Jello Biafra (real name: Eric Boucher; born June 17, 1958, 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 ridiculous points such as forcing businessmen to wear clown suits. (Jello has said he is irritated that this part of his platform attained such notoriety, preferring to be remembered for proposals such as legalizing squatting in buildings left vacant for tax purposes.) He finished fourth out of 10, gaining 3.5% of the vote, and the election was resolved in a runoff that did not involve him. Also in 1979 Jello formed the record label Alternative Tentacles.
Biafra was a swift critic of the Parents Music Resource Center, and has constantly criticised co-founder Tipper Gore.
In 1985, Biafra was brought to trial in San Francisco for distributing "harmful matter" in the Dead Kennedys album Frankenchrist. The jury was deadlocked, the judge declared a mistrial and ordered the charges dropped. The band broke up during the trial, but Biafra has since become a renowned "Spoken Word" artist, and 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).
He coined the slogan "Don't hate the media, become the media". Indymedia and related alternative media often use this line, or the now more apt "Don't hate the media, be the media".
In the year 2000, Biafra was drafted as a candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination, and a few supporters were elected to the party's nominating convention in Denver, Colorado. However, Ralph Nader was overwhelmingly 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.
Jello was featured and has spoken at many of the H.O.P.E. confrences(audio is freely available of these apearances)
He also appeared on-screen in "Bikini Bandits" (2002), alongside other musicians such as Maynard James Keenan of Tool and Dee Dee Ramone of The Ramones.
In 1999 Jello Biafra formed the short lived band The No WTO Combo.