosh around to a generally surprised audience and boos can be faintly heard after he gets back on stage) to the now familiar Biafra freak show. The video quality is oustanding considering it was mostly done in 1979, the exception being a very early appearance of the band on the UC Berkeley campus doing "Viva Las Vegas". Be warned that 1/5 of the video was staged inside a record studio (I guess for the band's own enjoyment and persumably during the recording sessions for In God We Trust in 1981) and the performance seems a little fake to the viewer knowing that there's no audience, though the sound is excellent and very crisp for a live band. This is will be the hardest video to find if you don't live in the San Francisco Bay Area. But it's worth the search. (Peter Nicholson)
I am still sixteen, and have listened to DK since I was eleven. Kind of weird, but I had a punk cousin who was really cool, and listened too all that kind of stuff. Yes, sixteen is the best age. I started to actually take notice of the records' lyrics this year, and I love every single song they produced. If it weren't for Jello Biafra, I would be as boring as every other fuckhead at my school (it is an elitist private school) and wanting to pursue a business degree at university. I just want to say thank you to every like minded punk rocker in the world. One day we will finally beat the bastards. Thank you.
This album could easily be renamed Bedtime For Dead Kennedys. It was the band's last album (excluding the compilation release Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death). It also marked a very distinct downturn in creativity for the band. This album was released during the dark period of the Giger penis landscape poster trial and it's obvious that it made an impact on the lack of quality of this album.

The chief complaint I have with this record is the production. It sounds like Frankenchrist 2. But whereas Frankenchrist worked because it was a group effort and because the songs were mostly slower and fit the production sound, this record was almost completely written by Biafra and is mostly at In God We Trust speed. And that's the problem. Songs this fast need power in the sound. That's what made Plastic Surgery Disasters such a great record (in my opinion it's the best they ever did). Disasters' sound was all up front in your face and made the songs' impact much greater. This record's production robs the fast songs of all their power.

East Bay Ray sounds like he's playing in another room. Most of the songs just sit there, "Gone With My wind" and a few others being the exception. Of the slower songs, "Do The slag" stands out and it was one of the few that Biafra didn't write. Biafra has later said that he deliberately tried to burn himself out with this record and it shows. The songs that do make much of an impact are the ones that DK had already been playing live for several years; "Do The Slag", "Hop With The Jet Set" (which sounded better live than on this record), and "Take This Job And Shove It".

Of the newer songs, it's the slow songs that keep this album from being a total waste of money. "D.M.S.O" is a wonderful song. And I like "Chickenshit Conformist" though it does echo shades of "Trust Your Mechanic" in structure.

This is the weakest album DK made and if it would have signaled a downturn for the band musically and creatively, I'm glad they called it quits when they did. (Aditya Mane)
Nazi punks, the DKs might be gone but that doesn't mean u can come back. SO KEEP THE FUCK AWAY. Btw Sex Pistols were not overrated (yes the present sex pistols is complete shit) and they could have started a revolution if they hadn't selfdestructed. Oh well, I'm waiting for someone to take on SP's and DK's roles. (Chef Jeff)
There is always room for J-E-L-L-O. (Tom Kelly)
I have been listening to the dead kennedys for about 6 months and quite frankly, THEY KICK BLOODY ASS! (James W. McKown)
I remember laughing when I heard the first lyrics. " Take this job and shove it." I had just been fired from my job at this restauraunt. So needless to say, I grew fond of this album quickly. It was fast. Loud, and hella funny. I wanted more DKs. I like all of their albums. But this one is my favorite. Maybe because it's my first one. I think that "Chickenshit Conformist" is a good song. Now I like fast music. But I can handle a slow song. The only reason they have slow songs is so that Jello can get his breath back. And the other band members can relax for a little. Right? And another thing. What possessed Jello (Eric) to go country????? (Ray Segler)
When you said that Dead Kennedys mean nothing to this generation, you were wrong, because I hate Nine Inch Nails. I am 13 and I think Dead K. is 1 of the best bands ever!!!!!

