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By an overwhelming 70% majority, Berkeley voters enabled the Berkeley City Council to join any county-wide Instant Run-Off Voting system. All that's left to do is pass similar enabling laws in the smaller cities in the county and work with the County Registrar on the details of IRV implementation. As you read here in Feburary, Jello added his endorsement very early to the campaign for Measure I, the local Berkeley initiative that is part of the March 2nd California elections. The IRV system is a long-standing goal of Green Parties world-wide. More information on Measure I and IRV here!
03/11/04: Jello Biafra Apologizes to Fans for Latest Dead Kennedys "Deaf Club" Fiasco
For Immediate Release:
JELLO BIAFRA APOLOGIZES TO FANS FOR LATEST DEAD KENNEDYS "DEAF CLUB" FIASCO
I am sorry I have to be the whistle blower yet again. I am deeply embarrassed by the poor quality of their new Live at the Deaf Club CD. It could have been a good album. But in my opinion the sound quality and remix are so lame it's not even as good as the versions on Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death. And those mixes are almost 20 years old. If they really "spent the better part of a year" on this, I wonder what they were really doing most of the time.
I don't think the artwork is as boring as Mutiny on the Bay, but it doesn't really rock my world either. To me it's a dumbed-down version of the good stuff Winston Smith and I made, but now it seems deliberately designed not to offend anyone. Sad.
I relayed my concerns to East Bay Ray, but as usual I never heard back. I have also been confronted several times at shows by people feeling ripped off by the Making of In God We Trust Inc. DVD. They said they felt especially burned by only 22 minutes of content, and that the karaoke section was as stupid as the elves (yes, elves) on the cover.
Please, folks, I had nothing to do with this! Like the fake Dead Kennedys "reunion" tours, I did not authorize either of these projects and was not allowed any meaningful input at all. I can't double-check the 22 minutes or whatever because I am not allowed to possess the MVD releases unless I buy them from a store. I have never received copies, or even a contract, from Ray & Co. at all. Nor am I allowed to see all the books.
In 1998 the other ex-Dead Kennedy's filed a vicious lawsuit against me stemming from a dispute that got ugly when I opposed putting "Holiday in Cambodia" in a Levi's Dockers TV commercial. Unfortunately, their lawsuit is still going on. I maintain my innocence, and am sickened by what they have done to exploit Dead Kennedys once - good name and legacy since. I would like to go into much deeper detail about all this, but our attorneys have asked me not to. Let's just say it is far from over, uglier than ever, with no end in sight.
So please be aware of the mentality behind all current Dead Kennedys releases, and where the money is really going.
If anyone wishes to help in any way, please support the Alternative Tentacles Legal Defense Fund:
Alternative Tentacles Legal Defense Fund
On the Internet: http://www.alternativetentacles.com/page.php?page=atlegalfund
Any and all help is very deeply appreciated.
Lick Bush in '04,
02/07/04: Jello endorses Instant Runoff Voting in Berkeley!
Jello has added his endorsement to the campaign for Measure I, a local Berkeley initiative that is part of the March 2nd California elections. Measure I would enable the Berkeley City Council to enact an Instant Run-off Voting system, similar to those already in place in Cambridge, MA, Australia, and Ireland! The IRV system is a long-standing goal of Green Parties world-wide! More information on Measure I and IRV here!
02/07/04: Punk Voter & Jello Biafra in Austin!
That's right, it's a South By Southwest extravaganza put on by our pals at Punkvoter.com! Acts: NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Dillinger Four, David Cross (Comedian), Against Me!, The Lawrence Arms, with Jello Biafra as the Master of Ceremonies! It's all on Friday, March 19th @ Emo's, Austin, Texas!
11/24/03: Jello in Translation...
In order to make Jello's words more available to an international audience, some of our friends have helped with translating his spoken word performance and writings.
Also, Jello's eulogy for Wesley Willis has been translated into Turkish and is available at www.geceservisi.net. Click on the "Haberler" link to read the eulogy.
In the recall election Jello voted for Peter Miguel Camejo (Green Party candidate). He endorsed Peter's campaign for the recall election and also for the 2002 Gubernatorial election.
It's a real shame and sham that Gray Davis didn't resign from his position. This would have placed Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante into a temporary incumbency that would have improved his electoral chances. But, Davis refused to admit the public's disdain for his governing and likelihood of Arnold Schwarzenegger to be voted into office. The recall election occurred and the voters sent an obvious message to Davis and Bustamante that they would rather see Arnold in office than either of them. California Uber Alles, indeed.
