Dead Kennedys  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Dead Kennedys are a hardcore punk band from San Francisco, California. During the 1980s, the band gained a large underground following in the international punk music scene. Their music mixed the more experimental elements of English 1970s punk with the raw energy of the 1980s American hardcore punk scene. The Kennedys' songs mix the deliberately shocking lyrics of punk with a humorous, acerbic, satirical, and sarcastic left-wing commentary on current social and political issues. At the same time, some of their songs also mocked the hypocritical stances of some liberal elites. Many of the band's songs criticize the right-wing ideologies of the religious right and the Ronald Reagan administration, along with many far-left personalities and ideas.

In the late 1980s, the band was embroiled in an obscenity trial in the US over the 1985 Frankenchrist album, which included a poster with art that depicted penises ("Penis Landscape" by H. R. Giger). The band was charged criminally with distribution of harmful matter to minors, but the trial ended with a hung jury. The band officially disbanded in 1986. From 1998-2004, the band was embroiled in an acrimonious lawsuit over royalties and rights to the band's music. In 2001, the band re-formed and began touring with a new vocalist over the objections of former lead singer Jello Biafra, who, after losing the lawsuit and being found liable for fraud, filed two appeals that he later lost.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dead Kennedys" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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