andres1@grove.ufl.EDU (Christopher Way)
Well, I suppose I'll begin by saying thanks for the great site, and especially the thorough and pretty damn good album reviews. I was pretty surprised to find a site that devoted so much time to what I feel to be *the* seminal American punk band; the band that for me epitomizes the sort of electric indignance and fury that the punk music aesthetic is about. People can praise the Pistols to high heaven: for me, the Dead Kennedys (and Clash) approach a more articulate, humorous and far-reaching social criticism. Fresh Fruit was the first album I got--it was catchy melodicism pitted against Jello's whine and the in-your-face sonic scream of the end of "Chemical Warfare"; it was intelligent, scathing social criticism compressed into short snarled stanzas (i think here of the feral noise at the close of "Your Emotions"); it was paranoia, frustration, and honest, justified anger. And most importantly, it was all a hell of a good time. Fresh Fruit's the only album I own, but I think that now I'm ready to snatch up most of the rest of the DK oeuvre . . . I think that's a pretty good testament to the good that can happen when a person like me stumbles across a site like yours, and sees so much enthusiasm for a band that deserves every bit of it. (Rudi Sapach)
The comments on this page sound like the letters in teen pop idol worshipping magazine. Reminds me of the shithouse wall in high school that said "Anarchy Rules!"
I would just like to thank the DKs for covering "Take This Job And Shove It" as that song is constantly stuck in my head at work. As far as the albums go, (I have heard them all except Frankenchrist), I would have to say that I like Fresh Fruit the best. (nothing to do with the fact it is THE seminal hardcore record.) I just like it cause it was the first one and it happened to be the first one I heard (although the first on I bought was Give Me Convenience at Sam Goody [ha ha]) I think that Bedtime For Democracy is definitely my second fave as it is political as hell. (Mike)
It was very intruiging reading through the Dead Kennedys pages. I am 23 and it's been 10 years now that I have been listening to their only six albums. I am glad to see people 10 years younger than me enjoying the DKs rather than Green Day or Rancid. Dead Kennedys were one of the REAL punk groups. My name is Mike. I play bass in a punk band in Rhode Island called Violent Anal Death. (Paul Ceglia)
fuck what everybody else thinks the dead kennedys were the best punk band around at the time the music had a damn good message basically the government sucks anyway i am looking for the sheet music for all the albums. I have the lyrics i jam with some dudes and want to do some dkS and remember folks it is a life sentence. ceg
For people who dig the mix of humor, politics, and occasional extreme musical weirdness found in Dead Kennedys recordings (as well as Jello's later stuff--the DOA, NOMEANSNO, and MOJO NIXON collaborations are great...LARD is good and powerful but a few of the songs on this album are lyrically weak ["Mate Spawn & Die" is one of the best"]...the TUMOR CIRCUS album I didn't care for as much--kinda blah musically), I highly recommend semi-legendary American politico-prank-cop-hatin'-punks the Crucifucks, who are similarly influenced by psychedelia and also feature a vocally-acrobatic (if heliumy) throat on frontman Doc Dart--same joyously-pissed-off let's fuck shit up attitude as DKs. Also current punk-fusion bands like DOG FACED HERMANS (recently broke up), who have two releases on Alternative Tentacles, and who play a fusion of jazz, punk, and no-wave weirdness, with poetic-political lyrics not unlike some of FUGAZI'S; and GOD IS MY CO-PILOT, an amazing NYC jazz-punk-noise band with cool queercore lyrics and tons of the all-important attitude---neither of these bands'll get reviewed in MAXIMUMROCKNROLL any time soon cuz they're a bit too musically adventurous, but they have that great DK spirit...

rojanko@pacbellnet (Rob Krohn)
I didn't think this one was too bad. "Lie Detector" is the best song on the album - it was written a couple years before the release of this album, maybe that's why. "DMSO" and "Shrink" are also good songs. But this album has the worst DK songs: "Fleshdunce" and "Rambozo." I also thought all of the backing vocals throughout the album were annoying.

The whole album sounded exactly the opposite of Plastic Surgery Disasters in terms of production. Too much bass and drums here. That would've been OK with me but Klaus really took a vacation on this one creativity-wise. Where were the extra fills that were present on Frankenchrist and PSD?

Overall, this album had a "let's get it over with" feel to it. Rushed and dispassionate, strange since anything Biafra is involved in is usually very direct and in your face.

One other thing, and please don't flame me for this everybody, I wish DK would record a couple of albums together. Or, at least re-record some of their early work. (Ashok Sharma)
Dead Kennedys Rule!!! I agree with the songs "Religious Vomit," "Moral Majority," and DEFINITELY "NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF"!!!!! RACISM SUX!!! NAZIS SUCK!!!!! anywayz, DK RULE!!!!! I'm young, so i dunno much about 'em, but they are one of the best bandz I've seen in my whole fucking life!!!!!!
I got to say that Dead Kennedys are one of the best bands ever. When I first started getting into music my only obsession was metal. I thought punk was just a bunch of messy guitars with an overall weak sound. Now that I have become a high priest for metal, I checked out punk one more time. It fucking rules! DK have some of the best lyrics and sound in the world! They were a band that really stood for something! I thought the only bands were Metallica and Black Sabbath but I was wrong! DK are one of my favorite bands and I've only been into them for a few months. Hardcore metalheads and punks got to unite!!!!!!!!! (Frohike)
Hi! I wanted to tell you that your page is really excellent! I love the Dead Kennedys! I am actually a fairly new fan of theirs. I am a huge xfiles fan and I found out that Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully) was very similar to me as a teenager. I found that she listened to The Dead Kennedys and I checked em out. And I was hooked imediately. I am trying to get my hands on Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables right now, should have it soon. I am also trying to get a hold of Circle Jerks Cds, for she listened to them too. I wanted to say something else too. Somewhere near the top of your page you said that the Dead Kennedys mean nothing to a generation bent on Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails. Now, I am part of that generation, I am 15. Personally I LOVE the Dead Kennedys and other punk rock bands, like the Circle Jerks and even a few Sex Pistols things, not really the sex pistols that much... And I also hate Nine Inch Nails, but...I LOVE NIRVANA! They were an amazing band and Kurt was a very VERY gifted song writer. His melodies and lyrics are amazing! He was also a great "noise-making" guitarist. So, don't think that Nirvana was a bad band. They were the new punk rock for awhile, even if Kurt said punk was dead for all he knew. They were great!
hi my name is $$$$. sorry cant give you my real sitting here getting a blow job from my girl friend while reading this DK interview and im thinking this is the best DK interview ive ever read and best blow job ive ever recieved thank you (Rice)
I'm 16 years old and I was raised on the Offspring/Green Day version of 'punk' that lingers around so many MTVs and record stores. I'm not saying the Offspring or Green Day suck, I'm saying wow, they can't hold a candle to a band like DK. I picked up FFFRV about 6 months ago and it completely changed my feelings torwards music. Old Offspring has a *hint* of political feelings but I now see that you can go all out! Thinking about what you're listening to sure is more fun than just letting it fall on your ears. Its like reading a great essay and hearing awesome music at the same time. One thing that I really like about DK is the art and stuff that comes with their albums. I picked up FFFRV on cd so I had to send away for the original poster (and it said to include money for shipping, but I didn't include anything but a note saying yeah just send me the poster please and they did! Thanks!) What I wanna know is do the cd versions of albums like Frankenchrist include the cool porno? And if it doesn't where can I get it? And it would be cool if someone could trun me on to some magazines or something that have info about Jello's political career.

