1987: Triumphs and Near Tragedies

First, let’s start with the near tragedy which occurred in 1987. Those who have been following me for awhile might remember when I made a similar post for 1986, criminal charges were brought against Dead Kennedys lead singer, Jello Biafra, for distributing harmful material to minors on account of a photo on the inner sleeve of the “Frankenchrist” album. Even today, I still believe in Kerrang’s (the mag didn’t suck back then) assertion that the US legal system was prosecuting Biafra because they believed that since his record company was such a small one, they wouldn’t have the resources to fight. Then, after securing a conviction on him, they would have a legal precedent in order to go after bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister and of course, arch nemesis, Ozzy. Fortunately, seven members of the jury didn’t play ball and after a 7-5 deadlock in favour of Biafra, a mistrial was declared and charges were dropped.

Dead Kennedys

While Jello Biafra escaped prison, the legal costs had an adverse effect resulting in the Dead Kennedys disbanding later in the year. As a result of the trial, Jello Biafra has become a spoken word artists and an active campaigner for First Amendment rights in America. He was nominated for president by the New York state Green Party in 2000 but only received ten delegates at the party’s national convention. Imagine how history would have been different if he had been elected president!

Now onto to the triumph.

It was said that every year at Donnington was better than all of the previous years. For, me in 1987, I can definitely say this was the case. Dio and Anthrax on the same bill was reason enough for me to go. The addition of Metallica, WASP and Cinderella were just added bonuses. True, Bon Jovi was the headliner and they did a decent job but they weren’t the band I was there to see. Although I did think it was great that they brought Dee Snider, Paul Stanley and Bruce Dickinson out to sing with them on covers of CCR’s “Travelling Band” and the Grand Funk Railroad classic, “We’re an American Band.” Dio and Anthrax were the best bands on the day but I would probably say that. Cinderella played well as an opening act and I was quite pleasantly surprised by WASP. I hate to say this but Metallica failed to live up to my expectation on the day. It could have been because they didn’t open with “Battery” However, it was a great day!

Unfortunately, the Tubes of You aren’t featuring any individual songs from any of the bands on the day but full performances are available. They are worth checking out. I did find one song from Dio.

Next post: A few other songs

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

12 Responses to “1987: Triumphs and Near Tragedies”

  1. This is just before I got into rock music. I only heard of Monsters Of Rock and Castle Donington because of this show and older kids at school. Kids who had gone to see Bon Jovi but came back Metallica fans

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh, this Spring I was on a roll watching old American talk shows, I’m talking Donahue, Geraldo and Oprah. I saw a few episodes about censorship where Jello Biafra and Tipper Gore were at loggerheads over censorship. I was riveted! I know little about the Dead Kennedys, but Biafra had a lot to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Biafra is very intelligent and makes a lot of good points. I’ve listened to some of his Spoken Word talks and they provide great food for thought. The Dead Kennedys are definitely a band you might want to listen to.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1987 I was 13 and playing hockey all the time and listening to Gowan and U2 and Bryan Adams and jazz. Imagine Biafra as President? Lol no. But that whole thing really rankles, same as the Advisory stickers. Anyway. Metallica didn’t open with Battery? Well maybe they were shaking things up that day! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to buy those Kerrang mags back than and always say I have to get to Donnington but never did. Really wish I would have taken the plunge and done it esp the 88 one…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: