Jello Biafra

Jello Biafra (real name: Eric Boucher, b. June 17, 1958 in Boulder, Colorado) was the lead singer for the Dead Kennedys, a punk rock band.

Biafra has used absurdist media tactics in the tradition of the Yippies to highlight issues of civil rights, social justice, and anti-corporatism.

In 1979 he ran for mayor of San Francisco using the slogan borrowed from a Jello ad campaign, "There's always room for Jello". His platform included such ridiculous points as forcing businessmen to wear clown suits. He finished fourth out of 10, gaining 3.5% of the vote and forcing a runoff.

In 1985, Biafra was brought to trial by the PMRC for distributing "harmful matter" in the Dead Kennedys album Frankenchrist. Despite being up against such powerful plaintiffs as Al Gore and his wife Tipper, he was able to win the case and became an icon for anti-censorship groups.

He has released several spoken-word albums, including No More Cocoons, and is the lead singer of the band Lard, which has released several albums (The Power of Lard, The Last Temptation of Reid, Pure Chewing Satisfaction, and more).

In the year 2000, there was an effort to pack the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention in Denver, Colorado with Biafra supporters. However, Ralph Nader was chosen as the party's candidate.

Of note: Biafra was the name of a country which attempted to secede from Nigeria in 1966. After 4 years of fighting, and horrific starvation, Nigeria regained control of the nascent Biafran state. Jello Biafra came up with his name as a combination of a violent civil war and a consumer product, to highlight what he believes is a close relationships between consumerist capitalism and Third-World violence. Marilyn Manson similarly combined the first name of a female pop culture icon and the last name of a serial killer.


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