03 September 2004

The Dead Kennedys

I'm 17, I've just blown all the money my parents gave me for driving lessons on a holiday in Cornwall with my mates Paul and Justin. We're tanked on Kestrel Super beer and amyl nitrate, on our way back from a camp-site cabaret night where a mad ex falkland vet has threatened us with physical violence in the middle of his rendition of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

He thinks we look like students and wehn we try to placate him by telling him we are students it doesn't seem to work.

We're pretending not to be scared. It's pitch dark. We have no idea where we are or from which direction we've just come. Someone starts singing 'California Uber Alles' in a ridiculously high and campy voice. We can't hear where it's coming from but we singalong anyway, trying to copy the vocal tones, camping it up, plugging away at the Amyl (to keep warm) and grinning at the homoeroticism (we're not gay but we sort of want to be: William Burroughs is, Coil are, Jack Kerouac had a fling). It's like a scene for Moulin Rouge on a low low budget. We keep walking and keep singing, following the voice in the dark. It leads us back to the field where we've pitched our tent and then fades away into the night. We think it might have been Jimmy Sommerville or Marc Almond. We're just not sure.

We love Jello Biafra.



I've also been noticing a resurgence of interest in The Dead Kennedys in the blogs recently which I think should be enouraged. They haven't really been replaced yet, which seems a shame because a load of bands have nicked the energy without really tapping into the lyricism. By now Jello's probably not gonna get anything from the selling of the records due to legal wrangles with the other muppets in the band (C'mon guys...just a little irony would be enough) but you should buy some records anyhow. Their most famous hit single (only one as far as I can see) "too drunk to fuck" is up at the always wonderful Tofu Hut while
The Alternative Tentacles site has the excellent "A child and his lawnmower" track which is easily my second favourite garden implement song.

And here's some more:

Kill The Poor

MTV Get Off The Air


For those who don't know them (shame!) then I guess Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death is the place to start since it has most of their classics; from 'Holiday to Cambodia', through 'California Uber Alles' my fave 'Insight' and the silly/ scary 'Kinky Sex...'

I still love Jello Biafra.




5 comments:

jackut said...

Yeah, but "Give me Convenience...", as a single collection, doesn't really give the eh-fresh impression of "Fresh Fruit...". I'd rather recommend to begin with that combined with the 2004-released "Live at the Deaf Club".

Loki said...

fair point, er jacknut...and Fresh Fruit does have 'drug me' on it...still, if anyone's gonna buy just one CD I think Convenience shows all their sides...

I mean, if they just go headlong in and buy Frankenchrist or Bedtime for Democracy they're gonna be a little disappointed...

Psychbloke said...

Speaking as a person who has witnessed your "garden implement related neurological disorders" presentation, I feel compelled to ask what your favourite garden implement song is.....

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