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Jello Biafra

Born: June 17, 1958 in Boulder, C. Bands: Dead Kennedys, Lard. Has done work with D.O.A., NoMeansNo, Mojo Nixon & the Toadliqours, and [L]The Melvins[/L.

Biography. Jello was born Eric Boucher in Boulder, CO on June 17th, 1958. In 1965, Jello hears rock and roll for the first time when his parents accidentally tune to a rock s ...read more

Born: June 17, 1958 in Boulder, C. Bands: Dead Kennedys, Lard. Has done work with D.O.A., NoMeansNo, Mojo Nixon & the Toadliqours, and [L]The Melvins[/L.

Biography. Jello was born Eric Boucher in Boulder, CO on June 17th, 1958. In 1965, Jello hears rock and roll for the first time when his parents accidentally tune to a rock station, right when he hears it, he is hooked. In 1966 Jello met his first rock star in Bob Demmon of The Astronauts. From 1966 to 1968, Jello idolizes Batman villains, while classmates aspire to be baseball players, nurses, and policemen. The Vietnam war, Chicago 7 trial, Kent State massacre, and Denver smog problem of 1969 to 1972 convince Jello that violent, corrupt governments and corporations should be fought. In 1970 the republic of Biafra falls, causing starvation, making Biafra the universal symbol of starvation until the famine of Ethiopia.

In January 1979 Jello get his first taste of punk rock. The Ramones came to an Ebbets Field night club in Denver, horrifying the pre-yuppies of the audience and inspiring Jello that there is more to life than Judas Priest. He talks about this experience in his spoken word "On Joey Ramone". In Fall of 1977, Jello enrolls into UC Santa Cruz, where he studies acting and the history of Paraguay. After seeing such bands as the Saints and Wire in London during the summer, Jello discovers the early budding San Francisco punk scene. Jello leaves UC Santa Cruz after only one quarter. In February of 1978 he returned to San Francisco after saving money doing odd jobs in Colorado.

The Dead Kennedys were formed in 1978. The band released records on his own Alternative Tentacles record label. I will skip over most of this history because they have been covered. Jello was originally called Occupant, but later chose Jello Biafra (pronounced Bee-Ah-Fra if you were wondering)randomly out of a notebook. He later commented that he liked how the two words clashed in people's minds.

In the Fall of 1979, Jello runs for the Mayor of San Francisco as a half-prank. He ran using the slogan "There's always room for Jello." His platform contained such things as businessmen wearing clown suits while at work, legalizing squatting, requiring that police be elected in the sectors they patrol, etc. More info on this in his spoken word "Running for Mayor" He finished 4th in a field of 10, causing a run off. Also, Jello performs nude in front of 3000 Clash fans on Bill Graham presents, Dead Kennedys never play for him again.

In spring of 1981, his record label releases the Let Them Eat Jellybeans compilation album to introduce Europe and the world to American hardcore such as D.O.A., Black Flag, and Bad Brains. The European underground is never the same again, and hardcore punk breaks and spreads throughout the world. The re-releases of the comp also helped the US, causing Black Flag and D.O.A. to do national tours.

You think Rock Against Bush was Fat Mike's original idea? Nope! In 1983, DK was touring for their latest album, Plastic Surgery Disasters, which ended in Rock Against Reagan on the capitol mall in Washington D.C. on July 3rd.

(I'm skipping DK stuff if you haven't noticed, most is covered in the profile.

In 1985 were the infamous P.M.R.C trials. Jello strongly opposes Tipper Gore's effort to censor music, and strongly backed Frank Zappa, John Denver and Dee Snider in their efforts to the stop them.

In fall of 1985 starts a new generation for Alternative Tentacles with releases from Butthole Surfers, The Cruci****s, The Dicks, and M.I.A.

In January of 1986, Jello makes his first spoken word appearance at Kerckhoff Hall at UCLA, encouraged by Harvey Kubernik. The crowd responds the most to Jello's humour and the suppressed information on current events.

In June of 1986 begins the infamous Frankenchrist trial. Jello and fours others are charged with Distribution of Harmful Matter to Minors. They are the first people in American history to face criminal charges over a record, but not the last (3 years later 2 Live Crew get similar charges). Jello with others forms the No More Censorship Defense Fund to cover the money to fight the charges. The individuals faced a possible one year in jail and a $2000 fine, this was the first time the law had been used. The L.A. City Attorney's office admits that they kept files on several P.M.R.C-target musicians, but chose Biafra because it was "a cost effective way of sending a message". A prosecuting attorney admits that one of his goals was to destroy Alternative Tentacles.

In the fall of 1986, the Dead Kennedys break up is officially announced, Black Flag and Crass also break up in the same two week period. Everyone looks to Jello's growing spoken word activities. In 1987 Jello releases his first spoken word album No More Cocoons.

In August, 1997 charges against Jello and other defendants were finally dropped after a three week criminal trial. Even though Frankenchrist was not found to be obscene, Jello, DK, and other records from AT are banned from many chain stores. But by this time Jello's spoken word appearances are becoming more popular. People are now more interested in Jello's political views than the controversial music he put out.

