06.01.04: Dead Kennedys Live at the Deaf Club (Manifesto) Review
DKs Mini-Reviews
06.03.03: East Bay Ray Interview
10.30.02: Underrated Guitarist - Easy Bay Ray
08.08.02: Dead Kennedys "Mutiny on the Bay"
09.25.01: "Mutiny on the Bay"
08.29.01: "The Early Years Live" (Target Video DVD)
08.26.01: "Dead Kennedys - The Early Years Live" (DVD)
03.24.01: America's Greatest Punk Band, Re-mastered and Reissued
03.17.01: Long Awaited Live Album by San Francisco Punk Legends

Dead Kennedys Live at the Deaf Club (Manifesto)
From: RollingStone.com

The world really needs the Dead Kennedys now, their sinew-and-silly-putty West Coast punk reverberates anew on this classic live CD. Captured at their playful-sardonic peak in 1979, the slash-and-burn set includes such anti-Establishment thorns as "California Uber Alles," "Kill the Poor" and the strangely timeless "Holiday in Cambodia." Mondo-campo versions of "Back in the U.S.S.R." and (believe it) "Viva Las Vegas" close out a short-sharp-shock of a show. Frontman Jello Biafra is in typically hyperactive form and the rest of the band, Klaus Flouride (bass), East Bay Ray (guitar), Ted (drums) and, in his last gig with the DKs, 6025 (guitar) blow the bricks loose on one of the punk era's definitive live albums.

- Adrian Zupp

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07.10.03 - Dead Kennedys Mini-Reviews
From: About.com
by Chad Kempfert

The sad legal battles [ ] of the Dead Kennedys has resulted in the reissue of their back catalog. So if you don't already have these brilliant albums on CD, this is the perfect time to fill out your collection. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables has been remastered and reissued by Cleopatra Records, while the others were released by Manifesto Records. The remastering job was done very tastefully. The albums all sound much clearer while retaining the rawness of the original recordings. Additionally, the original artwork, including the original insert booklets, have been reproduced and included for your perverse enjoyment. The only exception is the controversial poster that was originally included with the Frankenchrist album, which led to criminal trials for obscenity. Additionally, the new Manifesto releases also come in beautiful vinyl editions!

Mutiny On The Bay - 2001 * * * * (out of 5)

A Live album culled from material recorded between 1982-1986. All of their best material is here, making it a pleasure from start to end. Tracks like "Holiday In Cambodia," "MTV Get Off The Air", "Hellnation," "This Could Be Anywhere" and the closer "Riot" show what an amazingly powerful live band they were. One of the album's highlights is an updated version of "California Uber Alles" where Biafra sings, "I am emperor Ronald Reagan / Born again with fascist cravings / Still you made me President / By sitting on your ass." A great addition any DK collection. To all those naysayers who call this album the band's sellout, I say, you can either take what you can get from a great band or you can go buy Avril Lavigne albums.

Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables - 1980 * * * *

With songs like "Kill The Poor," "Let's Lynch The Landlord," and "I Kill Children," Biafra has his phaser set to stun. His left-wing political stances, shock tactics and basic messages of rebellion against corruption combined with the ultra-fast musical assault ushered in the Hardcore Punk scene. While this album is filled with naked aggression, the band wasn't quite as solid as they would be for Plastic Surgery Disasters. However, the shear power of "California Uber Alles," "Holiday In Cambodia" and even their version of "Viva Las Vegas" make this essential listening. A few of the songs are dated, but that doesn't make this album any less important.

Plastic Surgery Disasters / In God We Trust, Inc. - 1982 * * * * *

Here, the band was at their strongest musically while still retaining the naive spirit of revolution and rebellion. The songs are slightly slower and more complex while the huge, sinewy horror guitars of East Bay Ray are at an all time high (see "Bleed For Me" and "I Am The Owl" for evidence). Plastic Surgery Disasters (PSD's) is one long attack on the apathetic attitude of the American good life. "Government Flu" points the finger at government experimentation, "Terminal Preppie" attacks the college frat-boy meathead. "Winnebago Warrior" uses the lyric "30 gallons to the mile." As relevant as ever in this day of gas guzzling SUV's. "Moon Over Marin" closes the album with it's soaring vision of apocalypse in a rich snob's world. Pure brilliance from start to finish! Also included here is the 1981 EP In God We Trust, Inc. which includes the classic song "Nazi Punks Fuck Off." The EP is much rawer than PSD's and sounds more like Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables stylistically.

