Support Jello Biafra to Keep Alternative Tentacle

  • By: Carrie Conover
  • Target: Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray, Klaus Flo, Decay Music; ; Dead Kennedys members: Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray, Klaus Flo
By signing this petition I am supporting Jello Biafra in his ongoing efforts to bring the Dead Kennedys' music catalog back under the protection of Alternative Tentacles Records (ATR).

This will ensure that the Dead Kennedys will continue to be known as an independent, underground band on a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) record label, holding true to the original spirit and ethics behind the Dead Kennedys music and to the principles that made the Dead Kennedys such a unique and special group of musicians. The following Dead Kennedys records are no long available on Alternative Tentacles Records: FRESH FRUIT ROTTING VEGETABLES, PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS (IN GOD WE TRUST INC.), FRANKENCHRIST, BEDTIME FOR DEMOCRACY, GIVE ME CONVIENCE.

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This will ensure that the Dead Kennedys will continue to be known as an independent, underground band on a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) record label, holding true to the original spirit and ethics behind the Dead Kennedys music and to the principles that made the Dead Kennedys such a unique and special group of musicians. The following Dead Kennedys records are no long available on Alternative Tentacles Records: FRESH FRUIT ROTTING VEGETABLES, PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS (IN GOD WE TRUST INC.), FRANKENCHRIST, BEDTIME FOR DEMOCRACY, GIVE ME CONVIENCE.

In the brief time since the Dead Kennedys' music catalog left Alternative Tentacles label, the music has been re-issued, the original tracks have been digitally re-mastered, the packaging has been changed with the cover and insert artwork altered without artist consent, and the song writing credit have been edited.

How could this have happened to the Dead Kennedys considering they were always known for being an underground band? When did things change and why? What follows is a brief summary of the Dead Kennedys history. The Dead Kennedys' music was maintained by Alternative Tentacles (www.alternativetentacles.com) from the time they first recorded in 1979-2001. While the band was still together the Dead Kennedys formed another partnership Decay Music, which included all four members of the Dead Kennedys. The Dead Kennedys as a band broke up in 1986 but the Dead Kennedys music remained on Alternative Tentacles. A change of events occured on September 30, 1998 when three of the Dead Kennedys members - East Bay Ray (guitar), DH Peligro (drums), and Klaus Flouride (bass), - voted to move the Dead Kennedys' music catalog from Alternative Tentacles Records without consulting Jello Biafra (singer) because he was not there to cast his vote. On October 1, 1998 the Dead Kennedys/Decay Music notified Jello Biafra and Alternative Tentacles Records that the Dead Kennedys would be terminating their business relationship with Alternative Tentacles, and that the Dead Kennedys would be changing record labels. Then those three members of the Dead Kennedys (www.deadkennedys.com) filed a lawsuit that resulted in Dead Kennedys v. Jello Biafra. After two years and a three week trial in the San Francisco Superior Court, Jello Biafra and Alternative Tentacles Records lost the lawsuit and worst of all the Dead Kennedys' music catalog. Currently, Jello Biafra has filed an appeal with the hoping to bring the Dead Kennedys' music catalog back home to Alternative Tentacles Records.

As of April 2002, none of the Dead Kennedys' music catalog is available on Alternative Tentacles, instead part of the music catalog was re-issued on September 11, 2001 by Manifesto Records (www.Manifesto.com), who currently issues the following Dead Kennedys titles: PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS (IN GOD WE TRUST INC.), FRANKENCHRIST, BEDTIME FOR DEMOCRACY, and GIVE ME CONVENIENCE. Manifesto also distributes the MUTINY ON THE BAY Video and Live CD. On April 30, 2002 Cleopatra Records (www.cleorecs.com) will be releasing FRESH FRUIT ROTTING VEGETABLES.

What does Do-It-Yourself (DIY), independent and underground mean and why is it so important that the Dead Kennedys stay true to these underground ethics? The concept behind DIY is that musicians are able to start record labels and distribute their own music without conforming to the restrictions of a major record label. This DIY mentality gives musicians the freedom to create music under no ones standards but their own. Alternative Tentacles is a great example of a DIY record label started by the Dead Kennedys in 1978 to put out their first self produced single CALIFORNIA UBER ALLES. The Dead Kennedys gained independence by being an underground band. The definition for underground is "an organization of freedom fighters in an oppressed land." This part of the underground music movement mixed politics and punk rock music. These are fundamental ideals that have been practiced ever since in the underground music community. The Dead Kennedys are respected by this community because they stayed true to themselves and these underground ethics.

Jello Biafra and Alternative Tentacles Records have demonstrated longevity, dedication, and integrity when it comes to supporting the underground music community. These are the very reason I am signing this petition to support Jello Biafra to get the Dead Kennedys' music catalog returned to Alternative Tentacles Records, because they are true to the original spirit that made the Dead Kennedys music so special and unique.
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