As a kid going through his teens in the late 80’s/early 90’s, I can’t tell you how much of an impact punk rock had on me and the one American band that summed it all up for me was Dead Kennedys. I never got the chance to see them live but I remember buying the cassette (yeah, I said cassette) of Plastic Surgery Disasters, popping it into my boom-box and hearing East Bay Ray‘s guitar come screaming out of the crappy little speakers. This was my first exposure to hardcore punk and Jello Biafra‘s humorous yet intelligent criticism of American capitalist culture. To say it had an impact is a huge understatement. It basically defined who I would be for the rest of my life and I know many here at Brown Paper Tickets feel the same.
That said, we have a personal interest in a show that’s coming up in Santa Rosa on Friday, April 22nd featuring Biafra’s newest musical project, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine. This is actually Jello’s first full-time band since the Kennedy’s demise and according to their press release, Biafra was inspired after seeing Iggy Pop‘s 60th birthday gig at the Warfield in San Francisco. He started laying plans for his own 50th birthday party where, he decided, he would front his own band. He recruited Victim’s Family guitarist Ralph Spight, Sharkbait drummer Jon Weiss and Faith No More bass player Billy Gould to play the party as Jello Biafra and the Axis of Merry Evildoers. They sold out two nights at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and Biafra’s new band was born.
They’ve since added a second guitarist, Kimo Ball and Jon Weiss’ brother Andrew (formerly of The Rollins Band, Ween and The Butthole Surfers) filling in on bass for Billy Gould, who’s since returned to the re-united Faith No More. The band’s sound is reminiscent of Dead Kennedy’s creepy-surf-spy-punk sound but adds a little Detroit proto-punk and guitar noise into the mix.
This is the Guantanamo School of Medicine’s first visit to Santa Rosa and your chance to catch Biafra in an intimate setting. He’s a living punk-rock legend and you’ll kick yourself for missing it so catch him while he’s still touring. I hear they’ve been busting out some DK classics at their shows and here’s a video of them performing the DK classic “Holiday in Cambodia” back in 2009.
Advanced tickets available here.