Forty years since they formed, and 35 years since they first and last toured New Zealand, Dead Kennedys remain an over-the-top live act guaranteed to cause chaos at every show. Back in the beginning, they were the first West Coast American Punk act to make an international impression, and the only one to impact in the UK, where they hit the Top 40. They were hugely influential on the broader alternative scene at the start of the ‘80s, with their early single Holiday In Cambodia and first album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables selling by the truckload. The subsequent single Too Drunk To Fuck became news when it was banned by the BBC and in Australia, where the band prompted police raids and a level of outrage that surpassed even that aimed at the Sex Pistols half a decade earlier.
The band’s provocative name became synonymous with punk throughout mainstream society, and the band opened the door for other American bands including the likes of MDC, Bad Brains and Black Flag to impact worldwide. In turn their full-on sound, anti-establishment politics and sense of humour became fundamental inspiration for generations of skate and surf punks and massively popular bands including The Offspring and Green Day.
The run of albums that followed Fresh Fruit – In God We Trust, Inc, Plastic Surgery Disasters, Frankenchrist and Bedtime for Democracy - sold by the tens of thousands at a time when punk had yet to break into the mainstream, and kept selling big numbers for decades.
Still defined by the instantly identifiable and hypnotic guitar of East Bay Ray and their rallying anti-authoritarianism and political bite – things which are perhaps more vital than ever in this crazy world – Dead Kennedys remain a band not to be missed.
Dead Kennedys Live in NZ
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 9 | THE FOUNDRY | CHRISTCHURCH
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 10 | POWERSTATION | AUCKLAND
Tickets on sale Friday 10th August - midday
Ticket link - http://davidroywilliams.com/tours/dead-kennedys/