Dead Kennedys have turned down a potential reunion show at this years Riot Fest, according to guitarist and founder member East Bay Ray. Chicago based Riot Fest has built a reputation over the years for putting together unlikely reunions, including last year’s set by the original Misfits line up.
In a Facebook post, Ray blamed the decision not to play the event on the group’s front-man Jello Biafra, stating that – “Dead Kennedys had a sincere invitation to play a reunion show at Riot Fest in Chicago this fall. Jello Biafra turned it down. Klaus Flouride, DH Peligro and I were looking forward to doing it.”
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Biafra is yet to respond to the claim but turning down the event certainly wouldn’t be out of character for the frontman. Since the band’s break up in 1986, Biafra has been taken to court by the rest of the band over unpaid royalties, where he was forced to pay over $200,000 and has routinely prevented the band’s music from being used in commercials or reissued in what he sees at purely financial endeavours. Biafra also described a new version of the band, with Brandon Cruz replacing him on vocals, as a – “Karaoke band”.
Whilst a reunion of Dead Kennedys would undoubtedly be an exciting event for fans there is certainly an argument to be made that in a world where previously irreconcilable bands routinely come back together for lucrative reunion shows and tours that there is something refreshing about a band, even if it is seemingly only one member, holding out for a better reason to reform.