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Biafra Loses Bid To Deny Royalties

URGH, A Music War

Examiner Rectifies Error

DKs Win Back Rights

DKs Plan New Releases Following Judgment

Jury Sides With DKs

Punk Rock On Trial

Greg Werckman quote

DKs Claim Suit Unavoidable

10/01/02: URGH, A Music War-

The new news about Dead Kennedys...
by Democritus AChE

After watching 'URGH, A Music War' tonight I felt like listening to some DK. I sat back on my computer chair played my DK MP3's (which were made from my CD collection) while reading through some web articles on the AT website. For the thousandth time I read about the problems with DK, and how the band members were out to get Jello. This time I decided to dig deeper into the story.

It saddened me every time I read those things about the group breaking up, suing each other, and all that other stuff...But tonight was different, I felt saddened, and curious at the same time. On the same page that mentions Jello's problems with his former bandmates, it announces the departure of the punk group 'NOMEANSNO' from the Alternative Tentacles label. Wow, this was surprising! This time I wanted to hear both sides of the argument. If another band is leaving, could it be that I am not getting the whole story at the AT website?

It's very confusing to be where I am as a fan. Up till this morning, June 17th, 2002, I have fully supported Jello through all the problems. However, I supported him based on ignorance and loyalty, not on facts. After being curious about both sides of the story, I investigated and read more than a 100 different papers, web-sites, etc. to find out more about the whole Dead Kennedys fiasco. I read all about the court room drama, the facts, the testimonies and the sad truth that Jello knowingly ripped off his former bandmates.

At this point, it appears I was wrong all these years. I am truly disappointed that Jello would do such things. To be honest, this is not the first time I have been disappointed in Jello. A few years back I lived in Oakland and met a guy from a band who was on the AT label. He also said he worked for the label. I asked about Jello's home and he said it was very nice, and said "after all the years of hard work, he deserves to live in luxury." Sure he deserves it, but not on the backs of the other members of the band!

I felt awkward hearing this because I was one of those young punk fans in the 80's. I was one of those people contributing to AT. I bought every record, every cassette, eventually every CD, shirts, stickers, etc. I partially contributed to his endeavors, and I am deeply saddened by the events that have taken place. If this was just another band, I could have cared less. But this was Dead Kennedys!

Who am I anyway? I'm just a fan... Not a journalist, nor a distributor, not a TV show host, or an editor. What I say is nothing of value, or at least it appears that way based on the lack of responses I have received from AT over the years. I am just a long time fan who was inspired by the music of the Dead Kennedys; a band who's music has remained in my collection throughout the years.

Even as a university professor hopeful, I continue to blast Dead Kennedys when I'm driving in my mini-van (gee, I guess I'm a sellout?) I went from a young homeless punk to a college grad with a family, and the whole time the consistent part of my journey was the music from the Dead Kennedys. Could all this really be true, or is this all a bad nightmare. Maybe it's really 1986 and this is all a bad dream that will soon come to an end. Maybe they will release another record and continue playing live... Well, at least I wish it were so simple...

This was Dead Kennedys, the greatest punk band. The punk band that I placed above all others. The band that I supported, even if it meant selling my Exploited collection after hearing Wattie from the group make a comment about Jello. I guess you do strange things as a kid, and when I was young, I looked up to Jello. He inspired me to write, and influenced my entire character, for better or worse.

I remember living on the streets and staying clean partly because the songs of the Dead Kennedys had such an impact on me. WWJD was almost like my Motto; What Would Jello Do? I always thought he was above corporate greed, but these latest facts have truly disappointed me as a person, and most of all as a fan of the Dead Kennedys.

I remember I wrote my first "fan" letter to DK in 1986. I never heard back, but I didn't care, I was happy to be a fan. I wrote several other supportive letters, fan letters, emails, etc. over the years, never to hear any response other than to receive an Alternative Tentacles catalog. It's funny, that is the same response I would expect to receive from a major record label promoting some boy band...

It appears that Jello is no different than Jell-O; a curious artificial substance that you enjoy, until you find out what it is really made of.


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last updated 08/05/03