Thanks listeners of madd good music. (Jay Henriksen)
The dead Kennedys is by far one of the best bands to ever exist. Fronted by Jello, they made the best music up to date. Even though they have been broken up for over ten years now, they are one of the most influential bands out there. With East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride, and D.H. Peligro, the Dead Kennedys were not only musically talented, but knew how to play a different kind of music that sounded better than the rest. In my opinion, their best songs were, and still are, "Holiday in Cambodia", "Kill the Poor", "Winnebago Warrior", and "One way ticket to pluto". To Jello, and the rest of the band, I love your music and I hope you someday get a reunion tour going, with a stop up here in Portland, OR. 'Til then, I'll hear you every day. See ya.
Bedtime for Democracy does sound a bit rushed; however, it still contains some really good social commentary. "Potshot" and "Chickenshit Conformist" are really good songs, not so much for the music as for the lyrics, and "Lie Detector" is probably my favourite Dead Kennedys song, *because it is so damned true*. The music on that song is really good as well.

Dead Kennedys were an intelligent, thought provoking band. This is the sort of band that is needed today more than ever.
Hi, I ran into your Dead Kennedys page earlier, & decided to drop you a little note. Great page. It's difficult to find music pages on the web that are actually about the music (Most of them are more focused around graphics, graphics, graphics), so yours was pretty fuckin' refreshing. While I got into the DKs well past those punk glory years of Reagan & riots outside every show (Fer Christs sake, I'm 17 years old), their music has aged remarkably well for a political band. Even though "California Uber Alles", say, doesen't apply much to 1997 USA, tunes like "Kill the Poor", "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" & "Winnebago Warrior" still are as relevant as ever. However, it does upset me that many younger "punks" seem to be turned off by the Kennedys. I was hanging out recently with a 14 year old kid in liberty spikes & bondage pants I found in my town. I gave him a ride to the record store, where I recommended Plastic Surgery Disasters to him. However, he complained that "their music doesen't sound punk enough" & promptly bought records from the Exploited & (ugh ugh ugh) the Casualties instead. That seems to be the attitude of many punks these days, forsaking the concepts behind punk for a cheap fashion. Oh well, I'm rambling. Anyhow, good page, cheers. (Brandin Brooks)
Hey I don't know who's gonna get this.... But whoever says anything Negative about the Kennedy's Tell 'em to shut up! Tell them to stop whining and and acting like siskel or ebert for god's sake! we're all humans, what gives them the intelligence to fuck with what you wrote? I think this page rocks! There aren't many Kennedy's pages, at least this one kicks ass.
It's amazing to me.....stop caring, and sound better?? wow interesting

p.s. I understood what you meant about the "surf" when i got Frankenchrist surf guitar riffs in harmonic minors, and other obscure scales, that's why the solo's sound and, but still seem to fit ----right Ray?
before writing a comment i will give you some background into myself and where i am coming from.

when i was nine years old i was introduced to a type of music that i had never heard before. being only nine i was quite subjective and listened attentively to not only the lively music, but the lyrics as well. the first band of this musical 'genre' i had heard was the slow, yet slightly crazed music of the dead milkmen. but as time progressed i had gotten ahold of not only the sex pistols, but the dead kennedys. i remember being amazed at how unique the dead kennedys sound was, so i put a lot of emphasis into listening to it. as time progressed, i grew older and experimented with listening to different types of music but eventually falling back into 'punk' rock and the immortalized 'dead kennedys.'

i am not going to say that they changed my life, because when i had begun listening to them my life had yet to begin. as my life progressed i learned many different things. began to question all answers and even had questions FOR questions. by the age of thirteen i had read many nietzsche books (beyond good and evil, ecce homo, thus spoke zarathustra) and even books by locke, rabelais, descartes, and many other philosophers. by the age of fifteen i had studied a lot of government, sociology, psychology, and anthropology. i was what every parent hated.

i was a walking, talking, pubescent dictionary of society. i had an extreme hatred for the world and this country and i expressed this in the way i dressed and the way i talked. i was not understood, i utilized a vast vocabulary in hopes that i would be more understood, but this only added to everyone's confusion. at age sixteen i had been kicked out of school, kicked out of my parent's home, and disavowed by everyone i held most dear. at this time i had studied music -- how to play different instruments, and even how to compose well. i began to form bands. i have played with TiP, second sedition, and some others alternating between a six string electric guitar and a bass guitar, almost always borrowing equipment.

now, a little older, a little wiser, i have received my high school diploma and am attended school studying computer science. i did not do this for society but for myself. i find that with an education people tend to listen to your adverse opinions without trying to kill you. i have found a home for myself within a very politically active band known as Four Finger Slut and produce my own zine (i await myself) and have started my own record label. aside from this i create and pass out flyers at our state's capital building and arrange shows.

as someone active in the 'underground' punk rock (i hate that term) 'community' i thought that i would leave a comment or two on your web page, which i have found to be quite interesting.

