Punk Week rolls on here at The Captain's Vintage, and after last night's RNC Nomination of Donald Trump, the Dead Kennedy's Bedtime for Democracy seems very appropriate.
Formed in 1978 by musicians answering a classified ad, Dead Kennedys would eventually become the most prolific Left Wing Punk Band of all time, influencing generations of punks to come.
The first big hit that the DK's had was with California Uber Alles, a song that states: "I am Governor Jerry Brown, my Aura Smiles and Never Frowns", and despite premiering in 1980, is still amazingly relevant, although he never did become president.
As an up and coming band in the Bay Area, DK was asked to play the Bay Area Music Awards show for the record labels, which included a rebranding of Punk Music as New Wave. What followed was one of the greatest pranks of all time. Instead of playing California Uber Alles, the band played a new song: Pull My Strings.
There is no video of the performance, but the audio above is set to an image of the costumes that they wore on stage. This embodied the sense of rebellion that the Dead Kennedy's brought to their music and live shows.
Here's a great example of a live show that was taped in 1984 in San Francisco, including a shout out to Diane Feinstein in the beginning, and some awesome t-shirts on stage: D.H. Peligro in a JFA shirt, and Jello Biafara wearing an amazing 1984 DK logo shirt, with the neck and sleeves cut out.
The Dead Kennedy's were also know for awesome album covers and the t-shirt we bring you today is from the cover to the 1986 album Bedtime for Democracy. It featured the statue of liberty under attack / being overrun by the political forces of 80s: nazis, bankers, special interests, and so much more. This album is a product of the 80s, with 6 years of Reagan as President, it appeared as though Reagan and his cronies would never have any consequences for their actions.
Just one year after the release of this album, the Iran Contra affair and subsequent investigation blew the lid off the Reagan Presidency, and created a new watergate for the 1980s.
Stay tuned for our continued series on Punk Week, and check out our collection of Authentic Vintage Punk T-shirts!