Frankenchrist - 1985 * * * *

Frankenchrist opens with a creepy guitar line that perfectly accompanies the topic of the song "Soup Is Good Food," about the feeling of a worker being replaced by computers. "We're sorry but it's against the law to jump off this bridge / you'll just have to kill yourself somewhere else / A tourist might see you and we wouldn't want that." The song "This Could Be Anywhere" is a powerful song addressing the topic of kids and violence in urban sprawl. The machine gun drums, pummeling bass and screaming guitars make this one of the DK's best songs. The weakness of this album is the goofiness of the songs "MTV Get Off The Air" and "At My Job." While these songs may be playful and fun, they detract from the power of the album as a whole. On the other hand, "MTV Get Off The Air's" attack on the major label music business is still as valid today as it ever was with lyrics like "But sales are slumping / and no one will say why / could it be they put out one too many lousy records?"

Bedtime For Democracy - 1986 * * *

On their last real album, the band return to the mega-fast blast of songs in the style of Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables or In God We Trust, Inc., but more Polished. Could it be the Dead Kennedys parodying the Dead Kennedys? This album takes itself less seriously than Plastic Surgery Disasters and Frankenchrist, possibly because their hearts weren't 100% into it. "Dear Abby," "Rambozo The Clown" and "Triumph Of The Swill" "Fleshdunce" and "A Commercial" are a few examples of the attack on the media. Other topics include the usual; corrupt government, scientific nightmares, military and everything else. While a few of the songs don't hit home, there are still some great tracks here like "Take This Job And Shove It," "Triumph Of The Swill," "Macho Insecurity," "I Spy," "Cesspools In Eden" and "One-way Ticket To Pluto."

Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death - 1987 * * * *

Released just as the band called it a day, this is a collection of rarities, singles and live material. It perfectly showcases both sides of the band, the serious and intense side as well as the more humorous side. Essentials like "Police Truck," "Too Drunk To Fuck," "I Fought The Law," as well as single versions of "California Uber Alles" and "Holiday In Cambodia" are all here. On the live tune "Pull My Strings" Biafra declares "We aren't a Punk Rock band, we're a New Wave band." The song then proceeds to pan the rock star mentality while mimicking it. The tune uses the riff from "My Sherona" by The Knack with the lyrics "drool, drool, drool, drool / My Payola." Absolutely brilliant! "Night Of The Living Rednecks" is an improv by Biafra while East Bay Ray fixes his guitar. Backed by a bebop bass and drum line, Biafra tells his hilarious story about being harassed by jock rednecks in Portland Oregon. Last but not least is a high-octane version of "Buzzbomb Of Pasadena" with Biafra singing in an old ladies voice.

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06.03.03 - INTERVIEW: Dead Kennedys
From: In Music We Trust

Reawakening The Dream - Punk Rock Legends Return To Rattle The Cage In A New Age Of Apathy:
An Interview With East Bay Ray By: Vinnie Apicella

At the time of this writing, a resurgent Dead Kennedys will have brought their sarcastic yet socially conscious, politically pointed Punk Rock music to the shores of Japan and Russia for the first time ever in support of their recently released "Mutiny On The Bay" live CD - an unlikely event considering they originally played their last show together back in March of 1986 shortly before disbanding, then personally disjointing about a decade later.

"The fact of the matter is he took money and hid money from the band - and refused to acknowledge it and still refuses to acknowledge it - he got caught in a conflict of interest." - EBR .

By now to most familiar with the scene, the legal battles between former lead singer Jello Biafra and the rest of the band over royalties and rights to their back catalog are old news. The above caption states in succinct terms, the open and shut facts as expressed by founding guitarist and current interviewee East Bay Ray (hereafter referred to as "EBR" or simply "Ray") relating to the Dead Kennedys vs. Jello Biafra court case which began back in 1997. Thus, a band, built on the principles of democracy, having since overthrown the fraudulent attempts by a misdirected despot, have effectively won back their rights and moved forward with a new singer and new home for the catalog at issue - or "reissue" as the case may be. More information on the case can be obtained at www.deadkennedysnews.com.

To matters of future significance, Dead Kennedys are again a force to be reckoned with in an American Punk community they helped define 25 years ago. Theirs was the urgent voice of discontent that made famous the necessary but often overlooked democratic ideals of equality, questioning authority, and personal accountability in their pointed lyrics and scathing rhythmic attack. There were few competitors. The Dead Kennedys were every bit about musical unity as they were about freedom of expression.

