The Dead Kennedys

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 2004 (The 2005 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Inducted into Rock Hall Projected in 2019 (ranked #258) .

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (1980)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
California Uber Alles (1979)
Holiday in Cambodia (1980)
Too Drunk to F*ck (1981)

The Dead Kennedys @ Wikipedia

The Dead Kennedys Videos

Will The Dead Kennedys be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


31 comments so far (post your own)

They might not have been music pioneers, but Jello and the band really hit you with a left hook when it came to political charged music.
That may not sound like a good reason to get in, but how many other bands would dare to do a song about Cambodia, or compare Jerry Brown to Hitler.
And now that I am introducing my son to their music. The music still packs a punch. They are testament to the early Punk bands that made it through all the rage.

Posted by Mari on Tuesday, 01.9.07 @ 15:12pm

The ORIGINAL Dead Kennedys is one of the most influential punk ever to form. They have inspired bands like Slayer!!! They sound like no other punk band around, and could create music no one could have ever thought of. To deny the Dead Kennedys into the rock and roll hall of fame, is complete blasphemy and people will never know that bands who are in there also had an inflence, and that would Dead Kennedys!!!!!!!
DK For Life!!!!

Posted by Matthew Hodson on Thursday, 01.11.07 @ 09:16am

The original Dead Kennedys is what punk is all about. They didn't sell out, they sang about the faults of our society at the time in a political and satirical manner. They stood up for what they believed in and didn't care what other people thought. When they went to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards they stood up for punk and their beliefs and instead of playing california uber alles, they played Pull My Strings! A tribute to all the crappy music artists that get rich for nothing. Like several people currently inducted in the hall of fame <cough>. They are punk and without them punk wouldnt be as far as it currently is. GO GO DK!

Posted by Eric Augustine on Thursday, 01.11.07 @ 09:19am

Listen to: Pull my Strings, I am the Owl, California Uber Alles, Holiday in Cambodia, Too drunk to F***, Insight, Forest Fire, Well Paid Scientist, Moral Majority, Buzzbomb(also Buzzbomb from Pasadena), basically every song they have done, except industrial metal on frankenchrist.

Posted by Matthew Hodson on Thursday, 01.11.07 @ 09:22am

I love the DKs and Jello Biafra is a personal hero, but I don't really think they're the type of band that would accept their invitations.

Posted by Kit on Thursday, 01.11.07 @ 09:26am

I wouldn't expect Jello to come but even so the new dk would probably show up or atleast if no one shows the would still go down in the hall.

Posted by Eric Augustine on Thursday, 01.11.07 @ 10:56am

The new DKs are awful. I really hate the word sellout, I think it's overused, but I think East Bay Ray comes about as close to the actual definition of sellout as you can get. Look for Jello's collaborative album with The Melvins.

Posted by Kit on Thursday, 01.11.07 @ 11:41am

Speaking of which, the Melvins don't seem to have a page, and that makes me sad.

Posted by William on Thursday, 01.11.07 @ 12:13pm

The Dead Kennedys are a great band. They are inspired, talented and believed what they sang about. They play music because they love it and wanted to make a statement.

This is exactly why they should never get into the HOF. The HOF is such a joke that any acknowledgment of real bands with integrity like DK only gives it more credibility and putting them alongside such vomit as Elton John and the Grateful Dead is sacrilege. Keep the Dead Kennedys OUT of the hall.

The same goes for Black Flag, Minor Threat, Iron Maiden and the Misfits.

Cheers to the Sex Pistols for calling the hall what it is, a piss stain.

Posted by Bruno on Wednesday, 01.24.07 @ 00:45am

An instrumental band in the birth of hardcore and a group that managed to garner quite a bit of headlines in their day. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables is still a landmark, but as I stated, Jello Biafra has never been one to like pomp and self-importance, which is what the Hall is built upon (and you thought it was concrete, HA!). The "world's greediest karaoke band" might show up, but I hope Jann would have the awareness and the wherewithal to tell them to fuck off.

Posted by Kit on Tuesday, 07.24.07 @ 00:04am

How come The Crucif*cks (* = u) don't have a page? I don't think they deserve in at all, but they're totally overlooked...

Posted by Liam on Monday, 05.5.08 @ 05:23am

The Hall is not a joke but it's also not the place for DK. They would look rather foolish on such a stage. They are maybe the greatest CA punk band of all time (X is right there). Anyone writing here recognizes their greatness and I assume everyone here has seen them live on multiple occasions. No one will ever have their sound. Just enjoy them for what they were and spread the word when possible.

Posted by Stephen C. Salinas on Saturday, 06.28.08 @ 23:48pm

Yes. Their influence is massive. As someone else said they've even influenced Slayer.

Posted by Sam on Tuesday, 06.29.10 @ 18:19pm

I like this new thing of using the Projects to choose the Essential releases, but Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables was inducted as well as Holiday In Cambodia.

Posted by Sam on Monday, 04.11.11 @ 11:58am

^ Sam, those two are on top of the page. And yes, I agree I really like the feature!

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Monday, 04.11.11 @ 12:14pm

Tellement de choses positives a dire sur les Dead Ken !!!
Euh, surtout sur JELLO BIAFRA, car sans lui, les DK n'auraient jamais fait le 1/4 de tout ce qu'ils ont fait !!!
Jello Biaffra est LE leader incontesté, et a élevé les DK au rang du meilleur groupe punk/hardcore US !
"LARD" ou "Jello Biafra with D.O.A", sont tout aussi bien que les DK, et ce, grâce, (encore) à : JELLO BIAFRA !