the dead kennedys. you speak of them as if all of what they were about was playing music and making people laugh. the lyrics of this band have to be, without a doubt, intelligently written by mr. biafra. what i was hoping to find when i connected to this page was an analization of their lyrics, but to my disapointment all you seem to care for is their musical composition. this type of music is about the reformative message, not the beauty of their music. you speak lowly of jello biafra's attempts at getting their messages across and heard and sign them off as things to get the band in trouble. playing on a flat bed truck in front of the republican party was a great idea, and stunts such as this are what added to the greatness of this band. they care more for individual rights and freedoms than many others, and have the guts to play for those who hate their message. they say what many think, but are too afraid not only of the reprocussions but of what society will think if they make these thoughts public. the kennedys did not care of the thoughts in the minds of those they hated, so they made their messages accessable to everyone, not only those who are part of a specific 'scene' or movement. have you ever heard the term "why preach to the converted?"

what it means, is if someone already thinks as you do, what does it matter if you tell them your views? why have a controversal message if no one can hear it that can abstractly analyze the meaning?

you stated that jello biafra slipped a picture of sexual organs into the frankenchrist sleave. yet again you negated to mention vital facts, and you have obviously not seen the picture. sure, there are ten erect penises and ten vaginas as a part of the picture, but why don't you tell us the meaning of the picture (which is so obvious by looking at it). another fact behind this picture that you left out is who the artist was, sure, if it was just sexual organs that he drew on a piece of paper and put into the sleeve it would be one thing. but when it is a political picture derived by one of the best (and most controversal) abstract artists of the world it is completely different. aside from this, they should have never been brought to court on this issue. there WAS a warning on the label. the only person that should have been charged was the clerk in the music store who sold the painting to a teenage girl without proof of age.

now on i will add some comments about some of the posted messages on this page.

i do not consider myself to be a 'punk,' and being a 'punk' is not something that can be spread like a televangelist's gospel. a band cannot make you a 'punk' if you listen to it. you are a sum of your experiences, and what you are subjected to does different things to your attitude, your demeanor, and your overall person. THAT is what makes you 'punk.' i have always believed that if someone claims to be 'punk' that is exactly what they are NOT, simply because it is a collectivist term used for classification. why classify yourself? why can you not be happy with who you are, a human being. THAT is the only true classification.

it seems that no one knows where punk even comes from anymore. unless you have either forgotten or never knew to begin with i will let you know. in 1954 there was a band called 'duftile' that was kicked out of conservative america. how could someone be kicked out of a free country you may ask? well, they were offered a choice, jail or give up citizenship. they moved to scandinavia and started a movement which grew, but died out in the late 60's. but then, a similar type of music arose in england which had the moniker 'pub rock,' simply because it was a scene of music that was mainly played in pubs (bars) and in warehouses. but, then came the sex pistols playing the same style music. they got large ammounts of media converage, especially from caroline coon. ms. coon considered the music to be very vile, so she named it 'punk rock,' as an INSULT. this was an american term, and many did not know its meanings in britain in the late 70s so it spread quickly and it became a part of history, spread by ignorance. the true meaning of 'punk,' which ms. coon knew was many things. the first of which being a male prostitute in prison. wow, what a name to be proud of. the second of which is someone who is an uneducated youth. gee, ms. coon... thanks, you nazi bitch.
good page. it's good there's still someone out there who remembers punk the way it should be. but you did one thing very wrong, you put down the Sex Pistols. They were many times more controversial than DK because of their actions, not just their lyrics. Thay stood for all punk is, was, and can ever be. When the Dead Kennedys get banned from their own country then they can be called 'controversial'. But still when it comes to music it's almost impossible to find better music than Dead Kennedys!!!!! And that's because they KICK ASS!!!!!!!!!
I just got into the Dead Kennedys about a year and a half ago, and have since acquired all of their albums. As for Bedtime, I do like it. It has a louder sound and the lyrics are pretty damn intelligent (as usual)... My favorites: "The Great Wall", "Macho Insecurity", "I Spy", "Cesspools in Eden", "Chickenshit Conformist" (one of my absolute favorites on the album), "Where Do Ya Draw the Line"...

I've read many reviews that say that Jello is full of himself on this album. I disagree. It seems as though they do what they do best....
i think you're judging the dead kennedys only because of their sound, the dead kennedys are original, few bands are, and they were and will always be the best, jello biafra is a perfect example of a man who cares about the world situation and wants to do something about it, and that's something you should admire....the fresh fruit... album is as good as any other record they have released because all of their albums are great...
wow! that is cool as hell that ray sent you that mail. this is by far my favorite section of your homepage, because it's like alot of in depth stories by people that loved DK. Im 15, and most of today's music sucks....sometimes i wish i was around back in the early eighties to see all the great punk bands (black flag, minor threat, bad brains, dk)...hell, what am i talking about, i feel that way ALL the time. (Alfonso Covarrubias)
Hi: mi name is alfonso and i'm from Chile.i saw your page and i think its great. i don't agree with all the comments, but the page is great. I first listened the DK only two years ago!.i'm 17 yo and in Chile you don't get many material. anyway the DK are my favorit band, i have all the albums and a few bootlegs: Jello's revenge, Orange claw hammer (?). The album i like most is bedtime for democracy. I also listen to black flag, minor threat,crass, and other groups. I wanted to say that the Dead kennedys are the best punk band, and in here in chile their are mostly appreciate by punk scene. Bye.
I just read your intro paragraph for the dead kennedys and I must say i resent the fact that you say "The Dead Kennedys mean nothing to a generation weaned on Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails" and "These days no one talks about them[DK]." I'm 15 years old and I am one of quite a few at my school who know DK as the best punk band in history. They are talked about quite often, by those who have just discovered them and are my age, to those who grew up with the Dead Kennedys, to those who had already passed their teenage years when the Dead Kennedys released Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. You saying this reminds me of the many who, when I complain about Boston's best punk venue going non-all-ages, say "good, that'll keep you brats out" in a way to say our generation can't appreciate bands such as Dead Kennedys, Hüsker Dü, Sex Pistols, and all of the other 70's and 80's punk bands whose musics, lyrics, and political views influenced many of our lives. (Elliot Imes)
A couple of days ago, I was sitting in Spanish class wearing my DK shirt, and this prep says, "Hmm. Dead Kennedys. What kind of music do they play?" And I said, "Um, punk." So this kid says, "Oh. What's punk?" And I just said, "Nevermind." It was pretty fun. I love the Dead Kennedys, and even though I've only listened to them since March of '98, they have had a great influence on my life and my way of thinking. I'm not saying that I do whatever Jello tells me to do, but I just agree so damn much with almost everything they say. Bad Religion, Rancid, and Operation Ivy were my first punk bands, but DK really helped me decide what path I was going to take in life. And I do wish that they would reunite so I could see them, but I know that's never going to happen so I may as well shut up about it.