In winning back the rights to their catalog the band has reaped a harvest of sales successes with the digitally remastered reissues of all their late great landmark albums. In addition, the band celebrated by scheduling vinyl reissues to be concluded early this year along with a previous reissue of their classic "Dead Kennedys - The Early Years Live" video and the new "Mutiny On The Bay" CD. "Our reissue campaign on Manifesto Records has been an incredible success," enthuses EBR. "It's great to be back in control of our own music and the fans have really responded. The new remasters sound fantastic, way better than the older CD's that's for sure."

"Dead Kennedys - The Early Years Live" features the band performing live from various venues from 1978-1981 and includes highlight performances from the acclaimed Mabuhay Gardens, the San Francisco club where they first got their start. While plans remain for a second live tape, EBR reveals additional plans to uncover another unexpected find: "We're in the process of working on a DVD of us recording 'In God We Trust, Inc.' - it's actually a video of us recording. So there'll be a lot of live and in studio footage." How did this surface? "Klaus (Flouride - bass player) was looking through about 40 or 50 hours worth of tape and he ran across this kind of documentary footage of us doing 'God'. We were originally going to do a continuation of our 'Early Years' video with different songs and venues and such - which we'll probably still do at some point - but we just ran across this and thought it was pretty unique. There's not really much in the way of Punk bands recording in the studio."

Of course in the aftermath of the court proceedings, the band's reformation was not only in doubt, their legitimacy to proceed without their outspoken vocalist and chief lyricist, Biafra, would be forced into question. Why can some bands merely get away with "replacing" a lead singer or other dominant presence, while others go on to even greater degrees of success or in some cases implode altogether, is a subject for day-long debates of inconclusiveness. "A lot of people (who doubted us) don't realize how important the musicians were to Dead Kennedys," was Ray's brief comment on the topic that will shortly garner more attention. Weighted against the principles of the "band" as opposed to one or another member, there may be no single bigger musical interest on the whole than Dead Kennedys; who concurrent to their courtroom clashes, still provide for a band-related vote to their former frontman.

On the recent Dead Kennedys reformation, EBR had this to say: "We've only been doing this for a little over a year now. We were re-releasing the records on Manifesto and doing a record release party for the 'Mutiny' CD and just kind of fell into it really. The party was going to be in Los Angeles and Klaus, DH, and I were going to be there. We'd planned to meet and greet people, sign autographs and shake hands, that type of thing. There were going to be some bands playing - The Angry Samoans, The Stitches, Cell Block 5 - and DH came up with the idea of us getting up and playing some tunes too. DH also knew Brandon Cruz from the band Dr. Know, and so we all did a bit of rehearsing and next thing you know there's a bunch of people outside the studio and the rumor hits the street. Then the club ends up selling out three weeks in advance! We were unannounced and unadvertised; We didn't know how people would feel about the band and the music with three original members, but like I said, it sold out - and there were like 300 more people out front. The promoter was amazed. We had a majority of younger kids in the audience who'd never seen us before and of course some who were older, it was just amazing the amount of love there was for the music. That, to me, is when we realized the music's more powerful than the individuals. And there was this agent there offering us more gigs to get the ball rolling and we've been doing it ever since."

Considering the magnitude of touring and venues the band has since played, any lingering questions about whether (they should) or why (they have) have been resoundingly silenced. With successful shows throughout the U.S. and Europe fueled by massive festivals highlighted by Germany's "With Full Force" where DK shared the stage with Biohazard and Slayer in front of a crowd of 46,000, the band, vindicated in their ideological passions of music for positive change, took great leaps forward from their far removed prime. Ray adds: "We've been to South America, we've been all over the U.S. again, we're going to Japan for the first time ever, and Russia - We're going back to Europe and the UK to bigger places than we did the first time. Admittedly there was a lot of skepticism the first time around. People thought we couldn't pull it off, but I'm proud to say the skeptics who heard us were convinced." EBR and I take a look back reexamine why exactly, when so few bands could survive such a loss as that of a charismatic platform pushing vocalist like Biafra, could come back even stronger and effectively influence a whole new generation of people. Could it be because their words still cut like a buzzbomb through the bowels of a too often brain dead and blind society?

"We've always been a very politically and socially conscious band - and unfortunately, a lot of what we've sung about - 'Life Sentence', 'Police Truck', 'Kill The Poor', still applies today." - EBR.

