By ALENA LIM
When it comes to Dead Kennedys, I know everybody in the punk rock industry is familiar with them. Their single, “Holiday In Cambodia,” which was released during the early 1980s from the album Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, was the first song from this band that caught my attention.
Why did this song had so much meaning to me? It was because my family were former refugees of that horrible holocaust. It meant a lot to me that Dead Kennedys revealed the horrors and reality of the event that took place during the late 1970s through their strong and powerful lyrics .
‘California Uber Allies’
Another one of my favorites would be their first single that they released in 1979 from the same album called “California Uber Allies” which refers to the California state Governor name Jerry Brown. This song was kind of dedicated to him, expressing his views on his vision of America. Although there had been alternative versions of this song that has been recorded more than once, the original version shall always stand out the most.
The Dive Bar was packed with fans up to the point where I was unable to move at all. Tickets were sold out as everybody was excited to see these legends perform. The lead singer, Ron ‘Skip’ Greer delivered a promising performance through a series of unpredictable body movements, series of psychotic facial expressions while spreading his raw energy of punk, this is what it was all about! It didn’t matter that we were sweating our asses off while struggling to stand upright through the crazy hard-knocking mosh pit.
Ron had so much energy, I was literally having to wipe my face of his saliva multiple times. That’s how much energy he had. Ron empowers the fans next to the stage by maintaining constant physical interaction with the audience as well as literally being ‘in your face.’ While I watched the people go crazy, cheering for every member of Dead Kennedys on that stage, I was very happy to see this moment. Ron ended the show by walking off the stage and going through the audience during his last song, “Chemical Warfare.”
The majority of Dead Kennedy’s albums were released throughout the 1980s such as Plastic Surgery Disasters w/ In God We Trust Inc. released in 1982, Frankenchrist in 1985, Bedtime for Democracy in 1986, and Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death in 1987. Later, Dead Kennedy’s released an album Mutiny On the Bay in 2001 and Live at the Deaf Club in 2004.
‘Too Old for Punk Rock?’
During the show, Ron spoke to us about how he almost couldn’t make it because he was tired. He was touring for the past 20 days and says he’s getting too old for Punk Rock, then tells us we’re too old for it as well, jokingly of course. He was happy that he was able to make it.
There was talk of wanting a reunion with the original singer, Jello Biafra. Due to the legal battles and problems Jello has had with the former members in the past, Ron said he feels it will never happen. I spoke to a fan who says that it’s not the same without Jello. Of course, ANY band is never the same without their original members. The reputation and history of Dead Kennedys has always been kept alive all these years while they were still touring. They are still very much ALIVE and always will be!
Dead Kennedys Tour
Dead Kennedys will be touring throughout parts of United Kingdom between June 19 through 26. They will be at the Echoplex in LA on July 20, Brick by Brick in San Diego on July 21, House of Blues in Anaheim on July 22, and Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on July 23.
You can find their tour date information on their Facebook page or their official website deadkennedys.com.
1. Band Members: Ron “Skip” Greer [Vocals]; Klause Flouride [Bassist/Vocals]; East Bay Ray [Lead Guitarist]; D.H. Peligro [Drums/Vocals]
2. Band originally formed: San Francisco, CA in 1978
3. Genre: Punk Rock
4. Location of performance: The Dive Bar – Las Vegas, NV
5. Amount of crowd: Full House
6. Set list of songs: Forward To Death, Winnebago Warrior, Police Truck, Buzzbomb, Landlord, Jock-O-Rama, Kill the Poor, MP3 Get Off the Web, TDTF, Moon Over Marin, Nazi Punks, Calif Uber Allies, Bleed for Me, Viva Las Vegas, Holiday In Cambodia, Chemical Warfare.