Monday, July 11, 2022



Classic And Iconic Punk Debut
Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
Gets Remix Treatment
By Chris Lord-Alge
Also Featuring Previously Unseen Imagery, Extensive Essay and Contributions from Artists Inspired By the Original Album 

Out September 30th via Manifesto Records


While “iconic” and “classic” has been overused to the point of being an eye-rolling cliché, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables is just that… a hugely influential work that created a major shift in the culture and creation of music to come.  “The band’s creative m.o.: left leaning politics, mordant humor, gonzo imagery (What the hell do suede denim secret police want with your uncool niece, for Christ sake?), and muscular instrumentation. There was no other band that sounded like DKs,” details Amy Linden, nationally recognized journalist and former DK tour manager. “Dead Kennedys belied the mainstream narrative/falsehood that punk was more about provocation and attitude than actual skills and song craft. Which is not to say that Dead Kennedys didn’t have a healthy respect for provocation: this was a band not afraid to push, and even tear off, buttons.”

A harsh reaction to the Reagan era in American Politics, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables tackled capitalism (the scathing and sarcastic and “Kill the Poor”), bioterrorism (“Chemical Warfare”) and even “affluenza” (“Holiday in Cambodia”). “California über alles” (a pointed take on the anthem of Germany which begins “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”) was a blistering satirical take on Governor of California Jerry Brown (1975-1983) and “hippie fascism.”             

Dead Kennedys’ influence resounded loudly throughout punk, hardcore, metal and rock. “If you had to define and summarize all of punk rock, in my opinion it would be the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks, the Ramones’ Rocket to Russia, and Dead Kennedys’ Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables,” said David Ellefson, Megadeth. “It is a slab of timeless perfection that will never be duplicated or imitated,” adds Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise. “My education was punk rock—what the Dead Kennedys said—it was attacking America, but it was America at the same time,” contributes Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. For Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, the band’s impact was visceral and impactful. He remembers, “I went…to the DK’s Rock against Reagan show in Washington [1984]…the Dead Kennedys were playing…and were one of my favorite bands. There were police helicopters all over the place and buses filled up with riot police. As a thirteen year old kid, that was like my own little revolution.”

But what matters most is the music. As historic as Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables stands in the pantheon of music, it’s the personal effect it has on the listener and how it really does stand the test of time. “Back in the day, ‘deep listening’ was a part of the culture,” concludes East Bay Ray. “When anyone got a new record, they sat back in a sofa or chair, album cover in hand, and just listened. Dr. Ray highly recommends this for the 2022 Mix of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables.”

Dead Kennedys lineup on Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables is Jello Biafra (lead vocals), East Bay Ray (guitar, Echoplex), Klaus Fluoride (bass, backing vocals), and Ted (drums). The 2022 Mix will be released on September 30, 2022 via Manifesto Records.  The original 1980 mix will remain available. East Bay Ray and Klaus Fluoride are available for interviews.                          

1              Kill the Poor
2              Forward to Death
3              When Ya Get Drafted
4              Let's Lynch the Landlord
5              Drug Me
6              Your Emotions
7              Chemical Warfare
8              California Über Alles
9              I Kill Children
10           Stealing People's Mail
11           Funland at the Beach
12           Ill in the Head
13           Holiday in Cambodia
14           Viva Las Vegas

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