EBR discusses a little about the band's history with commentary on the shifting Punk scene from when they began: "Klaus, DH, and myself really have a unique style and when you put them together, it comes out like that 'sound', and also the audiences have been really intelligent. When we started in San Francisco at the Mabuhay, the shows would consist of an Art band, a Pop band, and a Punk band all on the same bill. You'd have this mix of people and this mix of ideas - words like 'germinate' or 'crossbreed' would continually come up. By around '83-'84 the scenes split apart and the Punk scene became one thing, the Pop scene became a sort of New Wave scene, and the Art scene was - what it was, and by around '85-'86 the Punk shows turned into this macho, testosterone-based, power trip thing. It was more about how many people can you knock over - not every show, but enough - and it just wasn't fun for us to play them anymore. But the touring we've been doing this last year has reminded me of the golden age of Punk. We have a mixed audience; there are some younger people and we've got the older ones that saw us before. We've had women in the pit - women stage diving, where it's allowed (laughs) and you know, people are being really responsible and helpful. It's not this idea of how many elbows can you throw and so forth."

With a band like DK, the message in the music, and really an analysis of the art form at its core, or at least its most influential, will reveal it as drawing on democratic-bred distinctions toward difference making. Whether it's promoting free thinking with furious fist pumps or ass-bearing, nose-thumbing delivery mechanisms, more so than any other musical style or function, Punk Rock remains philosophically unchangeable and so allows for a uniquely generational spanning art with less limitations than most. EBR, obviously moved at the size, mix, and ability of today's DK audience, concurs with said theory (phew!) and reveals the band member tastes as "open" when it comes to musical forms and a sort of "togetherness" and "chemistry" that allowed for DK's uniqueness, and adding: "When I was remastering the CD's I was pretty blown away by some of what we'd done at the time; it was like, wow, I remember that; that was pretty wacky - we really did take things out there pretty far!"

But then there were your "Too Drunk To Fuck's" that no matter how responsible your intent, could be shielded from criticism just so long. "That was a top 40 hit in the United Kingdom!" laughs Ray. "But we also had a sense of humor in there definitely, which I think is important." Soon after, we skim over the idea of politics and humor, two perfectly blended and widely used elements to the DK character where songs like "Too Drunk--" inexcusable in the extremes of precedent setting, push the issue anthems, suggests, yes, this was a young band, loose, loud, disrespectful, yet all the more impressive in the accepting of their share of social responsibility. But with all this serious talk, doesn't a name like "Dead Kennedys" evoke instant controversy? Shouldn't it? "Well you know from our viewpoint, America in the '60s, before the assassinations, was kind of a time of idealism and people - what's the JFK line? 'Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country.' And he doesn't mean the government, he means what you can do for your country - your community and fellow citizens. After the JFK assassination, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, America became self-centered and more cynical and still hasn't recovered that innocent idealism that had existed. So the name also signifies the loss of that idealism and our lyrics and music suggesting that maybe it's time to bring those back."

Let's also address the topic of singers a little bit further. Most people in the Punk community probably know of Brandon Cruz from fronting the band Dr. Know. Brandon's definitely logged some mileage in the scene for a while. "Basically the band's message is still the same - only the voice has changed." Any possibility of there being any new "fruit" to pick from in the near future? "We've talked about it but right now we've been so busy touring and running around - but it's possible."

Each of DK's records offer a distinctive sound that embody the spirit of Punk aggression yet flawlessly transcend it, often breaking into a variety of mixed fragments that fall between Pop, Goth, Blues - and Rockabilly fueled guitar jams augmented by Speedracer style scales on a high speed picking spree that kicks sand in the face of the traditional sixties' surf scene. EBR discusses a little about the earlier influences that helped develop DK's musical dynamic: "As a musician it's an honor for people to come and hear me play," begins Ray. "These riffs that I created and recorded, to have them recognized and valued is really special to me as a musician. In the beginning, my dad exposed me to a lot of Duke Ellington and the Blues, stuff like Lightning Hopkins and Muddy Waters back in the day. I was never really into '70s music when I was growing up. Klaus's line was that he got into Punk Rock because of The Eagles - he didn't like The Eagles (Laughs). Since then I've discovered AC/DC and I've also discovered The Ohio Players and the funkier stuff of the time. I used to listen to all sorts of stuff when I was young and probably was very eccentric in that way. But as a guitar player, the 'Sun Sessions' with Elvis Presley was a big influence. There was Scotty Moore playing his guitar into an echo unit like 'Mystery Train,' that sound of 'Mystery Train' was what inspired me to get an Echoplex. I also liked the first Pink Floyd record with Syd Barrett on it - again going back to the idea of an echo - and then there are some people who say I've got a 'surf' sound - like that Dick Dale style of double-picking, but I never really listened to 'surf' music so maybe it's just from growing up in California."