Posted by Kahotika on Saturday, 05.14.11 @ 08:42am

The Dead Kennedys did nothing to deserve being in the Hall, unless trafficking in their own self-righteousness is a criteria. This is an unoriginal, derivative third wave punk band that acted angry and disaffected because it was easy and a good marketing strategy. "Look at us, we are singing about Gov. Jerry Brown. Look how brave we are." Seriously, the idea that this took any guts at all is laughable. (Oh no, Gov. Brown is coming to get me!) It was poseur punk.

And btw, the Dead Kennedys played music because they wanted to make money. Look up their litigation history and tell me what I'm missing on this point. Invariably, the people that are constantly telling you how righteous they are turn out to be the biggest hypocrites.

Posted by astrodog on Friday, 08.5.11 @ 00:21am

Well, on reflection, I guess I just really don't like the Dead Kennedys. There is always going to be a band out there that rubs you the wrong way. Biafra just has a history of making derogatory comments about other bands that are not well thought out and which are not too classy. And I don't like how a band like the Dead Kennedys is seen in popular imagination as defining "punk". They represented only a very narrow aspect of what was a much broader movement in music.

Posted by astrodogs on Friday, 08.5.11 @ 12:48pm

Influence: Dead Kennedys are probably the most influential hardcore punk band. 20
Innovation: they helped form hardcore punk. 20
Critical: They're well respected and their debut album is held up as a classic. 20
Commercial: Not really, they were too hard edged to have much commercial sucess. 0

+5 bonus for Fresh Fruit

65, worthy but 2nd or third balloter.

Posted by GFW on Sunday, 10.23.11 @ 17:18pm

for the idiot "astrodog", they sung about Reagan (yes that M.F.) and those weren't nice words, dare any rock group to do the same when the next republican president grab the power.

Posted by padrote on Wednesday, 12.21.11 @ 02:38am

Ah, I see gratuitous verbal abuse has arrived at the Dead Kennedys page. Name calling as substitution for rational dialogue has begun.


Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 12.21.11 @ 03:20am

Wait! A rude Dead Kennedy's fan? Who would have guessed? :)

Posted by astrodog on Wednesday, 12.21.11 @ 17:03pm

These self-righteous morons almost ruined what is otherwise an excellent concert film, Urgh! A Music War (1981). The Dicks (The Dead Kennedy's abbreviation is DKs, so add an i and a c, and you get a bunch of dicks!) weren't worthy of being the same bill as far superior acts - The Police (back when Sting was actually a good musician), Oingo Bingo, Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi, Joan Jett, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Devo, and The Go-Go's.

The expired cup of Jello (one of my pet names for Jello Biafra) has one of the most excruciating voices I've ever heard. His voice has an arrogant tone, which is befitting his personality. The RRHOF would do well to avoid inducting these hacks.

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 04.3.12 @ 22:52pm

Wait! A rude Dead Kennedy's fan? Who would have guessed? :)

Posted by astrodog on Wednesday, 12.21.11 @ 17:03pm

I hope you weren't expecting maturity, politeness, or intelligence from a typical Dead Kennedys fan. With such juvenile, poorly written songs as MTV Get Off the Air (I would agree with that sentiment today, but not back in 1984/85 when it was still an outstanding network), Let's Lynch the Landlord, I Kill Children, and California Uber Alles (Hitler/Nazi comparisons are so overused and cliched.) in their catalogue, it's no wonder why this pimple of a band deserves the scorn which you, I and others dish out.

Moving on to artists who are actually good and have made meaningful, lasting contributions to the artform of music...

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 09.11.12 @ 19:18pm

@Zach-When people look up self-righteousness in the dictionary the term Dead Kennedys should be included. It's just hilarious that a lead singer who couldn't help himself in publicly lecturing others turned out to be everything he was supposedly railing against. It's actually kind of satisfying.

Posted by astrodog on Wednesday, 09.12.12 @ 00:21am

Actually I like California Uber Alles but only for the music, the lyrics are pretty daft.

Posted by GFW on Wednesday, 09.12.12 @ 10:56am

Perhaps be cause the original band in part split up, this is partial barrier to entry. But the DKs are going strong and East Bay Ray was always the musical wizard behind Jello Biafra's curtain

Posted by calvin on Thursday, 04.3.14 @ 16:44pm

If you asked Jello if you wanted the DKs to be in the RnRHOF he would probably say no.

Posted by Jsmith on Saturday, 05.3.14 @ 23:50pm

I LOVE DEAD KENNEDYS TO DEATH. And they'll never be inducted. Never.

But that makes me loves them more.

Such an awesome band, and great musicians!

Posted by BulmaPunkRocker on Sunday, 07.6.14 @ 23:10pm

Excuse me for double-posting, but Dead Kennedys to me are: Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride and DH Peligro.
And people here should listen more than "California Über Alles" and "Fresh Fruits..." (though I LOVE that album).

Posted by BulmaPunkRocker on Sunday, 07.6.14 @ 23:14pm

where is nazi punks f*ck off? Just saying as it's an essential song of theirs.

Posted by andrew on Monday, 02.19.18 @ 17:11pm

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