Dead Kennedys have turned down an opportunity to reunite, after Riot Fest asked the band to get back together.
The band initially broke up in 1986. The band’s former members sued Jello Biafra over unpaid royalties.
A judge ruled in their favor, ordering Biafra to pay $200,00 in outstanding royalties and damages. He was also forced to hand over the rights to a majority of Dead Kennedys’ back catalogue.
According to Dead Kennedys co-founder East Bay Ray, Riot Fest sought to reunite the band. The guitarist claims he was interested in doing the show, but original frontman Jello Biafra turned down the offer.
Dead Kennedys had a sincere invitation to play a reunion show at Riot Fest in Chicago this fall. Jello Biafra turned it down. Klaus Flouride, DH Peligro and I were looking forward to doing it
“Dead Kennedys had a sincere invitation to play a reunion show at Riot Fest in Chicago this fall,” East Bay Ray wrote via Facebook. Jello Biafra turned it down. Klaus Flouride, DH Peligro and I were looking forward to doing it.”
Biafra has also been highly critical of the band’s attempts to use Dead Kennedys music on commercials and reissuing old albums. He referred to their new lineup with replacement singer Brandon Cruz as a “karaoke band.”
Speaking of a Dockers commercial that sought to feature ‘Holiday in Cambodia’, Biafra said; “The ad agency contacted Ray who contacted me and I said no, so Ray threatened me, saying if I didn’t do it there were going to be repercussions.”
“The commercial aired. But they used a Pretenders song instead. The commercial didn’t last very long, for good reason. It wasn’t just the obvious moral reasons that I didn’t want my favorite Dead Kennedys song trashed by being in a coporate commercial; it was also personal or emotional because of the sheer nausea of being in a commercial, and this one was pretty damn bad,” he added.