Straight out of San Francisco, the Dead Kennedys became punk legends with a slew of classic singles, such as “Holiday in Cambodia” and “California Über Alles.” Any punk fan worth their salt, knows and loves these songs, but may not have heard these early, alternate versions.
Due Sept. 27th on Los Angeles-based Manifesto Records, the rare Iguana Studios Rehearsal Tape — San Francisco 1978, captures the band bashing out these classics in their earliest-known incarnations. The take on “Holiday in Cambodia” is a bit slower in tempo, more melodic, but no less fierce. “California Über Alles” takes on a more ominous tone in this lo-fi rendition. This release is the latest in a series from Manifesto marking the iconic punk band’s 40th anniversary.
Photo by Edward Colver
The 13-song collection, which also includes such notable tracks as “I Kill Children” and the DK’s infamous cover of “Rawhide,” features the band’s original lineup of singer Jello Biafra, guitarists East Bay Ray and 6025, bassist Klaus Flouride, and drummer Ted, in its first year of existence. This set was recorded two years prior to the release of the band’s 1980 debut album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables.
Previously available only as a bootleg and finally legitimately released on vinyl for Record Store Day in 2018, the Iguana Studios Rehearsal Tape – San Francisco 1978 makes its debut on CD for the first time due to overwhelming demand. As the title indicates, the recordings were captured on tape at the legendary Iguana Studios on Folsom Street, where such DK contemporaries as The Avengers also rehearsed.
Aside from the aforementioned songs, the Iguana Studios Rehearsal Tape features such rarities as the punky reggae “Dreadlocks of the Suburbs,” the aural assault known as “Cold Fish,” the captivating “Kidnap” and punk-prog rocker “Mutations of Today,” which make their first official release here.
No DK’s collection is complete without this aural artifact. Take a journey back to Iguana Studios in 1978 and hear the band in their infancy, before they became the punk legends you know and love.
Iguana Studios Rehearsal Tape – San Francisco 1978
1. Man With the Dogs
2. Kepone Kids
3. Forward to Death
4. Kill the Poor
5. Your Emotions
6. Dreadlocks of the Suburbs
7. I Kill Children
8. Cold Fish
9. Holiday in Cambodia
11. Mutations of Today
13. California Über Alles