Dead Kennedys

The Dead Kennedys are a hardcore punk band from San Francisco, California. During the 1980s, the band gained a large underground following in the international punk music scene. Their music mixed the more experimental elements of English 1970s punk with the raw energy of the 1980s American hardcore punk scene. The Kennedys' songs mix the deliberately shocking lyrics of punk with a humorous, acerbic, satirical, and sarcastic left-wing commentary on current social and political issues. At the same time, some of their songs also mocked the hypocritical stances of some liberal elites. Many of the band's songs criticize the right-wing ideologies of the religious right and the Ronald Reagan administration, along with many far-left personalities and ideas.

In the late 1980s, the band was embroiled in an obscenity trial in the US over the 1985 Frankenchrist album, which included a poster with art that depicted penises ("Penis Landscape" by H. R. Giger). The band was charged criminally with distribution of harmful matter to minors, but the trial ended with a hung jury. The band officially disbanded in 1986. From 1998-2004, the band was embroiled in an acrimonious lawsuit over royalties and rights to the band's music. In 2001, the band re-formed and began touring with a new vocalist over the objections of former lead singer Jello Biafra, who, after losing the lawsuit and being found liable for fraud, filed two appeals that he later lost.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License