Anyway, to Bedtime For Democracy. What's your problem with "Chickenshit Conformist???" Have you actually read the lyrics? It's all about how the music industry sucks now. And half of the song is hardcore. It's a damn good song. And why are "Fleshdunce" and "Triumph of the Swill" quote "inconsequential ditties?" They're both about actual issues. I'm done complaining now. "Shrink" kicks ass, although the lyrics are pretty pointless. I don't really have a problem with any of the songs on here so it's a good'n. And although I'm not usually picky about the production of an album, I do wish the guitar was louder. But who cares, I'm only a harmless loser whose whole life revolves around music. Ehhh. I'm gonna go lie down.
I've been lessening to dk since I was 12(only a year ago) I dont think i've herd them do one bad song so what i'm sayin is THERE THE BEST BAND EVER TO WALK THIS EARTH and THEY RULE all of there albums i liked even bedtime for democracy there the greatest punk band cuz they wernt afraid to speak there mind and they had awsome lryics there lyrics actually had true meaning unlike rancid and other 90's bands
Oh no they're playing at 300bpm again. Yes this album sucks ass. Every song sounds the same, well i can name ONE song thats cool "Take this job and shove it" and well maybe "Chickenshit Comformist" Don't buy this one!!!! get Fresh fruit in stead. (Matt Caltabiano)
i think most people who swear they are "punk" need to listen to chickenshit conformist. over and over again too. until all this empty-v bullshit style gets washed away and they realize that dressing the part, or being able to name a million obscure "old school" bands, isn't what punk is about. it's about being you. you don't need fucked up hair and spikes to do that. and you don't need to be some guru who has the biggest collection of 7 inches in the neighborhood. it's not about music, it's about thought.
The kennedys are the best punk band in history,and it will be that way forever. Thier amazing punk sound and the sharp political edge makes me fucking drool! The kennedy's will never die!!!!!!!!!!!!
To Those of You Who Wish You Had Been Born Earlier:

You have the benefit of being able to purchase the entire catalog of Dead Kennedy recordings without waiting for each one to come out. Most importantly, you do not have to experience the darkest period in American music firsthand. Mainstream music during the 1980's was the most horrible music EVER made! Consider yourself lucky and keep blasting those DK records--er, CD's. Power to the people.
This is the album that should have been a 5 song EP.

1. Take this Job and Shove it.
2. Gone with my Wind.
3. I Spy.
4. Hop with the Jet Set.
5. Cesspools In Eden.
I think this says a LOT about my (and Jello's) broad musical tastes, but I've always wondered if Jello borrowed the idea for "Shrink" from "Get `Em Out by Friday" by Genesis (the Peter Gabriel-led early 70's art rock group, not the later Phil Collins-let incarnation)... (Ben Dilday)
'music sceances aint real life, wont get rid of the bomb, wont eliminate rape and bring down the banks, any kind of real change makes more time and effort then changing channels on the tv set....chickenshit conformist like your parents.'

bedtime for democracy, fool, this band taught me where nicarauga was on the map, and this album gave me sweet aural love years before i grew up. reminescent of the doors in some sense and by the way, the statue of liberty sniffing coke is pretty fucking bold.

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Live In Germany - bootleg.
Rating = 8

Sound is decent and it's neat to hear them play live versions of the Plastic Surgery Disasters tunes (this was recorded in late '82). But there's nothing terribly essential on here (no hilarious stage patter or anything). If you see it, pick it up because you love the Dead Kennedys. But you're probably fine without it if you have the studio albums.

Oh I forgot! They do an awesome "Weird Al" Yankovic-like parody of the entire second Bachman-Turner Overdrive LP! You gotta hear it! "Takin' Care of Jizz Mess," indeed!!!! Bravo, maestro Ray and cohorts!

Reader Comments
Ever heard about the Fixtures ?

they`re an american band playing almost the same as the Dead Kennedys, and it sounds really good !

