A few years ago I worked with Michael Stewart Foley on an image for his WitnessTorture.org campaign to close Guantanamo Bay. Recently, as a part of the 33 1/3 series of books, Michael Stewart Foley released “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables,” documenting the Dead Kennedy’s foray into national politics and subsequent subcultural dominion from the formative front lines of the Bay Area punk rock scene of the 80’s. I love Michael’s comprehensive presentation of this history and was flattered to get a short mention in it. Hearing the Dead Kennedy’s made a great impression upon me. I first heard the “Let Them Eat Jellybeans” comp at the end of 1983 and got “Plastic Surgery Disasters” at the beginning of ’84. The song Bleed For Me made a very strong impression. Later, my work would be dismissively described by a NY Times reviewer as a mix of Russian and Dead Kennedy’s style propaganda. I proudly took that as a compliment! I have been fortunate to work with Jello Biafra on several projects, and I have also collected Winston Smith’s art including some original art for the Dead Kennedys. Needless to say, the Dead Kennedys have been a very important influence for me and many others. Michael’s book is essential to a cohesive understanding of punk’s infiltration of the social and political dystopias of the 80’s, fueling social transformation whose reach continues to this very day.
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