Dead Kennedys Schedule
Dead Kennedys made tremendous contributions to the plight of American hardcore punk bands
throughout the 1980s. And, they stirred up some buzz through their blatant politically-tinged songs and actions along the
way. Depicted as a cross between the Ventures and the Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys are also known for their dark humor and razor-sharp
The Dead Kennedys have been around for over three decades and are still on the road today. You can find them
at places like the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Irving Plaza in New York, New York; Saint Andrews
Hall in Detroit, Michigan; Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Illinois; and more.
Dead Kennedys Background
Kennedys first took shape in the summer of 1978 in San Francisco. The original lineup was comprised of Jello Biafra (vocals);
East Bay Ray (guitar); Bruce Slesinger (drums); and Klaus Fluoride (bass). Biafra landed in California after leaving his native
Boulder, Colorado, to attend college in Santa Cruz. He ended up quitting college and relocating to San Francisco after being
fascinated with the punk scene that was budding in the San Francisco area. Biafra was drawn to both the politics and the energy
associated with this hotbed for punk rock. One of Biafra's first encounters was with one of the members of Negative Trend,
a band who thrived on "cultural terrorism." Will Shatter said something to Biafra that made a big impact on him: "Hey, you
should be in a band. I've been playing bass for only three days and I'm in a band."
The Dead Kennedys debuted at a Filipino
eatery in the North Beach section of San Fran. Soon the band cultivated a rabid fan base in the area. They attracted a lot
of attention for their live shows, which mingled bedlam with theatrics. In between almost every song, Biafra took the opportunity
to stand on his political soapbox. Biafra even took it a step further when he threw his hat in the ring for the mayoral race
in San Francisco in 1979. "There's always room for Jello" was his campaign slogan, and he managed to secure 6,000 votes. It
didn't take long for the supervisor at the time to put a law in place to prohibit people from entering the mayoral race using
"California Uber Alles," the band's debut single, arrived that same year. The single served as a communication
to then-California governor Jerry Brown. The song was an underground success. But, "California Uber Alles" also became the
first of many of the Dead Kennedys' tunes to become misconstrued when it came to meaning. It didn't take long for "California
Uber Alles" to become the calling card for young fascists. Later on the track "Kill the Poor" was taken literally and attracted
some riff-raff to the Dead Kennedys concerts, which was especially apparent in foreign nations where much of the meaning was
buried in translation.
Because California Uber Alles was such a success, Dead Kennedys were welcomed to play at what
was billed as the Grammies of San Francisco, the Bammies. They put on airs for the dress rehearsal, performing their single,
but when they hit the stage for the real thing, they came out swinging with "Pull My Strings," a track crafted specifically
for the Bammies that ragged on the music industry. Needless to say, Dead Kennedys were never asked to come back.
arrival of Holiday in Cambodia and a European tour cemented the Dead Kennedys brand. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, their
first LP, came in 1980. A year later, "Too Drunk to Fuck" came out, which oddly became an anthem for American frat boys.
compiled Let Them Eat Jellybeans, an LP which included bands as Voice Farm, Circle Jerks, Flipper and Black Flag. The EP,In
God We Trust Inc., arrived next followed by Plastic Surgery Disasters (1982); Frankenchrist (1985); and Bedtime for Democracy
Today, despite a number of legal entanglements and lawsuits, you can still find the outrageous Dead Kennedys
on a stage somewhere.
Dead Kennedys Albums
The Dead Kennedys' discography is comprised of two live albums,
three compilations, four studio albums and one EP. Their studio albums include: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980);
Plastic Surgery Disasters (1982); Frankenchrist (1985); and Bedtime for Democracy (1986).
Dead Kennedys Trivia
Dead Kennedys wouldn't be the Dead Kennedys without some controversy swirling around them. The back cover of Fresh Fruit was
comprised of a photo of a lounge band. The photo was altered to include the Dead Kennedys' logo and other embellishments.
But, when a member of the disbanded lounge band stumbled on the photo, a lawsuit resulted. To diffuse the situation, the LP
was released with the heads cut off of the bandmates, but that wasn't suffice, so the photo was removed altogether.
Dead Kennedys Concert Experience
Best known for the vulgar lyrics and animated live stage performances, a Dead
Kennedys concert is anything but predictable and boring.
Dead Kennedys promise an unforgettable experience – delivering
a show so over-the-top, controversial, fun and offensive, that you will be talking about it with your friends long after it's
To take in a Dead Kennedys show for yourself, make sure you get your own concert tickets right here through StubHub
today. With StubHub, you can get all the information you need with just a click of the mouse – from concert listings
to ticket availability, StubHub has you covered!