Jello is also endorsing Matt Gonzalez' mayoral campaign for San Francisco. Matt is a Green Party candidate and is currently the highest ranking Green in the country as President of the Board of Supervisors for San Francisco. The election for mayor will be held in November 2003.
Jello continues to be invited to speak at Green Party rallies that have included supporters such as Patti Smith, Michael Moore, Tom Tomorrow (artist of Modern World comix), Eddie Vedder, Phil Donahue, Studs Terkel, Medea Benjamin (co-founder of Global Exchange, Code Pink and Occupation Watch Center of Baghdad) and, of course, Ralph Nader.
Jello has no plans to run for president in 2004, but encourages all of his supporters to look into running for public office. Changing our government starts in local elections. Find out what you can do to make those changes occur.
For more information about the Green Party, take a look at http://www.greens.org
10/06/03: Fat Mike (NOFX, Fat Wreck) Recruits Jello for Punk Voter
Fat Mike (NOFX, Fat Wreck) recently started Punk Voter and just asked Jello to climb on board. He did.
Punk Voter aims to :
Activate punks and other disenfranchised young people to participate in elections; to form a coalition to expose the chaotic policies of George W. Bush and his current adminsitration; and to build a coalition of informed voters who can individually and collectively influence public policy.
Jello has just climbed on board with PunkVoter.com (even though their website makes no mention of it at press time).
There is also talk of Jello being included in the Rock Against Bush concerts (& commercials ? ?) beginning in January in Iowa and New Hampshire performing his spoken word. So check our website (and others) for updates on all of this.
Two similar organizations are also picking up steam :
(Some Artists affiliated with one or the other organizations are : Jello Biafra, NOFX, Good Charlotte, Sonic Youth, The Donnas, Green Day, Sum 41, Liars, Locust, Erase Errata,...)
For more information see:
09/18/03: Jello To Tour Europe in October
Jello Biafra will be touring Europe from October 2 - November 4th (Spoken Word). See all of the Tour Dates in our, uh, Tour Dates Section
08/22/03: Jello Biafra On Wesley Willis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WESLEY WILLIS 1963-2003
We lost Wesley Willis some time before 9PM Chicago time August 21, 2003. Word is he died peacefully. The likely cause may be heart failure. Wes had been battling leukemia for less than a year. No services are planned as of yet. There will probably be a memorial concert, or at least a gathering in his honor in Chicago in the near future. We will let you know.
Wesley will go down as one of the most unique songwriters and entertainment personalities in history. His music, lyrics, drawings, insight and the way he put them together are like no one else. Ever. There will never be another.
As I got to know Wes, what really struck me was his sheer will power, his unrelenting drive to succeed and over come his horrifically poor background, child abuse, racism, chronic schizophrenia and obesity among other things. He was the most courageous person I have ever known. Yet through it all he had such a deep, all-encompassing love of life. Little things, big things. He loved bus rides. He loved watching trains. He loved writing songs about how much he loved his friends. He loved travelling to new towns so he could headbutt new friends. Is there any band he saw that escaped being in their own song about how much he loved their show? He was so warm, so sweet, so giving. He could be a handful when he came to visit; but as soon as he left, we'd miss him immediately.
As his long time friend Dennis Cooper said, "No More Demons." The voices in Wesley's head can't yell at him and put him down any more.
Wes was deeply religious. He was afraid that if he died he would no longer get to go see bands play. If there is a hereafter I hope he's right up front as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, his beloved Otis Redding and his dear friend Bradley from Sublime "storm the stage" as the crowd "roars like a sea monster." All opening for Wesley, of course.
It will be hard now that he's gone, but I'm not going to let myself stop enjoying the funny stuff, or the look on people's faces when they first hear "Rock n Roll McDonalds," or the memories of the good times and Wesley's many adventures. He wouldn't want it any other way. There are many down times when all I have to do is think of one of Wes's songs, something he said or simply marvel at his Wesley-isms, and the clouds part and a smile comes to my face. I think he does that for a lot of people. He always will.
Rock over London Rock on Chicago
Sail on, Wes. I love you.
Jello Biafra 8-22-03
For more info and MP3's:
08/15/03: Jello Declines Latest DK "re-union" PR stunt "Offer"
Re: Their press release "inviting" me to join their cash-in nostalgia show in Hollywood on August 19th.
To put it mildly, this reeks of false advertising. They obviously aren't serious or they would have called me on the phone. Instead, their message came through their lawyers and their publicist.
What's the matter, not enough Hot Topic bozo teens flocking to stuff cash in their bikinis? Are they having that much trouble selling tickets to a bar that holds less than 600 people?
