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All Legal Action is Over!

It's Getting Crazier
and Crazier Folks!

Update on the Lawsuits Against Dead Kennedys

Excerpts From The Appellate Decision

DKs Completely Vindicated In Appeal

Statement of Facts

DKs Respond to Lawsuit

DKs v ATR Appeal

DKs Puzzled By Biafra's Latest Legal Maneuver

DKs Plan New Releases

DKs Sue Jello Biafra

DKs Sever Ties with ATR


Dead Kennedys Sue Jello Biafra for Underpayment of Royalties, Unjust Enrichment

Dead Kennedys, the influential San Francisco punk rock band, filed suit today against front man Jello Biafra, alleging that Biafra failed to fully pay his bandmates and that Biafra enriched himself at their expense.
“We ain’t gonna work on Biafra’s farm no more,” said guitarist East Bay Ray, paraphrasing Bob Dylan.
The seven-count suit, Dead Kennedys v. Jello Biafra, charged Biafra with breach of duty and breach of contract based on Biafra’s alleged actions as owner of Alternative Tentacles Records, the label which released Dead Kennedys albums. Biafra acquired the record label from the band in 1986.
“Biafra’s acting like a large corporate record label. He’s shortchanging us on royalties and cutting us out of the earnings from the Dead Kennedys catalog,” Ray said. “I think that’s a shabby way to treat your band members.”
“Biafra made promises about how he would administer the Dead Kennedys catalog and Biafra is also a partner in Decay Music, the Dead Kennedys’ business entity,” said Dead Kennedys lawyer David M. Given.
“As a partner, Biafra has a legal and moral obligation not to take advantage of the band members,” Given explained. “Biafra must pay the band members all their back royalties. And Biafra absolutely cannot structure the label-artist relationship so as to enrich himself at the expense of the other band members.”
The Dead Kennedys voted September 30th to sever their ties with Alternative Tentacles Records.
“It’s ironic because Alternative Tentacles was formed by us as an alternative to the greedy tentacles of the large corporate labels,” Ray said. “Then Biafra took it over and became what he says he hates. Biafra has violated the spirit of the label.”
The suit was filed today in San Francisco Superior Court by the band as a partnership and by all the individual band members except Biafra.
The Dead Kennedys consist of lead singer Jello Biafra, guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride and drummer D.H. Peligro. The band actively toured and recorded from 1978 to 1986, creating irreverent and politically charged punk rock hits such as “Holiday in Cambodia” and “California Über Alles.”


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last updated 07/14/04