Conspiracy theories: they’re as fascinating as they are maddening. For every ridiculous idea that the stoner in your life insists on telling you about every time you see him/her, there’s another theory that sounds like it could just be true. Here at Flavorwire this week, we’re investigating conspiracy theories in pop culture: yes, it’s Conspiracy Theory Week! Don’t tell the Illuminati.
We’re kicking off Conspiracy Theory week with a brief survey of a corner of the music world that’s always been inhabited by the sort of bold, outlandish personalities about which people just love to speculate: punk rock! Did the government really have it in for the Dead Kennedys? Did Sid kill Nancy? And were Japanese hardcore lunatics GISM really yakuzas? Read on to find out.
The government had it in for the Dead Kennedys
Credibility level: High
Jello Biafra has long had a talent for getting under people’s skin, and during his band’s heyday, he delighted in doing so as much as possible. So much so, in fact, that it seemed awfully like the establishment might just be getting sick of this snotty-nosed upstart and looking for a way to cut him down to size. The opportunity came with the release of Frankenchrist in 1985, which came with a poster of an H.R. Giger painting called “Penis Landscape.” The band were duly prosecuted for obscenity, and the album was banned in many stores. The stress from the ensuing court battle was at least partly to blame for their breakup barely a year later.