In 1988 he releases his second spoken word album High Priest of Harmful Matter, which is an 88 minute long monologue on the Frankenchrist trial, the PRC, and censorship advocates' corporate and religious right connections. In his second Oprah Winfrey appearance, Jello catches Tipper Gore lying on live TV, the show quickly cuts to commercial. Over the next few years Jello appears on Donahue, Crossfire, the never aired pilot of Jesse Jackson's talk show, and a Religious Right broadcaster's convention. These adventures are recounted on his fourth spoken word album, Beyond the Valley of the Gift Police.

Meanwhile AT is sprouting another generation of bands led by NoMeansNo, Alice Donut, The Beatnigs, Tragic Mulatto, Victims Family, and VHK.

In the summer of 1988 while mixing Christian Lunch's Unreliable Sources EP for AT, Jello and Ministry's Al Jourgenson hatch the idea for a project of their own. The first name that pops into Jello's head is Lard, Al falls to the floor laughing, and Lard is born. The Power of Lard is released that fall.

The film Terminal City Ricochet hooks Jello up with D.O.A. and NoMeansNo to record one soundtrack son apiece, the sound track is released on AT. The sessions go so well, that Jello lays ground for an entire album with both bands. The collaboration with D.O.A., Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors is released first.

In 1990, after the great success of The Power of Lard, Jello regroups with Lard to release their first full length album, The Last Temptation of Reid. Later Jello returns to Canada to complete his album with NoMeansNo, The Sky is Falling and I Want my Mommy. The lyrics are some of the strongest from Jello.

In 1991, one of the world's most warped guitarists, Charlie Tolnay of Grong Grong surfaces with his next band King Snake Roost. Seizing the moment Jello enters the studio with Charlie along with Steel Pole Bathtub. The super group Tumor Circus is formed and releases one album and two singles.

In 1991, the release of another spoken word album is inspired by George Bush Sr.'s Gulf War and Drug War with Die for Oil, Sucker and later I Blow Minds for a Living. The latter contains the hemp legalization anthem, "Grow More Pot", and a recount of Jello's mayoral election.

1993 to 1994. As punk becomes retro, commercialized, and boring, Jello performs a very punk thing. He teams with Mojo Nixon & the Toadliqours to record an authentic roots and country album titled Prairie Home Invasion. The album contains what could be the first anti-NAFTA song, and a cover of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney's parody of the "Will the Circle be Unbroken", Will the Fetus be Aborted. This album sparks a ban from Maximum Rock n Roll of Alternative Tentacles for not being punk.

Lard releases its second full-length album Pure Chewing Satisfaction in May 1997. Also in May 1997, Prosecutor Michael Gurino reflects on the Frankenchrist trial as "a comedy of errors" After reading the lyrics of the album they discovered DK was actually socially responsible, anti-drug, and pro-individual.

Jello releases his fifth spoken word album If Evolution is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve. With the demise of label affiliate Allied Recordings, AT joins forces with AK Press Audio and releases spoken word from Mumia Abu-Jamal, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Angela Davis. Jello joins the Spitfire touring, which features a rotating panel of speakers and comedian Andy Dick.

In October 1998 begins the infamous Dead Kennedys trial. Former members claim Jello seized and soled off the DK catalog and ruined AT, Jello claims the band wanted to put Holiday in Cambodia in a Levi's commercial. The trial ends all friendlessness between the former band members, and stops all hopes of a reunion. The trial goes on until late 2004, when Jello finally just gives up.

In 1999, Jello teams up with Nirvana's Krist Nobselic, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, and Sweet 75's Gina Mainweel to form the No WTO Combo that preformed live at the Seattle Free Trade riots. The recording is released in 2000 on AT. Lard also releases another EP, 70s Rock Must Die. AT re-issues recordings from The Dicks, BGK, The Fartz, False Prophets, along with the '82 Bay Area compilation, Not So Quiet on the Western Front.

During 2000 Jello is drafted as presidential candidate by the New York State Green Party. His address is well received at the Greens' national convention. Nader is voted the nominee however. With an all new alt media movement, Jello releases his sixth spoken word album Become the Media.

Jello goes on to release another spoken word album. He tours continuously, giving speeches around the states and even the world. He eventually teamed with post-punk/metal band, The Melvins for an album entitled Never Breathe What You Can't See
In 2005 Jello gets together with The Melvins once more for a second album, Sieg Heil. This is only the second time Jello has released more than one album with a band other than Dead Kennedys, the first time was with his industrial band, Lard.

In an Alternative Tentacles podcast, Jello hinted at a Lard reunion and another album, but nothing has been confirmed. « hide

Similar Bands: Dead Kennedys, Jello Biafra and the Melvins, Lard, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Mojo Nixon

Machine Gun in the Clown's Hand
2002

3.7
5 Votes
Become The Media
2000

4.3
3 Votes
If Evolution is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve
1998

3.9
5 Votes
I Blow Minds for a Living
1991

4.3
2 Votes
No More Cocoons


4.3
3 Votes
High Priest of Harmful Matter


3.8
2 Votes
Beyond the Valley of the Gift Police


3.8
2 Votes

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