East Bay Ray Über Alles
East Bay Ray’s legacy is not only writ large in the annals of punk, it’s all over YouTube, starting with the historic In God We Trust, Inc.: The Lost Tapes. This documentary is the mother lode for DKs fans. It features the band live in the studio recording an early version of their classic album. The DKs usually cut basics and later redid guitars and vocals, which makes this full band session unusual. Of note is East Bay Ray’s gray spray-painted Frankenstrat. The music starts at 6:25 after a lengthy introduction.
Ray’s seriously Echoplexed guitar jabs ignite the song “Police Truck” at the 4:14 mark, right after Jello Biafra announces, “This song is dedicated to Dianne Banker-Butt-Licker-Margret-Thatcher Feinstein.” If you didn’t know better, you’d think the DKs were a political band. Although the stage is under constant punk assault, the guitar gear is left alone. Respect the Plex!
“Holiday in Cambodia” was one of the Dead Kennedys’ anthems and most controversial numbers. This live, in-studio performance, interspersed with gruesome war footage, displays Ray’s signature ringing arpeggios and aggressive Echoplex usage. You can catch glimpses of the unit sitting on his amp if you look carefully enough.
And last, there’s the band’s infamous live performance at the 1980 Bay Area Music Awards. The point of the song “Pull My Strings,” written especially for the event, was to make fun of everyone, but that didn’t stop East Bay Ray from playing an impressive solo at 3:35.