Some small talk ensues about fellow Punk vets, The Damned, and how each, while different, stretch conditional components of Punk music to richer extremes - Dead Kennedys will actually be playing with them in the UK in April - where elements of Goth, Drama, psychic fill effects, and so forth make strange bedfellows to the ideals of traditionally aimed fury where "Lynching Landlord's" or "Smashing It Up's" are concerned, but then - "Especially on the CD 'Plastic Surgery Disasters' and 'Frankenchrist' a lot of those elements exist - there's a kind of Avant Garde Jazz type mix." Furthering brief themes of individual album content, Ray adds that "Frankenchrist" gets a little bit "freaky" with an increased use of "western trumpets," and, "some of them are really short," regarding the songs on "Bedtime For Democracy" bow out, and then I'm reminded of "I Spy," the song, and again drawing comparisons to many of DK's mid-point jam sessions when suddenly "Enter The Dragon" appears in the background and there's Bruce Lee slipping carefully through the dark amidst subtle theme music, precursory to violent outbursts and fearful aftereffects - Ray's never seen the movie.

Okay, and so what's this I've been reading then, with all of the positive build up about your comeback and recent successes, that you're banned from playing certain clubs in San Francisco - still? "Well the booker's a personal friend of Biafra's - something the local reporter failed to report. Yeah, it's basically got to do with personal vindictiveness and nothing more. The clubs are going for the old fogy music or something. It's like, so what else is new for Dead Kennedys?" Who are some bands you follow from the Bay Area you think have potential to make a move? "My favorite local band is The Glamour Pussies. They are like ultra-Punk. They don't care (laughs) but they actually have some pretty catchy tunes. They're made up of all women who wear different, wacky outfits every time they play. It reminds me of way back when the first time I saw The Weirdos play before we formed. They inspired me to put together a Punk band- so this is like, wow, it's not cliché ridden, shall we say? So that to me makes it real Punk!"

"Biafra said, 'Let the audience decide', way back over a year ago - and then the audience was coming to the show and guess what? He files a lawsuit in Alameda against us to stop us from playing - That should tell you all you need to know about that."

Ray and I return to the idea of carrying on in the future without their original singer; He, shrugging off the notion of potential backlash by the old school traditionalist, and me, dissatisfied to let the issue rest regarding the loss of an outspoken, almost iconic figure who'd apparently granted his ego an insurmountable head start - "If you come and actually see the show and judge for yourself, which is what DK is about - that's what was so funny about us being banned in San Francisco. DK is not about telling people what to think; it's about telling people to think for themselves - and the powers that be got corrupted. But some people don't want to change and I understand that. It's an old school way of thinking but nobody's the way they used to be. It's a fact, everything changes one way or another." On playing the old classics again - "Yeah we've played 'em I'm subjective of course, but it's actually better than it used to be. Punk isn't a religious cult. There are those people that want to turn music into some sort of religious item and it's just really bizarre."

On the issue of the band's potential and perceived loss of credibility through commerciality stemming from some people's objections to a certain reissued, or "reselling" of an American Punk legend, EBR concludes: "People can be small minded and bitter; we are not on a major label nor have we done any commercials. Some will discover a band in a club that's underground and then when that band becomes successful, they don't like them anymore. It's like a reverse designer jeans philosophy or something - (Laughs). 'My identity exists because I know this band that nobody else knows' - it's like an in/out identity thing, where it's not really about music, it's got to do with being cool. It comes from insecurity. With a band like Dead Kennedys, we're opposed to that kind of rigid thinking and - it's like, get a life. You know, there are bigger issues in the world today - like, what does Iraq have to do with Al Queda? The government wants to eliminate taxes on dividends so only working people will be taxed - there are much more important issues to debate." Right now, regarding their decision to play together again, it appears as though East Bay Ray and the rest of DK's remaining members are winning that one hands down.

Some quick EBR clips that didn't fit into the overall scheme but were too cool to cut out:

"Nirvana came out in the '90s and brought that kind of Punky sound that became much more acceptable to the people, and as a consequence, people rediscovered us."

"A lot of music on the radio is overproduced--" "I've always had a soft spot for one-hit wonders." "A good band has a chemistry between people. There's a difference between a solo record and a band record."

