jello biafra

vinmac

Glasow, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

i hurried into town one day after school to buy this single by the dead kennedys , after hearing it on the ‘john peel radio show’ . i met my friend , gerry cadona as i came out the record shop (listen – cheap + nasty) and we both laughed at the song title ‘holiday in cambodia’ . i don’t think ‘current affairs’ had been invented then , certainly not in our school and all ‘history’ meant to me was dry people in 16th cent. costumes ! so , we never really understood what it was all about really .
the dead kennedys were the first punk band of that era to come out of the u.s. ; we loved blondie + the ramones etc , but this was an american voice of the more serious political swing – always remaining independant + ever since and always holding their own , not even being ever labelled ‘anarcho punk’ .
‘holiday in cambodia’ was released in 1980 , so i was 14 then ; in the 30 yrs since , jello biafra has always been there , emphasising points in the decades with social comment . it’s funny just now to remember all the different years , and what he was saying then . after the dk’s , jello came straight out with his spoken word material : ‘high priest of blowing minds’ ; ‘lard’ followed after the nomeansno collaboration taking us up towards 2000 . ‘volcanus 2000’ was probably the first (and only that i know of) swipe at msoft – and that’s from someone that knows : jello’s record/multimedia label ‘alternative tentacles’ was online from the word go . for someone like me , it is just such a good thing to see someone like jb still up there and doing it and through the years that same fact gives you encouragement .
the very name ‘dead kennedys’ was contentious from the start , but how many people considered what their intentions were in using such a name . these are people who don’t have a malicious bone in their body . using such a name would inevitably bring immense pressure down on them , as individuals , they’d not be willing to run such a gauntlet for nothing ! one should listen to the band members comments on issues like this , that’s what we used to do . i can understand peoples initial reactions to something like ‘punk’ , because i felt an instant dislike for it myself when i first came across it but the curiosity proved that it wasn’t a bad thing , the people were saying good things ; no one was tolerated in punk who talked rubbish or was xenophobic or anything like that – it was largely about listening closely to what someone was saying and using your own mind .
i don’t know what the consensus would be in the u.s. regarding the likes of the dk’s – things are different when they’re closer to home – i don’t comment on anyone elses situation , because i’m not there to really know what is going on – knowledge and truth to me are what is ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ . people like jello biafra , punk’s chomsky have always been at that threshold – screaming into the wind , or outside the whitehouse
– everyone is always looking for answers , above all else . george bush snr. was the first person i ever heard bring the word ‘cynical’ into the spotlight , after the first gulf war ; ever since round about then i’ve tended not to be so immediately critical of people just because they’re in positions of power ;
i don’t believe they are all bad (real wackos would blow us all up in a minute) .
the kennedys + jb represent the right to free speech more than anything + like anyone else , one should always get there facts straight before letting off hot air
i say give jb a fair chance , he’s really not one of the bad guys !
if i ever go to the u.s. , i want to find a ‘pancake place’ , because they all closed down here many moons ago !

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