Dead Kennedysare a hardcore punk band who played in the 1970's and 1980's. The band was from San Francisco, California and was formed in 1978 by Raymond Pepperell. Raymond (also known as East Bay Ray) advertised for other band members after he saw a punk show at the Mabuhay gardens. The original members were, Jello Biafra (Eric Reed Boucher, vocals), Raymond (East bay Ray, guitarist), Klaus Flouride (Geoffrey Lyall, bass player), and 6025 (Carlos Cadona, drummer). The group recorded their first demos in 1978, and they decided they needed a more experienced drummer so 6025 left the band and they recruited Ted (Bruce Slesinger). 6065 was invited back to be their second guitar player. The group had their first show at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco, California on July 19, 1978.
The songs that the group wrote and released were a mix of punk with lyrics which were carcastic, humorous, and satirical about current social and political issues at the time. Their songs also mocked some of the stances that some liberal elites took. They criticized the reagan administration and the right wing ideologies of religious rights. In the late 1980's the band was involved in an obscenity trial in the United States over their 1985 Frankenchrist album. The album included a poster woth art which depicted penises. The band was charged criminally with distribution of harmful matter to minors. The trial ended in a hung jury. The band split up in 1986. .
Dead kennedys played many shows at local spots and sometimes used different names like The Pink Twinkies, The Creamsicles, and The Sharks. 6025 left the band in 1979 and in June, 1979, the group released their first single, California Uber Alles, on the Alternative Tentacles record label. They followed this with an East Coast tour. In 1980, the group was invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards. They were asked to play the song, California Uber Alles. Instead of performing the song they were asked to perform, they performed the song, Pull My Strings, which contained some vulgar lyrics in it. That was the only time the song was ever performed but it was released on a compilation album, Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.
The group decided to break up and go their separate ways in 1986 because they were frustrated and alienated from their own scene because of the song they performed. They played their last concert on February 21, 1986. The band did continue to work on songs with Biafra writing them. Some of them were Chickenshit Conformist and Anarchy For Sale. These songs were recorded on their last album, Bedtime For Democracy, and released it in November, 1986.
The Dead Kennedys released a total of 10 albums and compilations, 7 singles, and 4 VHS/DVDs
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