Arguably the most influential punk rock band of the 80's. Combined politics, Jello Biafra's paranoid delusions, a wicked sense of humor, and some damned good music. Pick up Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables to learn about punk before it was co-opted to something for the morons to digest (read Green Day and the Offspring).

The Dead Kennedys was mostly all about frontman Jello Biafra (aka Eric Boucher). Other members include cofounders (with Biafra) Klaus Fluoride and East Bay Ray; original drummer Ted and replacement drummer D.H. Peligro, and short-term guitarist 6025. My personal favorite cover art was the collage art by Winston Smith on Give Me Convenience... The poster included with Frankenchrist that attracted the hysteria leading to the band's dissolution, was H.R. Giger's Landscape #20 (also called Penis Landscape).

Dead Kennedys recordings are still readily available; for a while their distribution was shaky, but these days even Wal-Mart can safely cash in on the 80s nostalgia factor. This is ancient history for some of you, I know, Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown mean as little to you as Nixon and Lyndon Johnson did to me. It was clever, and even important, dissent in its time. For the serious collector (or hungry pirate), then, here's the DK discography:

In 1988, In God We Trust, Inc. and Plastic Surgery Disasters were released on one CD. Rhino keeps the 1991 "Dead Kennedys Live" concert video in distribution.

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