Dead Kennedys turn down offer to reunite at Riot Fest

Frontman Jello Biafra is uninterested in reforming with his former bandmates


    Photo via Facebook

    Over the years, Riot Fest has managed to secure several long sought-after punk rock reunions, including The Replacements, Naked Raygun, Screeching Weasel, and, most recently, the Misfits’ original lineup of Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. However, one band — or, rather, one person — has resisted the festival’s overtures.

    According to Dead Kennedys co-founder East Bay Ray, Riot Fest sought to reunite the band to play this fall’s Riot Fest Chicago. The guitarist claims he was interested in doing the show, but original frontman Jello Biafra ultimately passed on the offer.

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    “Dead Kennedys had a sincere invitation to play a reunion show at Riot Fest in Chicago this fall,” East Bay Ray wrote via Facebook. Jello Biafra turned it down. Klaus Flouride, DH Peligro and I were looking forward to doing it.”


    It should come as little surprise that Biafra is uninterested in reforming the seminal punk rock band, as he and his former bandmates have long been embroiled in a heated legal battle. Following their initial breakup in 1986, the band’s former members sued Biafra over unpaid royalties. A judge ultimately ruled in their favor, ordering Biafra to pay $200,00 in outstanding royalties and damages. He was also forced to hand over the rights to a majority of Dead Kennedys’ back catalogue.

    Biafra has also been highly critical of the band’s attempts to cash in with commercials and reissues, and referred to their new lineup with replacement singer Brandon Cruz as a “karaoke band.”

    Welp, there’s always Operation Ivy. Plese?!?!?