In my opinion, AT have been one of the most important record labels since their inception. Giving a home to music which others might consider to be just a tad too far removed from normal and reasonable. They allow bands to express themselves and their rights to freedom of speech. But they are in constant battles with the authorities over this. Many will have heard of the court case which ultimately led to the demise of the label founders band, The Dead Kennedys. And now this.
All this in an age where giant conglomerates such as Pepsi can get away with being able to influence and manipulate a generation into the buying of their products in order to obtain the latest goodies offered out by a pure marketing ploy, ie The S**** G****, AT still manage to be accused of perhaps being too offensive to people. And the line at the end, in addition to making money off of this image for themselves, that's nothing like what all businesses do now is it, oooh no.
Like the pressure that Pepsi and the S**** G**** label are applying to their fans is in no way offensive. Perish the thought, because they are able to try and control those peoples minds and stop them from doing that which really sets us apart as humans. Being able to think and rationalise for ourselves. Because we are told that this is a good thing that the company and the girls are doing. Exploiting the impressionable. But isn't that what all those horrible nasty bands are so often accused of.
And of course, people wish to censor the Internet, new bands are getting lawsuits and the like, Marilyn Manson, Siverchair. The most amazing thing about it all, is that something which is so old, and been done so many times before, still manages to offend people. You'd think they'd learn, but maybe they don't have the brain capacity to absorb, think, reason and conclude, and then still remember when the same thing happens again a few years later.
Still, at least Biafra is still going, and still has plenty to say for himself, like in this recent interview.
Also, here's an interview from a few years back. Again, thougtful and provocative. I don't agree with everything he say's, but surely that's one of the main points, no one person is the be all and end all.
Someone else is concerned about the AT situation as well here
Anyway, this is the article reported in the News of The World thing. Read on, and fear for your freedom of thought
Crucifucked To The Tune Of $2.2 Million
Police put legendary punk rocker Jello Biafra up against the wall.
Addicted To Noise staffwriter Gil Kaufman reports:
The Crucifucks fought the law, and it looks like the law may have won this round. Last Friday (April 4), a federal judge in Philadelphia awarded $2.2 million in a default judgment to a policeman and his union in a suit over the use of a photo of Philly policeman James Whalen on the cover of the Crucifucks' 1992 compilation album Our Will Be Done.
The band, their label (San Francisco-based Alternative Tentacles) and its owner, Jello Biafra (Eric R. Boucher), had been sued more than a year ago by the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) over its unauthorized use of the photo, which showed officer Whalen pretending to lie dead next to his cruiser. FOP press officer Dale Wilcox told ATN the photo was used in a poster to raise public awareness of a 1986 contract dispute between the city and the FOP and bore the legend, "You wouldn't sacrifice your life for a million bucks. A Philadelphia police officer does it for a lot less. They need your support."
In condemning the label and the band, whose album contained what Wilcox called "anti-police sentiment," police union head Richard Costello said, "I'm hoping for every last dime these people have, up to the penny in their loafers if we can get it." Wilcox said the FOP's $1.1 million share of the judgment money would be used to provide scholarships for the children of slain officers through the Hero Scholarship fund...
A press release from Alternative Tentacles states: "We at Alternative Tentacles Records are disappointed that the Federal Court has entered a default judgment against Alternative Tentacles Records, Jello Biafra and The Crucifucks."
The press release from the label, whose long-standing motto is "Giving Art a Bad Name Since 1979," notes that the same Judge who ruled against AT in this case dismissed the FOP claims as without merit in the case of co-defendant Borders Books and Music last July.
The release also clarifies that "a default judgment is not a judgment based on the merits of a case. It is the result of a statutory procedure requiring proper notice to the defendants before a default can be taken. The Fraternal Order of Police took the default of Alternative Tentacles Records and Jello Biafra even though their attorneys knowingly failed to properly serve the required notice of their intention to take the default. This case has not gone to trial."
Finally, the release says that AT and Biafra have filed a motion in Federal Court seeking to set aside the default judgment.
Wilcox explained that a default judgment means the defendants failed to appear in court and added that "a court order is a court order. The band and the label will be subject to collection when the court decides."
Wilcox explained that the FOP took exception to the "misappropriation" of Sergeant Whalen's image "in addition to making money off of this image for themselves, and in the course of doing that, associating police with songs like 'Cops For Fertilizer' and "Pigs in a Blanket,' which advocated the murder of officers."