Jello Biafra
  by Erik Schimek

If there was one guy who got me interested in politics as something other
than an excuse to be cynical, it's Jello Biafra. His band, the Dead Kennedys,
was a mix of anger and hope. The whole premise of the Dead Kennedys was
that any dumb bastard could pick up a mike and start singing, as long as there
was some fucking *passion* behind the music.

("The Stars and Stripes of Corruption", from _Frankenchrist_ circa 1985)

"Tell me who's the real patriots
The Archie Bunker slobs waving flags?
Or the people with the guts to work
For some real change

Rednecks and bombs don't make us strong
We loot the world, yet we can't even feed ourselves
Our real test of strength is caring
Not the toys of war we sell the world."

Well, Tipper Gore and the PMRC didn't like the art he included with that
album and took the band to court. After a year-long trial, the band won the
trial. Friendly lawyers donated a lot of time, but many of the expenses were
paid through a bunch of tiny donations sent in from supporters around the world.

Jello Biafra is on trial again. After he refused to allow his music to be used by Levis
in a television commercial, his ex-band members befriended a group of corporate lawyers
and sued his ass. They won the first trial by arguing that because Jello doesn't play an
instrument, he couldn't have written any of the songs (the same trick has been pulled,
successfully, on many blues artists in the past). The case is currently being appealed.

Jello is asking for donations to help keep the fight alive. This isn't a
fight over freedom of speech, it's a fight to show that principle and
integrity mean something. At least once in a while.

I sent Jello $50. I sent Bartcop $50. I sent Julie Hiatt Steele $10 (all the cash i had on me!).
As I've said to Bartcop before, us sane folks got ta' stick together.

-----Original Message-----
From: bartcop []
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2001 7:39 AM
Subject: Hey from BartCop


I'm embarrassed to say I don't know who Jello Biafra is.
I've heard the name many times (who can forget?)
but beyond that, I don't have a clue.

What is the legal defense for?
Was he in trouble with the law?
I see he's "touring," so he must not be incarcerated.

Do me a favor, and if you could, do it this way: Could you send me
a short thing, maybe 200 words on him and his causes?

PLEASE don't send me a URL with a thousand pages that lists
every facet of everything he ever did, just, if you would, send a
short thing that you wrote, something with passion.

I know I'm being a pain in the ass, but I get 100-200 URL's a day
and I'd much rather hear the story from a real person instead of
some fancy-ass, War and Peace-length press release.
If I don't know who he is, that means many people don't.



Privacy Policy
. .