They Never Called Him Mello Jello

Nearly 22 years ago -- on 12/15/85, the Dead Kennedys played one of their final shows with original singer Jello Biafra at downtown's California Theatre. As the set wrapped up, fans tore up the seats and pulled curtains down from walls, causing police to call out a riot squad, though officers stayed outside the building until the crowd dispersed on its own. The 15-song set included tunes off their newest album Frankenchrist, as well as "Triumph of the Swill," "Police Truck," and the encore, "Holiday in Cambodia."

The next night, the band performed at Tijuana's Teatro Casa de la Cultura, in a show promoted by future Casbah owner Tim Mays (tickets: $5). Outside the venue, Mexican police arrested several San Diegans "for no apparent reason," according to newspaper columnist George Varga.

After the Dead Kennedys, the California Theatre banned punk shows. After the Tijuana concert, the band with Biafra played three more times before calling it quits.

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


Log in to comment

Skip Ad

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader