Dead Kennedys formed in San Francisco in 1978 and were a driving force in the US punk scene.
The quartet’s sound took influences from instrumental surf rock, rockabilly and garage rock and wrapped it up in super-charged punk. With tongue firmly in cheek, Jello Biafra’s politically-charged lyrics provided a scathing commentary on the social issues of the day.
During that time, the band – including guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride and drummer DH Peligro – released four studio albums before parting ways in late 1986.
They reunited in 2001 – sans Biafra – and are currently fronted by Wynona Ryders’ Ron ‘Skip’ Greer.
We challenged East Bay Ray to pick the 5 definitive tracks from the band’s back catalogue…
# 10 HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA (1980 single, on Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, 1987)
To me, this is one of our best songs, it’s got so much going for it. It may not sound that complicated on the surface but it actually has a lot more sections than most other songs. And a secret, unexpected ingredient with the drum beat. I never get tired of playing it.