Nardwuar the Human Serviette vs Jello Biafra
2002

 
 

Jello, I was searching the internet. I'm sure you love questions that are preambled by that, and I found some website that had some story about how Henry Rollins melted a rat on you.
Again, this is what happens when you exaggerate things on the net. I was crashing in his apartment one night when I went back to DC with DOA after a Dead Kennedys east coast tour in '81 and he was still Henry Garfield then. And when I finally fell asleep as the sun was coming up, a roommate took Henry's late pet rat, who was in a little milk carton coffin in the freezer, who was still being mourned, and held the rat over me and the water started to melt, so this rat was sort of dripping and drooling on me when I woke.

Yuck. That was the story. Jello Biafra, who is behind the September 11th terrorist attacks? Who really is behind it?
Paul from The Diamond Center.

What can you tell me about the Carlisle Corporation?
It's a shadowy little group that buys up failing defense contractors and turns the companies around and sells them at a big profit and the people on their so-called board of advisors includes King George Bush I, one of his old friends and old Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci, Fidel Ramos, the old President of the Philippines, James Baker - Bush's campaign dirty trickster who he made Secretary of State. For a long time, there was also a substantial investment by the Bin Laden family.

Do you lend any credence to stories, such as that kid who crashed that Cessna into that building in Florida that he crashed it to draw attention to his dad, who was a member of the CIA?
I suspect he was a troubled kid, mainly. There's other ways to do that.

How about war? Is force justified in any means at all, Jello Biafra?
That's a tough one. It depends on the situation. I mean, on one hand there's the argument that people should be left alone on the other hand, there's the argument to wade in a stop slaughters in places like Bosnia and Kosovo and what we probably should have done in Rwanda. Respecting other people's cultures is well and good, but I draw the line at where some branches of Islam, what they do to women. It's indefensible.

Jello Biafra, do you lend credence to the story about that this is all for oil again? That Colin Powell knew before - and you discussed a bit of this tonight about the invasion of Afghanistan and set up this war - for an oil pipeline.
I don't know about that. They've said that there's enough oil under Kazakhstan that it's bigger than the Saudi Arabian oil field, but looking at a map - all you have to do is look at a map and the pipeline theory kind of falls apart because you'd have to put the pipeline through hostile territory like Afghanistan, Pakistan, etcetera, to run it to the gulf and the Indian Ocean, and you'd have to build it up and over all those Himalayan peaks and if you build it going west instead of south, you have the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea and hostile people there, too, but probably not on the same scale. I don't think it's strictly about that.

Now, winding up here with Jello Biafra, Jello, what do you think should happen to your countrymen, John Walker?
Oh, I think he should be on "Hollywood Squares."

Ba-boom!
How am I supposed to respond to that?

Ka-boom!
I though you had a different sign off.

No, we're not quite finished yet. We're not that "winded" up yet. I was curious, what was the longest you've spoken for your spoken word?
Five hours plus, maybe. I haven't caught up with Fidel Castro yet. I'm not sure I should.

I just want to ask you quickly. Your finding records stories. I love that story about finding a record in Amoeba Records in Berkeley. That's amazing. In the washroom of Amoeba. Could you tell the people about that, Jello Biafra?
Ohh, I was just taking a leak in the Berkeley Amoeba store and stapled to the wall was an original Ike and Tina Turner - really heavy R & B album on Sue Records from a long time ago. Never seen it before, never saw it again. And I thought, could it be? And I pushed on it and noticed there was a disc inside so I thought, I wonder. I don't mind beat-up records if it's the only way I can hear the thing. I have two needles for that purpose, plus I clean them off pretty good. So I thought, I wonder if I can talk them out of this. So, I went up to the counter with the staples still sticking in there: "Would you sell this to me?" I think they sold it to me for six bucks or something, cleaned it up, and it plays pretty good.

I loved the way you found that record when you were at a flea market in Vancouver and you had that guy Ty rip down that record. What record was that? Some sort of prog record. Do you remember that one at all?
No.

It was some record that you said, "I want that." And, sure enough, the record was inside of that.
Usually, the records are inside. That is helpful.

I meant, for decorations, when people put stuff on a wall, it's unusual that they put the record up as well.
Oh, that one. It turned out to be a disco album.

Aww, damn. Jello Biafra, what's the most you've ever paid for a record?
Oh, that's classified information, but it's not all that high. I'm a bottom feeder.

And how about exotica? Have you thought of singing any exotica? You've done hardcore, you've done punk. Have you sung any exotica?
Not really. There's sort of an open offer to work with a guy in Los Angeles who does big band and orchestra arrangements who was at least an acquaintance to Les Baxter before he passed away. But, I haven't really come up with that kind of material or the time to really pursue that.

In that book, American Hardcore, they hint that The Middle Class' record was possibly the first hardcore record ever. What do you think was the first hardcore punk record was?
Either The Middle Class or Sound of Imker Train of Doomsday single in the late '60s in Holland. The only true '60s hardcore record I know.

Just curious - that picture of you and Tammy Faye Baker on the Alternative Tentacles website. Have you joined the enemy? You are kissing Tammy Faye Baker there.
Uh, I think she's kissing me.

And did the guys from Agnostic Front ever threaten you?
I got that impression from their interviews.

Do you know where Niki Siki of Sick Pleasure is?
I hope he's not in jail because at one time he was up on a three strikes offence, but I hope he got out of that.

And what was that guy you were referring to tonight? You said he was from a northern California anarchist band who had a BMW and a cushy computer job.
That, I'm keeping quiet on. It's not anybody you would have known.

Well thanks a lot, Jello Biafra. Really appreciate your time. Anything else you'd like to add to the people out there?
Oh, boy.

Why should people care about Jello Biafra? Why should people care?
That's for them to answer. I'm not sure I care sometimes.

And lastly, lastly, lastly Jello Biafra, in retrospect, was Governor Jerry Brown all that bad?
Well, the ones that came after him certainly made him look good. He did do some good things. He also made statements at the time like, "I'll move left and right at the same time. You watch me." Which he's done as mayor of Oakland, now, too. The statement that really bothered me at the time was that people were looking for a leader on a white horse and the strong hint seemed to be that he was that person, and I was fresh out of a town that was filled with what now would be called new age yuppies and stuff who were all getting a little too comfortable and looking for gurus to tell them what to do and I thought that if a politician ever grabbed on to that, we were in trouble. Thus, the "California Uber Alles" song. When Reagan got in, I realized that was much bigger trouble. So, "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now" was written.

Thanks very much Jello Biafra. Really appreciate the time. Keep on rockin' in the free world and doot doola doot doo...
Ka-boom.

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