Thursday, April 07, 2005

Elvis Presley V's Dead Kennedys

Elvis Presley was once a man, but he is an institution now. The brand has virtually taken over the music and the man. Could the same thing be said about the Dead Kennedys after their public bust up, legal slanging match and the subsequent karaoke Dead Kennedys (sans Jello Biafra) tours. Has the brand taken over the music and the band?

Elvis exploded onto the Vegas Strip in 1969 and he regularly returned there until his death in 1977. It's rumoured that one song Elvis apparently did not perform at his Vegas shows was “Viva Las Vegas!”

The Dead Kennedys formed in San Francisco in 1978 and were a critically acclaimed band that released 5 confrontational and politically charged albums. They refused to play by the major label rules and split in 1987 after being sued for distributing pornography. This was due to the release of the Frankenchrist album and it's contentious cover - Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger's painting Landscape #20: Where Are We Coming From (Penis Landscape).

In 1997, after Biafra vetoed the use of "Holiday in Cambodia" in a Levi Jeans ad, Jello Biafra's ex-band mates terminated their contract with Alternative Tentacles Records and successfully sued claiming that Biafra, who ran the label, had failed to promote the band's back catalogue and also for unpaid royalties. The case established a legal precedent for "lack of promotion" damages.

Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas

Dead Kennedys - Viva Las Vegas


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can I find a picture of Landscape #20???

Thu. Mar. 09, 06:35:00 am  

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