If they really want to, "bury the hatchet," why won't they stop suing me? They have been dragging me through court for almost six years now, and have refused attempts to compromise and settle.
I feel sorry for anyone duped into paying top dollar for a ticket because they heard, "I might be there". But I hardly think I'm "letting fans down" by refusing to be part of a nostalgia scam.
It makes even less sense than the California Recall election. Sorry I'm not running, folks, but I didn't want to take votes away from Gary Coleman.
No, seriously, I'm supporting the high-quality Green Party nominee with the vision and skills to govern - Peter Camejo! Please vote for him.
07/14/03: Ice-T & Jello on a hot afternoon
Jello Biafra introduced Ice-T /BodyCount at the Warped Tour on Saturday in San Francisco. Jello got to the Teal Stage and was putting down Bush and his politics and constant war, etc. irritating the crowd who then started throwing full bottles of pop at him (and one orange stink bomb). He loved it, stirring up controversy, making people think - ah, being "punk"! What a novel idea at the Warped Tour!
Jello also attended Ice-T /BodyCount 'sPalo Alto show Saturday night. Ice-T introduced Jello to the crowd and told everyone to give their support and respect to Jello, cause he's a real G. Then Jello sang Cop Killer alongside Ice-T on stage. At the end of the set Jello dove into the crowd, getting a ride.
07/03/03: Jello Jealous Again at Black Flag Show
Here is what happened during the Rollins Band show at the Fillmore on Tuesday night:
Henry Rollins enlisted Keith Morris to tour with him and the guys in Mother Superior that are also the musicians for the Rollins Band. They perform Black Flag songs. All proceeds go to raise money for DNA testing for the West Memphis Three (www.wm3.org).
They are also promoting the recording, Rise Above, that features various singers (Lemmy, Ice-T, Hank III, QOTSA, etc.) singing Black Flag songs. All proceeds of Rise Above benefit the West Memphis Three.
As they tour, they ask different singers to join them on stage for a song. The song Jello performed was Jealous Again. Jello also pulled the winning raffle ticket for a clear body Dan Armstrong Dan-electro guitar. All of the people that participated on the Rise Above record signed it, including Jello.
P.S. It was a blast, the crowd roared like a lion when Jello got to the stage. And yes, Jello dove into the crowd at the end of the song. Awesome! He wore his WM3 t-shirt too.
06/24/03: Jello Wants Your Help : Wesley Willis vol. 3
A note from Jello:
"Hello! I'd like to talk more about the latest ugly chapter in the increasingly Kafka-esque DKs,Inc. nightmare, but our attorney's have me under a strict gag order not to shoot my mouth off until the next round of court hearings.
Meanwhile, its full speed ahead on a mid-Fall release of the long-awaited Wesley Willis' "Greatest Hits, Volume 3" CD. We would like your input & help in putting this new album together.
We don't think studio recordings exist of some of his more recent
classics. Does anyone out there have good live recordings of any of
He also wrote an entire album abot his struggle with Leukemia. Did he perform any of that on the last tour?
We only want these if the sound quality is good, "the rock band is aw-some-" and Wesley is fired up.
Other hot performances and between-song monologues are welcome too. (I'd still like to hear those early cassette tapes he sold in subway stations in the early 90's.)
Other nominations are welcome but I'm already at a logjam of over 40 winners. Got any good photos? Wesley tattoos? (I saw 2 in one day (!) in Denver awhile back.)
To submit material:
With the world on a hellride and demons here at home his spirit is more
uplifting and refreshing than ever.
06/20/03: Jello Biafra Appeal Denied in Lawsuit Filed by Other ex-Dead Kennedys
We are shocked that the California State Court of Appeals has denied our appeal in an unpublished opinion, and sent the dispute back to San Francisco Superior Court for further hearings. Those hearings will give us an opportunity to prove facts different from those claimed by the other ex-Dead Kennedys. So, unfortunately, this dispute is far from over. We are far from giving up. Stay tuned.
Sadly this means we need your support now more than ever. If interested, please help us out through the Alternative Tentacles Legal Defense Fund, http://www.alternativetentacles.com/page.php?page=atlegalfund
06/18/03: Jello Celebrates 45th Birthday
Jello Biafra celebrated his 45th birthday yesterday at a BBQ party thrown in his honor. It was a small gathering of friends and Alternative Tentacles employees (current & former) at someone's house in Berkeley, CA. One surprise was the accordion player who was invited who played a bunch of Dead Kennedys' songs off of Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables as well as some Devo songs along with the obligatory Happy Birthday To You.