DEAD KENNEDYS - Frankenchrist LP
Forming in 1978 in San Francisco, CA, the Dead Kennedy’s have gone on to become one of the most important American hardcore punk bands of their time. Local success led to the recording of their first single “California Über Alles” in ’79 which attacked the then Governor of California, Jerry Brown. Followed by “Holiday in Cambodia” in 1980, the track brought recognition to the band, with its catchy lyrics and accompanying dark music. Having gotten the attention of both conservative religious groups and US authorities, their shows began to feature a strong police presence. Despite this, the group went on to successfully tour North America, Europe and Australia.
With their 1985 release Frankenchrist, vocalist Jello Biafra, was charged with “distributing harmful matter to minors,” which he fought on the basis of the First Amendment’s right to free speech. The charges were dismissed, but not before The Dead Kennedy’s disbanded in January 1986. The Dead Kennedy’s remain a grueling quintessence of American punk, helping us to shape the questions we need to make about our government, religion, and society.