Ex-Dead Kennedy Partners With Offspring Singer

Former Dead Kennedy's leader Jello Biafra said he

thinks he has found the perfect partner: Offspring's

Brian "Dexter" Holland.

But it isn't music they're making together. Rather, the

two have teamed up to launch a social service benefit

foundation called F.S.U.

Modeled on a similar organization started by their Bay

Area musical brethren in the Grateful Dead, the Rex

Foundation, F.S.U., which stands for Fuck Shit Up,

if you ask Biafra, or Freedom Starts Underground,

if you ask Holland, aims to provide financial

assistance to a number of causes, including

homelessness, human rights, anti-censorship and

AIDS service organizations.

"I've thought about doing something like this for a

long time," Biafra told ATN Tuesday. "I've often

wondered what I would do if I, or some friends of

mine, blundered into a huge amount of money," he

added.

What Biafra and Holland have founded is an organization

that will stage a series of benefit concerts beginning

June 29 atthe Ventura Theater in Ventura, Calif., whose

proceeds will be distributed to a wide array of organizations.

In the case of the first three shows (the other two are set for

June 30 at the Glass House

in Pomona, Calif. and July 2 in Santa Cruz, Calif.), the

recipients of F.S.U. money will range from AIDS Project Los

Angeles and Poor People's United Fund to the Trees Foundation

and Amnesty International.

F.S.U. is a

response to the continual budget cuts in social

service funds allocation aimed at balancing the budget, Biafra

said. "I've been socially active behind the scenes for years,

having given a good chunk of my money to a wide stripe of political

groups for 10 years now," he said. "But this is a way to do it on a

larger scale, and hopefully we can be more effective on this scale.

I get so sick of all this belt-tightening being ordered on everybody

from above. Poor people shouldn't be thrown in the street and have

their welfare cut off in order to balance the budget. Michael Jordan,

Bill Gates and Ross Perot should balance the budget," said Biafra,

breaking into one of his legendary rants. (Biafra also offered a

string of other possible translations for the foundations name,

including: Food Safety and Understanding; and Frogs, Sharks and Anteaters?).

Biafra said he contacted a number of other punk bands and performers

to try and gain support for his foundation, but it was Holland who

returned his call with the most enthusiasm. "Brian called me up

asking how my knee was doing after I got beat up by a bunch of

so-called punks at Gilman Street for supposedly being a sell-out,"

Biafra said, alluding to his brutal beating in May of 1994, outside

the legendary 924 Gilman Street club.

"We got to talking and I told him about the idea and he was really

into it," Biafra continued. "I think it's time for people who

describe themselves as punk to get a little more real about what

issues really matter in the world."

Biafra sees the connection with the Offspring as a natural, despite

his suspicion that they might be subject to the "blah, blah, blah"

charge of "sell-out." "It's great when people in the activist punk

underground are able to throw together benefit shows for a cause,

but it can be done above ground as well and raise a lot more money

for the same cause," he said. "A band like Offspring, who played a

bunch of teeny tiny shows across the country for years before they

got big, have very deep roots in the underground community, so there

was a little more inclination for them to be involved in a project

like this."

While the "Holiday In Cambodia" singer was reluctant to say whether

he'd be performing alongside the Offspring at the three benefit

shows, he did leave the door open to a possible on-stage collaboration.

"I don't know whether (folkie and social activist) Phil Ochs would

agree with this, but there are cases when there are people down at

the grass roots who are working on a good cause during all their

waking hours but they don't have any financial backing to do what

they want to do," Biafra said. "That's where people with tight

schedules can pitch in. The more people who are in a position

to raise a lot of money and not feel the pinch, who are able to

do this kind of thing, the better."

Hoping he might inspire other punks to pick up the torch

if F.S.U. takes off, Biafra

said, "Maybe it will spin off into some similar ideas for other

foundations and organizations."