"When I saw The Dictators I was like, wow, this is better than a lot of the bands that are getting promoted on the radio!" "Really good Rock bands I describe as having an operatic aspect - they have music, they have costumes, they have characters. Even The Beatles and The Stones, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones - they have characters, costumes, and music."

"Back when the lawsuit started, people were like, 'How can you do that?' Well how can we let someone rip us off? You know that wouldn't be Punk." "We weren't influenced in our decision to shut it down in the mid '80s because of the popular music scene. It was just that the audiences were changing and our own well had begun to run dry at the time."

"I put an ad in the paper and a record store - Klaus answered and Biafra answered. So we started working on songs and got a drummer and got another guitar player and we did our first show in July 1978. We had our drummer for about a week!"

"The Beatles sued one another - The Sex Pistols sued one another - The Misfits sued one another - The Beach Boys - I mean, okay, it makes good copy for your daily paper or tabloids, but ultimately, the music's much more powerful than any of that. Do you care now that The Sex Pistols sued one another?"

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Guitars & Basses » Underrated Guitarist » East Bay Ray!

From: Epinions.com

For those who don't know "East Bay Ray," he was the guitarist for the Dead Kennedys (yeah, I know they had another one for a very, very, brief period, but that "6025" fella wasn't around for all that long). Oh, now East Bay Ray didn't do much - he just had to switch maniacally from lead to rhythm guitar, play at a pace that could shred the fingers of some guitarists and help define the hardcore punk scene.

The Dead Kennedys wrote a hell of a lot of songs about the evils of capitalism, government extremism, moronic folks, post-apocalyptic horrors and other such cheery things. East Bay Ray provided those songs with a bit of creepy, appropriate atmosphere. Take, for example, his work on "Police Truck," which is a song about abusive cops who engage in a fun-filled evening of beating up on drunks and brutally raping a prostitute. Easy Bay Ray keeps the song galloping and chugging along, and even tosses in a few notes from the "Batman" theme and a lick that sounds like an English cop car.

East Bay Ray was all about creating an atmosphere that focused the listener's attention on what the song of the moment meant. In the above example, the "Batman" and "police car" licks help drive the point home that "Police Truck" is supposed to present a picture of how cops who have unchecked power behave in a terror-filled police state.

Impressive, too, is East Bay Ray's sheer finger speed on the fretboard. The song "Buzzbomb" comes to mind as a good example of this. In that one, East Bay Ray plays at a pace that is best described as caffeine-induced, and it's rather hard to figure out just what the hell he's playing in the rhythm part because it goes by so fast. And, in the middle of all that, he manages to toss in a short but busy solo.

Another good example of a song in which East Bay Ray creates a dense atmosphere is "Riot," which is about, naturally, a riot breaking out on the city streets. The song starts slowly to represent the building of the riot, speeds up to a break-neck pace during the description of the riot, and then slows to nothing when describing events after the riot has ended. East Bay Ray hangs through all the phases of the song, yet lends a bunch of trembling, almost cartoonish notes that suggest the whole thing will end in disaster. That, of course, is the whole point of the song.

Perhaps most important is the fact that East Bay Ray strayed from a maxim that was, seemingly, adopted by a lot of punks at the time - all you need are three chords and the truth. The Dead Kennedys were typically angry about this, that and the other, and they weren't afraid to tell people why. East Bay Ray helped focus the listeners attention to those songs, and that's important if bands like the Dead Kennedys are going to be taken seriously at all. For example, how can you take a band seriously if it sounds like a million other groups full of goons without much talent beating on instruments?

A lot of punk bands wound up breezing through simple chords because they had neither the ability or song-writing skill to do anything but play fast, loud music. East Bay Ray, as I've mentioned, managed to add a lot to the atmosphere of songs, and it didn't matter one whit whether he was playing rhythm or lead parts - they were both well-constructed and showed an impressive amount of skill and familiarity with the guitar.

That's really incredible when one considers that Dead Kennedys songs were horribly fast - it's hard to be too expressionistic when you're playing about as fast as you can manage, but East Bay Ray was able to find the time to create some truly memorable guitar parts. Instead of just banging on a guitar and popping out a few dull, repetitive riffs, East Bay Ray managed to create some truly memorable stuff. And, better yet, he could do all that while using nasty sounding distortion and playing loud enough to get the attention of the listener.