Interested ? Mail me at

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Mutiny On The Bay - Manifesto 2001
Rating = 9

Jello Biafra is angry at those Darned Kennedys. They took him to court and won the rights to nearly ALL of the band's albums (which they quickly reissued). Their first NEW move as a "creative" unit was to release a live CD of material recorded at four shows in 82 and 86. And no matter what Jello tells you, it's a GREAT ALBUM!!!! Clear, sniffygood sound throughout, excellent echoey guitar, Jello in good vocal delivery form (though most of his political rants are cut) and some unexpected numbers tossed in for collectors like me ("Hellnation"! "This Could Be Anywhere"! "Moon Over Marin"! I don't even have any of these songs live on BOOTLEGS!). You can use it as as a greatest hits if you want to, I guess -- it DOES have "California Over All," "Too Drunk To Have Sex With Somebody" and "Vacation In Kampuchea" -- but let me tell you something KEY: they didn't include any Bedtime For President Reagan tracks. KEY! Actually now that I look at it, there aren't any And Justice For All, Inc. songs on here either, unless you count "There's A Big Problem Here Now," which is actually played to the old "Cafilornia Uber Alice" music, so strike my earlier mention of that.

They could have picked more INTERESTING live stuff to release, like on that bootleg I have where they start playing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Cash" or on that bootleg I have where Jello has to scream at the crowd to stop fighting and he gets all upset, or on that bootleg I have where they play the unreleased "Dreadlocks Of The Suburbs" or on that bootleg I have where "When Ya Get Drafted" has its early lyrics ("Rock In Rhodesia"? Who knows).

So basically, they blew it. They should release the unreleased stuff! The vault material! That way, DK fans will HAVE to buy it! "Remember Watergate"? "Watergate is legal now! Because President Reagan said so! When he signed on the dotted line!"

Remember Rat Music For Rat People? Blatantly ripping off live recordings from that LP is legal now! Because East Bay Ray said so! When he won on the dotted court case!

(Sorry about that -- a little "in" joke for "in" people. The rest of youse are squares, daddy-o. Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! *holds up both thumbs*)

Reader Comments (Johnny Turd)
Marky Mark, I'll have you know that the original title of "When Ya Get Drafted" was "Back In Rhodesia", not "Rock In Rhodesia", "When Ya Get Pizza", or "Crackin' Bo Peep-Ya". How do I know? East Bay Ray told me so not but last night on the telly, 'e did! What you should really try to get your hands on bootleg-wise is the demo they recorded to get their very first gig, which features the extremely rare "Kidnap" ("Kidnap everyone in Italy/Kidnap Donnie and rape Marie!").
On the one hand, this is live DK that is readliy available for a relatively average price. On the other, a lot of the bootlegs have better performances. That being said, you need this just for "Kill The Poor." Ray fucks up about a gajillion times, and Jello makes a little addition to the first verse that I'm still laughing about despite hearing at a few dozen times by now. I say it's a 7, just because there's so damn many great DK songs that any comprehensive "collection" (such as this one, kind of) would have to be at least two discs.
With all the crap that has invaded punk rock lately its hard to belive that there ever was a band as great as the Dead Kennedys. Now all punk is about is, Do I have enough sweat bands on my arm? Does this rip in my pants look big enough? Hey mabye if I wear a tie with my teeshirt people will think Im a punk rocker. Thank god for albums like Fresh Friut for Rotting Vegetables and Give me Convience or Give me Death. Long live Deak !

If anyone has more info on 6025 "crossing over" I would love to hear about it.
There's always room for Jello - the man speaks my language on every song.
The site is great, Dead Kennedys certainly don't get enough credit for their music, which is TRUE Punk music, not commercialized crap. The newer stuff I'm not into too much, as Jello just completes DK, the whole lawsuit is nonsense! Just keep this site up and running! (Janelle Whitt)
Well,well,well it seems that the other members of the Dead Kennedys thought that they would have been relevant without Jello or the support of AT. I would have to add that the remasters are terrible.I would also point out that without AT no one would care about them at all. Selling one of your songs for a commercial would basically seal your fate as has beens.
Hey, dumbass!!! They didn't sell any of their songs for a commercial. And by the way, the remastered version of "give me convenience..." does sound a LOT better than the original. Hell, I'll have no hatred against Alternative Tentacles as long as they send me that Jello and the Melvins record I ordered. But really, whitt, have you actually heard any of the remasters?

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In God We Trust, Inc.-The Lost Tapes DVD - Decay Music/Music Video Distributors 2003
Rating = 9

Another greatastic result of the Geoffrey Lyall et al./Eric Boucher lawsuit! Apparently, back in 1981 Dead Kennedys (or "The DKs," as the pompous on-disc commentator likes to call them) went into a studio to record a hardcore EP called In God We Trust, Inc.. But wait! There's more! Somebody invited in a guy with a video camera. Hold the television! More! The audio tapes of the session turned out to be faulty, forcing the Dead Kennedys to go back into the studio and re-record the EP a few months later. So all of this material was lost forever, and we can only imagine what it might have sounded like. Good night everybody! Sleep well and don't eat any Band-aids!

What the fuck?! There's even MORE! This DVD features video and and and audio of those very same ORIGINAL sessions, unheard until this very day! (5:25, August 5th, 1962)! Not only that, but the DVD people folks went through years of old live footage to uncover uproarious footage of every single IGWT,I. track. That's the setup - you could have found out all that information just by reading the box. But now's your opportunity to hear it from me a 14-years-and-counting Dead Kennedys fan: what is the reality? Could this DVD possibly live up to its promise? In a word: !

The filmmakers pulled only the most entertaining footage from what was likely hours of boring takes of the same material. You get to see the band in the studio, chit-chatting, goofing around and messing up their parts. D.H. has just joined the band and has short normal black person hair instead of those religious dreadlocks he later grew to imitate the Bad Brains. Jello takes his shirt off early on, inviting fans to look at his enjoyable bare chest of anarchy. And it's just cool to finally get a behind-the-scenes look of this great punk band when they were young and hungry, long before the bloated overblown progressive rock of Bedtime For Democracy.

