Punk rocker Jello Biafra sues former Dead Kennedys bandmates

The Associated Press
Wednesday March 27, 2002

OAKLAND — A rift between singer Jello Biafra and his former band, Dead Kennedys, is growing wider with more legal action. 

Biafra’s attorney has filed suit in Alameda Superior Court alleging his former bandmates are recording new music with a Biafra impersonator. 

The real Biafra, whose birth name is Eric Reed Boucher, also alleges his former bandmates used his name, picture and identity to promote new live recordings and performances. 

Biafra is asking for punitive and compensatory damages of more than $25,000 from the three remaining original Dead Kennedys, including Ray Pepperell (“East Bay Ray”), Geoffrey Lyall (“Klauss Flouride”) and Darren Henley (“D.H. Peligro”). 

The band started in San Francisco in 1978 and developed a worldwide following for its anti-establishment songs such as “Kill the Poor” and “California Uber Alles.” The performers formed a partnership called “Decay Music” that supposedly ended when the group split in 1986. 

A jury ruled in favor of Biafra’s bandmates in 2000, saying the singer didn’t promote the band’s music or pay back royalties as promised. 

Now, Biafra claims the band is also failing to dissolve Decay Music partnership assets as ordered by the San Francisco court in 2000.