Now, I know that East Bay Ray probably isn't held in very high regard by members of the "Clapton is God" set, but he's yet another one of those guitarists who convinced me to pick up a guitar and learn how to play the thing. Judging from the influence of the Dead Kennedys on the hardcore punk scene and on guitarists and bands today, I'd say I'm not alone in my respect for East Bay Ray's work.

- HawgWyld | Aug 07 '00

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From: Mondo Gordo - ALT.CULTURE.GUIDE

Dead Kennedys
(Manifesto Records)

The Dead Kennedys never released a live album during their brief yet notorious career as America’s favorite hardcore bad boys. The legendary punk outfit’s incendiary live performances have nevertheless been well represented by a handful of bootleg albums and videos, the best of which is probably ‘Jello’s Revenge’ (Armed Response Records), culled from San Francisco club shows in 1979 and 1985. MUTINY ON THE BAY is the first “authorized” Dead Kennedys live disc, part of Manifesto’s reissuing of the band’s catalog under the aegis of members East Bay Ray, D.H. Peligro and Klaus Flouride.

MUTINY ON THE BAY presents not a single entire performance but rather pieces of four different shows that date from 1982 and 1986. The original soundboard tapes have been digitally remastered but manage to retain a fair degree of their original energy and grunge. I hate to disagree with my old buddy Jello, who has publicly dissed MUTINY ON THE BAY, but this is a hell of a collection. A veritable “who’s who” of the DK’s greatest hits, this fourteen song set offers those of us who never got to witness the band live (i.e. most punk fans who didn’t live within a day’s drive of the west coast) a taste of what bootleg videos only hinted at.

Almost all the great DK songs are here, from “Police Truck” and “Kill The Poor” to “Hellnation” and “MTV - Get Off The Air.” The energy in these tracks is undeniable; Biafra’s warbling, operatic vocals jumping out of the speakers above East Bay Ray’s slashing six-string work. One of the band’s signature songs, “Holiday In Cambodia,” offers some fiery fretwork courtesy of East Bay Ray while the Flouride/Peligro rhythmic assault that opens “California Uber Alles” provides powerful punctuation to Biafra’s angry vocals. The production seamlessly stitches together the performances; tying songs together with Biafra’s onstage comments and smoothing out the rough edges so that the entire collection sounds like one lengthy performance. Perhaps some of the spontaneity is lost in this digital translation, but the quality of these performances shines through nonetheless and there is plenty of feedback and stage noise present for the purist.

There are some good Dead Kennedys’ bootlegs still circulating around in trading circles, but MUTINY ON THE BAY puts most, in not all of them to shame. If all you know of the Dead Kennedys is their reputation, then MUTINY ON THE BAY, coupled with the band’s incredible debut, FRESH FRUIT FOR ROTTING VEGETABLES, are perfect introductions to the band’s legacy. Let’s hope that Manifesto has some other live material of this quality stashed away in the vault for future release. The Dead Kennedys were one of the most influential hardcore punk bands of the eighties; their importance based on live performances like those captured by MUTINY ON THE BAY. Let’s hear some more!

- Rev. Keith Gordon

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"Mutiny on the Bay" editorial review
From: Amazon.com

The first-ever authorized live album by the Dead Kennedys--following decades of bootlegs--is a DKs fan dream come true, as it contains absolutely scorching live versions of 14 of their best and most notorious songs. Whether live or in the studio, the DKs were always real players, easily some of the most accomplished musicians in American punk. MUTINY ON THE BAY captures their savvy, sophisticated chaos with juicy, startling clarity. Culled from four shows in their hometown of San Francisco in 1982 and 1986, MUTINY features most of their signature songs ("Holiday in Cambodia," "Police Truck," "California Über Alles," "MTV Get off the Air," etc.), all delivered with the deeply sarcastic, politically and socially confrontational élan that crowds loved and the powers-that-be loathed. The sound quality is bracing and brilliant, and captures the band in all its high-flying, punk rock/thrash/surf glory. A time bomb wired from the past, MUTINY ON THE BAY is easily one of the Dead Kennedys' most essential releases.

- Carl Hanni

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Dead Kennedys - The Early Years Live (Target Video DVD)
From: San Francisco Bay Guardian

Despite their band name, amped-up surf beats, and lefty-politico posturing, Dead Kennedys really weren't much of a punk band, as this retrospective reveals - musically, they were too much in control, inclined to prog rock tempo changes, overly cerebral, and too clean. Which isn't to say that DKs were not abrasive. They were, but in a manner more prissified than their Los Angeles or London counterparts and without the irony and humor of their New York contemporaries. But what they lacked in subtlety, they made up for by being tightly arranged, topical, and novel, which explains their massive popularity 20 years ago.