But wait! I locked my tie in your car door! The live material might be even better. Whomever put this thing together TOTALLY had the meticulous fan in mind. So instead of generic concert footage, we get things like (a) an early version of "Kepone Factory" back when it was called "Kepone Kids" and had a white drummer, (b) an uproarious version of "Moral Majority" from late in the band's career, featuring Jello dressed up as a shriner with glasses, suit and hat, (c) an early version of "We've Got A Bigger Problem Now" set to the high-speed music of "California Uber Alles" (rather than lounged up like the EP version), (d) "Dog Bite" prefaced by Jello's mocking comment, "If you came here tonight for deep political commentary, this song's for you," and (e) a classic run-through of "Religious Vomit" in which Jello's mic goes dead for about ten seconds and two verses are lost to all eternity (including an eclipse)!

Basically, In Knobs We Trust, Incubator-The Lost Pate is a gotta-buy for any Dead Kennedys fan. Even if you have to STEAL it, make sure to go back to the store later to pay for it. Because without rules, what kind of society are we? A bad society indeed. This is the true message of the Dead Kennedys.

Reader Comments
i must certainly say i appreciated the august 5th bit. IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS!

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Live At The Deaf Club - Manifesto 2004
Rating = 9

East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride and D.H. Peligro gathering together to murder Jello Biafra was the greatest thing to happen to Dead Kennedys fans since Jello put out that kickass "Die For Soil, Fucker" single during the Gulf Conflict Of Assholes. This Deaf Club thing is -- my GOD!!! Do you REALIZE WHAT THIS IS!?!?!? You know "Straight A's" and "I Like Short Songs" from Give Me Convenience? This is THAT CONCERT!!! The entire thing! With original drummer Ted and second guitarist 6025 and early versions of DK classics and rare covers and great sound quality and Jello being young and excited and Germs jokes and WHY THE FUCK HAD THEY NOT RELEASED THIS GREAT GODDAMNED ALBUM UNTIL NOW????????????.............................................

My heart stopped from the goodness.

Luckily I don't need a heart -- I'm an aluminum man!

So let's talk about the coolness of Deaf With A Golf Club. First of all, the Dead Kennedys are known as a four-piece. This CD, however, was recorded by a FIVE-piece. So in addition to Ray's twangy echoey shiny lead parts, you get this weird frizzy frumpy slightly out-of-tune rhythm guitar scraggling along with him -- adding odd aharmonic countermelodies to "Forward To Death" and the early version of "When Ya Get Drafted" back when it was called "Back In Rhodesia" (strangely, Jello introduces the track by saying, "This is a song about where you're gonna go when you get drafted!"). Plus, this was recorded in March 1979 -- before the band had even written a full set of material. "Kill The Poor" bounces along on a dancey normal 4/4 beat (as opposed to the non-rolling rhythm used in the official version), "Ill In The Head" and "Police Truck" lope along a little more sluggishly than they would by the time Fresh Fruit was recorded, "Holiday In Cambodia"'s lyrics aren't all there yet (though the frightening-as-a-ghost echoey guitar hook sure is) and most excitingly for long-time fanatics like Mark Prindle (course architect of Ridgeway Golf & Country Club in beautiful Neenah, Wisconsin) (Seriously! Look it up on Google! I'm "The Man," Wisconsin golf course-wise!), there are THREE RARE SONGS ON HERE! Only one is an original, but it's a remarkable one -- a 6025-written zombified new wave rock song similar to what Wall Of Voodoo would be doing a few years later. It's called "Gaslight," but you're immediately and eternally going to know it as "Dying With A Lampshade On" (as that single line runs through your head over and over again, followed by Ted and Klaus's slapstick bounce down the scales). And if you were unmoved by the Ted Kennedys' world-famous "Viva Las Vegas" and "Rawhide" covers, wait and see what happens to your elbow when you hear San Francisco's very own Ned Beatetys performing straight, gleeful covers of The Honeycombs' "Have I The Right" and The Beatles' "Back In The U.S.S.R."! OOOOOO! I saw your elbow do a happy leap!

One other thing that I find really interesting: Sometimes in life, an unexpected juxtaposition will lead one's brain to fully formulate a thought that has been waiting quietly in the recesses of the mind for many, many years. This very phenomenon happened to me the first time I heard this CD's final track: before performing "Viva Las Vegas" for former Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear, Jello introduces the tune with an unspeakably nerdy impression of Darby Crash. Having listened to and loved both the Germs and Dead Kennedys for 14 years apiece, I was somehow unprepared for the realization that I can't picture these two bands existing in the same musical universe. How could holier-than-thou intelligent funnyman Jello Biafra be part of the same social movement as drunken butt-ugly moron Darby Crash? How could "California Uber Alles" be played at the same concert as "Shut Down"? This can't happen. And it will never happen again -- not on my watch.

Say, that reminded me of an uproarious joke I just told you. Here it is again, in case you read backwards like a Chinaman: What did Colonel Jessup say when his dentist asked if he'd ordered the Code Red?


(followed by "YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT I DID!" but that's not as funny as the first thing he said, which was "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TOOTH!!!," a subtle reference to the fact that he was speaking to his dentist).

Reader Comments (Scott Hutcheson)
Surely a 10....Ive just seen the Karaoke Kennedys twice in Scotland and they were pretty good BUT this CD shows the real McCoy. THey were better BECAUSE they were slower,funnier and had not disappeared down the Hardcore Alley. The Fake DKs have realised this and play at the 79/80 speed.

