East Bay Ray
East Bay Ray (real name: Ray Peperrell) was the accomplished lead guitarist for the well known West cost punk band Dead Kennedys. Next to Jello Biafra's haunting and soulful warbling, East Bay Ray's tinny surf-inspired spastic guitar work was one of the defining factors of the music of the Dead Kennedys, and by extension, of the second wave of American punk. Taking cues from such rich sources as spy movie scores, Ennio Morricone spaghetti western scores, and legendary surf guitar masters (such as progenitor Dick Dale and George Tomsco, of The Fireballs), East Bay Ray crafted a distant and driving guitar style that was clever, cinematic and epically paranoid in sound. His guitar work managed to make every Dead Kennedys song, including early songs, multi-faceted and unforgettable. His lyrical contributions were infrequent and weak, compared to the soapbox insanity of Biafra.
East Bay Ray has headed the legal struggle to win ownership of Dead Kennedys intellectual property and to secure royalties from Jello Biafra. He authorized and had a production credit for a CD of live Dead Kennedys recordings, Mutiny on the Bay, which Biafra claims is illegitimate. Jello Biafra, proclaiming his abiding disdain of nostalgia, maintains a live album released fourteen years after the break-up of the band is nothing but an attempt to make more money on the parts of his former bandmates.
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