Ever the rebellious, politically-charged punks, the reunited (sans lead singer Jello Biafra) Dead Kennedys have pulled out of the “Waking The Dead” Halloween punk extravaganza at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles on October 29, 2005 due to sponsorship of the show by the Coors Corp.
Dead Kennedys — whose pivotal Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables is getting the Special 25th Anniversary Edition reissue treatment by Manifesto Records on October 25 — announced yesterday that they had not been informed that there would be corporate sponsors when they agreed to play the show, and were specifically unaware that Coors would be a major sponsor until advertisements for the show appeared in LA Weekly. The band said they then immediately contacted the organizers of the event to object to, and discuss the removal of Coors’ sponsorship, but a “suitable arrangement” could not be made.
The “Waking The Dead” show will go ahead as scheduled with Suicidal Tendencies, the Germs, Flipper, and Marky Ramone.
“Dead Kennedys have always been wary of corporate sponsorship and steer clear of lending our name to promote a product,” said Dead Kennedys guitarist and founding member East Bay Ray. “Because we were not alerted to the ultra conservative, right-wing sponsor for this event, we could not see a reason to go ahead and perform at this show in good conscience. Dead Kennedys want nothing to do with this event or Coors and I am disgusted that they are now sponsoring punk shows, something they are politically at odds with.”
The band accused the Golden, Colorado beer giant of funding “right-wing groups such as the Nicaraguan Contras, the anti-gay Moral Majority, and the notoriously anti-punk Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). Coors has also broken numerous unions, is anti-environment, and has funded lawsuits against affirmative action,” they said.
The Special 25th Anniversary edition of Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables — besides containing the indelible punk standards “Let’s Lynch the Landlord,” “California Uber Alles,” “Viva Las Vegas” and “Holiday In Cambodia” — also includes a bonus DVD of interviews and previously unreleased archival footage.