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Cambodian Vacation

I was looking for something else when I stumbled across this story from June about the Dead Kennedys suing each other – this is what happens to idealistic punks 25 years down the road. It depressed the hell out of me, so in order to counteract this, I put on “Holiday in Cambodia, already 23 years old and one of the greatest songs of the entire punk/postpunk era.

East Bay Ray’s great surf-meets-Ramones guitar slinging (echoing to atmospheric effect in the intro and breaks), riding on top of a quick, efficient rhythm from drummer D.H. Peligro and bassist Klaus Flouride, are the perfect foils for Jello Biafra’s jittery, almost-cartoonish vocals (laced equally with menace and glee) in a song about the smugness of American liberals. Biafra would like to ship the non-radical American left off to Cambodia for a taste of terror that would jolt it out of its complacency. As the percussive chant “Pol Pot” rises to an incantatory pitch, the chorus make a final return with the power and inevitability of monsoon season, before ending as abruptly as a decapitation. A classic.

Sometimes it’s better to stick to the music – real life can get you down.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected],, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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