Jello Biafra, the Dead Kennedys’ lead singer and songwriter & Alternative Tentacles bossman, turned 62 today.
The video here shows Biafra performing the anti-racist anthem “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”, from the album In God We Trust Inc. The concert was the Dead Kennedys’ performance in June 1984 at the On Broadway, a former San Francisco avant-garde theatre and nightclub. Director Dirk Dirksen documents the performances of Klaus Flouride, D.H. Peligro, East Bay Ray, and Jello Biafra. A 58-minute concert—originally released in VHS format in 1985 as Live in San Francisco and later re-released on DVD in 2000 with a different title: DMPO’s on Broadway—was captured in real time using four cameras.
Biafra today focuses primarily on spoken word performances; however, he has continued as a musician in numerous collaborations. He has also occasionally appeared in cameo roles in films.
Politically, Biafra is a member of the Green Party of the United States. He ran for the party’s presidential nomination in the 2000 presidential election, finishing a distant second to Ralph Nader. In 1979, he ran for mayor of San Francisco, California. He is a staunch believer in a free society, uses shock value, and advocates direct action and pranksterism in the name of political issues. Biafra is known to use absurdist media tactics, in the leftist tradition of the Yippies, to highlight issues of civil rights and social justice.
In the mid-1980s, Biafra became an active campaigner against the Parents Music Resource Center, which introduced Parental Advisory stickers.
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Featured image via Spin.