East Bay Ray
Ron 'Skip' Greer
DEAD KENNEDYS were one of the most popular and important American hardcore punk bands of the late 70's/early 80's. They formed in San Francisco in 1978 when vocalist Jello Biafra answered a music paper advert placed by guitarist East Bay Ray. They were joined by bassist Klaus Flouride, drummer Ted, and a second guitarist known to posterity simply as 6025. The latter soon departed, while Ted was replaced in 1981 by D.H. Peligro. Lead vocals are now sung by former Wynona Riders singer Ron "Skip" Greer
After a brief rehearsal period, DEAD KENNEDYS played their first gig at Mabuhay Gardens in July 1978. The "Fab Mab" was a Filipino restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach section that served as a home to punk bands for nearly ten years. It wasn't too long before the band gained a considerable following around San Francisco. Live, DEAD KENNEDYS were a combination of chaos and theatrics. Their sound could be described as a cross between the Sex Pistols and the Ventures.
DEAD KENNEDYS' early success led them to record their first single "California ?er Alles" in 1979, a blistering attack on the then Governor of California, Jerry Brown. It was released on their own label in the USA, Alternative Tentacles Records, set up by East Bay Ray. That single was later issued in Britain on the indie label Fast Products.
"Holiday in Cambodia" (1980) followed and is perhaps the band's definitive moment - a perfect mix of hilarious yuppie-baiting lyrics and evil-sounding music. Almost as essential were "Kill The Poor" (1980) and "Too Drunk To Fuck" (remarkably, a British Top 40 single in 1981), and the debut LP, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980). That LP went on to be awarded a Gold Record in Britain.
DEAD KENNEDYS played their last show in March of 1986 in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they started.