More Jello Shots
April 20, 2011
Ex-Dead Kennedys frontman, Jello Biafra, is an epic interview. His answers to simple questions seem to transform into personal platforms for extremist political beliefs, albeit everything he riffs on is entertaining and well thought out. That’s why I was inclined to post the dialogue that didn’t make it into the story, which can be found in this week’s issue of the Weekly. Also, be sure to check out the videos of Biafra with his new band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine below and live at Planet Gemini on Thursday, April 21 at 6pm with special guests, .45 Grave and Thee Swank Bastards.
Any chance of a Dead Kennedys reunion?
Anyone who knows how ugly that ended up, knows the answer to that. I am really sick and tired of them dumbing down and prostituting the band and all the fake reunion shows and repeated complaints that my picture with the band keeps turning up on the advertisements.
I thought Klaus (Flouride) and D. H. (Peligro) would be my brothers for life but when I opposed doing the Levi’s commercial, all hell broke loose. In their hearts they’ve become a bunch of republicans. Our values aren’t the same at all and we have next to nothing in common except we had a really cool band at one time. At this point, they’re people I wouldn’t even want to hang out with. Not that I’m ashamed of Dead Kennedys at all. I’m more loving and passionate towards our legacy than they are. That’s for damn sure. I won’t even sign current editions of the albums because they monkeyed with them behind my back. They sued to punish me for sticking to the principals of the band. If they want me to do the reunion thing, they’re going to have to undue all the damage they’ve done. Until then, I’d rather play new songs with a band that cares about me as a human being.
I knew when the Dead Kennedys broke up that I’d have to set myself up so I’d never have to go retro.
Did you put Jerry Brown’s name back in “California Über Alles” (Dead Kennedys first single)?
No. The last version was about (Arnold) Schwarzenegger. A live version of that is on one of the albums I did with the Melvins and we did the Arnold version but he isn’t governor anymore and I think it’s too early to tell where Jerry Brown is going to take things this time around. Clearly, my theory on him the last time turned out to be a little off base. Sure, I thought it up all by my little teenage self and I was so proud, but it turned out to be wrong. The Dead Kennedys fixed it with “We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now” when Reagan came in.
We realized that the wrath of the so-called silent majority was far more dangerous than a bunch of ex-hippies and seasoned yuppies looking for gurus telling them what to do. My mind had been warped from growing up in Boulder (Colorado) and then going to UC Santa Cruz, but once Reagan came in and Jerry Falwell thought he had veto power over the whole country, I realized something much scarier was at stake and sure enough, it was.
Now there are whole generations of people who’ve grown up never knowing an honest election. And they have no idea that we didn’t have all these homeless people sleeping in the street and begging for change until after Reagan. Sure, it was like that in New York and I was horrified when I first saw it. There was even somebody passed out in the middle of Houston St. and people are just walking and driving around him. A couple years of Reagan and that popped up all over the country.
All we have to do to get everybody in to a home is make the rich people pay for it. What’s caused more problems for the world: drug addiction or wealth addiction? Wealth addicts are much worse than crack addicts. What do you do after you’ve made your first million? After that, it’s just a game. I believe in the Green Party’s proposal to put all the wealth addicts in rehab and enact a maximum wage.
I’ll be generous; you can live really well on $100,000, maybe $200,000, maybe even a million. All the other money goes back into the public purse for free education, free healthcare, free transportation including air-travel, a train system like they have in Europe so we don’t have to drive our cars everywhere. It’s so much nicer to tour [in Europe] as a result.
Then, level the playing field to the people who didn’t make $100,000 and give them a chance to fill their pocketbooks up. It will inspire new inventions, new businesses for the chamber of commerce crowd, a lot of cool art and more people who can spend more time with their children.
Guess where the idea for “guaranteed income” came from? It was one of the last things proposed by Martin Luther King before he was murdered. I loved the look on the face of this up-and-coming African American conservative pundit they had me go one-on-one with at a conference at the University of Colorado a couple weeks ago.