Oh and its not PC but Ted was a pretty good drummer...Peligro is also good BUT no better
i have read everything everyone has to say on this page about dead kennedys and have listened to every recording i can purchase for the last 3 years since someone answered me with shock "you haven't heard any of the dead kennedys!!!?". i just got to say how i feel. A true band with the skills to re-teach the world of melody, lyrics that should be studied like shakespeare and enuff agro thrashin baaad ass sound to make me jump out of a plane without a parachute and punch the earth on impact!!!!!!!! they fuggin rule!
Absolutely essential. I just love the extra guitar harmonies that 6025 brought to the band - it adds a whole new dimension to songs like "Ill in the Head" and "Holiday in Cambodia". Anybody know why he was called 6025 anyway? Who was this guy? Or was it a chick? Was he a robot? Did he do anything else after leaving the DKs? And is it pronounced "Six-Oh-Two-Five" or "Sixty-Twenty-Five"? Please help me solve this life-long mystery.

And Jello just sounds great in these early days (not that he sounded any worse later, just different). Real quivery high voice (done in an even more exaggerated manner on "Have I the Right" which is hilarious). Ray really nails the guitar parts too - sounds as good as the records! And Klaus, well you know he's always reliable. Ted! That's some fine drumming. People may acknowledge DH Peligro as a speedier drummer, but Ted's got some flashy precision of his own, as this recording demonstrates.

One of my favorite bands of all time just got better! (Pete)
Ha!! This is crap!! There is nothing at all here that is worth the purchase. The only cool thing is the disco version of "Kill The Poor" which is actually REALLY good. This set was recorded before FFFRV was released and it shows. Every song pales in contrast to the later studio versions. And as for all the 'hype' about the unreleased song "Gaslight".... there was a reason it went unheard: because it fucking stinks!!! A strong chorus catch phrase does not make a good song. It sounds unfinished and chaotic. The cover songs at sets end are also pointless and boring... This cd sucks. 'First Mutiny On The Bay' (which was pretty atrocious... don't tell me those were the best versions of songs they could find for that turd, that's pathetic), then this... Come on Biafra-less Dead Kennedys... stop living in the past. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see these guys are only out for the bucks. This release would NOT make a fan out of the band. Why not a "new" live album with their newest replacement (i won't say scab) singer? Play all the old shitty, forgotten tunes you dropped, rock out your best karaoke versions of your 'greatest hits' and give us a real treat to hold in our hands. Better yet, instead of rehashing the past, why not put out a NEW album, with NEW songs. I triple dog dare ya!!! See if Biafra was really as unimportant to the fans and band as you seem to imply in interviews. If he was, why this crap rehash? The only good points about this are the very clean sound and Ted's killer drumming on "Ill In The Head". Oh and nice booklet of "new DK art".Not!! Pathetic... another half hearted attempt at cashing in on past laurels with no fucking clue. I admit it, you got me again you bastards!!! Forked out another dime on you snake oil salesman. And like true snake oil, the promises were in the packaging. Stay Away!!!
The Dead Kennedys are a great band. I think it's actually the only punk band I listen to. Plastic Surgery Disasters is my favorite record of all times! I totally agree with Mr. Prindle complains about the shitty sound quality, but well, I didn't write to talk about PSD anyways.

I just wanted to propose a little game to test people's knowledge about the DKs and their lyrics. Biafra's lyrics are very good (a lot of them at least) and it's a real shame that a lot of people don't pay attention and just mistake him for another dumb punk guy of the "I hate police! I hate school! I Hate my parents!" type.

I also noticed that a he does not use 'bad words' too often like some people might think someone in this kind of music genre would. In fact, I noticed there's only 8 songs in the whole DKs catalog that use the word FUCK. I think it was only 8, maybe I'm wrong, I cant remember very well now.

Can you people there on the other side of the monitor tell me which ones are those songs? There's also one WHOLE LP in which jello didn't use the word FUCK in any of his lyrics, do you know which one is that?

Allright then, The first four people to give the right answer will win...

4rth place: A Box Set with the whole authographed collection of Mark Prindle's homemade CDs, and a DVD with rare unreleased footage of Mark performing at his best friend birthday party! See Mark throwing his own poop at friends and relatives while they clap their hands and sing along!

3rd place: Visit Mark's house and tour the residence with 2 of your best friends. Eat at his table, lay on his couch, pet Henry the Dog, wear his bathrobe and sleep in his bed with his beautiful wife, Brenda "The Uncorrectable" Aske while Mark writes his rocking reviews! Take one of his Karate medals as a souvenir!

2nd place: A night out for you and your friends including limo, dinner for 9 people, drinks, invitations to the nightclub of your choice, and it's all on Mark Prindle, the man with the heart of gold!

1st place: Quit your job and be set for life with this golden opportunity! U$s 602 a week, directly from Mark Prindle's wallet to your bank account! Go straight into your bosses office and tell him what you REALLY think of him, because you know that Mark "the father of the oppressed" is taking care of you now!

All participants will also get a life-size replica of Mark Prindle's penis made of rubber for them to shove up their ass and have fun with friends and family! Send your answers now and be the life of the party!

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Other Dead Kennedys Sites

*Click here to buy Dead Kennedys CDs featuring former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra on vocals.

*Or, just for shits and grins, give a look-see to Hakan's Music Pages!

Return to Mark Prindle's Record Reviews and Enjoy My Delightful Interviews with DH Peligro, Klaus Flouride and East Bay Ray! Yes, Reviews with ALL THREE Dead Kennedys! The Whole Band!!!