That said, a few points must be made. (1) If Johnny Rotten's stage persona is derived from Sir Laurence Oliver in Richard III, then Jello Biafra's is Frank Gorshin as the Riddler in the Batman TV series. (2) D.H. Peligro is the best drummer ever to back a new-wave ensemble, with drummer Ted, who is featured on most of the DVD's tracks, a close second. (3) Kudos to East Bay Ray and Klaus Flouride for maintaining a stoic stage presence in contrast to Biafra's 'Marcel Marceau on methamphetamine' hamminess. (4) Using footage of the fall of Saigon footage for "Holiday In Cambodia's" visuals neglects the fact that Saigon wasn't in Cambodia but Vietnam. This is a nit-picking, I know, but a band that prides itself on its smarts should know better. The best segment of the DVD is a brief look at Biafra's 1978 run for mayor: he was absolutely hilarious and ingenious, in contrast to the show-off persona that (semi) sang those underground 'hits.' I recommend more patter, less chatter, for future DKs sets.

- Johnny Angel

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Dead Kennedys - The Early Years Live (DVD)
From: worldwidepunk.com

What we have here are live videos of one of America's more controversial punk rock bands, the Dead Kennedys. There are 9 songs here, filmed between 1978 and 1981, at various venues around San Francisco: California Uber Alles, Kill the Poor, Drug Me, The Man With the Dogs, Insight, Let's Lynch the Landlord, Bleed For Me, Holiday in Cambodia, and Viva Las Vegas. The sound and video quality are generally quite good, allowing Jello Biafra's spastic vocals and East Bay Ray's psycho-surf guitar work really stand out. Jello's performances are especially animated, especially during Drug Me. This seriously makes me wish I was around to see them play live. It's kind of a short video (approx 30 minutes), but the video says this is "Part 1", so if there's a "Part II" out there, I wonder why it wasn't included here? As a bonus, the DVD contains bios of all the band members, with details of what they have all done since their break-up. This is the Dead Kennedys at their best, and if you like this band at all, give this video some attention!

- Vic

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America's Greatest Punk Band, Re-mastered and Reissued
From: kerrang!

Dead Kennedys
Plastic Surgery Disasters/In God We Trust, Inc.
KKKKK (out of 5!)
Bedtime For Democracy
Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death

MORE POLITICALLY advanced than Minor Threat and less brutish than Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys are arguably the greatest punk rock band ever. Aside from defining a frantic, edgy and genuinely subversive sound, Jello Biafra's lyrics showed the American Dream for the living nightmare it had become and offered suggestions for improvement along the way.
'Plastic Surgery Disasters', the band's second album, is the sound of punk rock carpet bombing, which when tagged alongside the short, sharp 'In God We Trust, Inc' release makes for 22 tracks of inspired nihilism, from the classic 'Nazi Punks F**k Off' to a frankly mental reworking of the 'Rawhide' theme music.
Dissecting the rampant commercialism/consumerism of a money-led society 'Frankenchrist', attempted to nip the MTV monopoly in the bud with the prophetic 'MTV Get Off The Air', while 1986's 'Bedtime…,' with its proto- 'Dookie' artwork was the DK's most intense, paranoid and outright thrashy release.
Finally 'Give Me Convenience…' is the 'greatest hits' and, f**k me, there's plenty of them. So burn your retarded piss-weak punk pretender records, listen to this band and never be content with the world again.

- Ben Myers

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Long Awaited Live Album by San Francisco Punk Legends
From: kerrang!

Dead Kennedys
Mutiny On The Bay: Live From The San Francisco Bay Area
KKKKK (out of 5!)

HEY YOU, Blink 182 and Offspring fan, you think you know what punk is? You haven't got a f**kin' clue. Cop a load of this, the real deal, the Dead f**kin' Kennedys, recorded live at their peak from the San Francisco Bay in pristine quality.
Just in case you don't know, the Dead Kennedys were the most politically subversive, creative punk band to ever raise its ugly head from the American punk underground. They had the best songs, the best lyrics and the most insane frontman in Jello Biafra and judging by this live document, they were the most ferocious band onstage too! The energy and passion that floods from this CD is so inspiring that it makes almost every other punk album fall into insignificance.
There is none more punk. You need this album like you need your brain. Buy it now, fool.

- James Sherry

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