Jello Biafra Attacked

By Michael Goldberg. (Rolling Stone, 7/14/94 & 7/28/94)
Veteran punk rocker and spoken-word artist Jello Biafra was attacked and seriously injured by a group of young men at Gilman Street, a Berkeley, Calif., punk club, on May 7 [1994]. One of Biafra's legs was broken, and he sustained extensive damage to the ligaments of one knee as well as a superficial head wound. Berkeley police are currently investigating the incident, but there have been no arrests.

 "It may well have destroyed my chances of performing music live the way I want to," said Biafra, who is recuperating at his San Francisco home. "if I can't get the knee to come back. I don't just want to stand there and bore everyone to death."

 Biafra, the former leader of the Dead Kennedys, was watching a show by the Fixtures when, according to Biafra, a slam dancer crashed through the crowd, landing on Biafra's leg and breaking it. "I asked him for an ID so I could deal with it and leave the cops out of it," said Biafra. "He laughed."

 According to Biafra, the slam dancer, whose nickname is Creton, said, "Well, you're such a rich rock star, you can deal with it yourself."

 An argument insued. By Biafra's account, Creton then pushed him to the floor: "All of his friends - five or six thugs - jumped on me and kicked me in the head from both sides. As they kicked me, they were yelling, 'Sellout rock star, kick him.'"

 Because of the injuries, Biafra was forced to cancel an upcoming spoken-word tour of western Canada. He had planned to tape his shows for use on a spoken-word album that was to be his next release on Alternative Tentacles, the punk label he owns. "Now I don't have those recordings," said Biafra. His most recent album was Prairie Home Invasion, a collaboration with Mojo Nixon relaesed this past March.