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Alternative Tentacles

Alternative Tentacles is a record label based in Emeryville, California. It was founded in San Francisco in June 1979 by Jello Biafra. Through bands such as the Dead Kennedys, D.O.A.[?], and the Butthole Surfers the label became a prominent figure in the American art/music underground. In 1985, Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys were brought to trial for distributing "harmful matter" in their Frankenchrist album. Though they eventually won the case, they were devastated financially and almost went into bankruptcy. However, the donations of many devoted fans kept the label alive.

Recently, Biafra has once again been brought to trial, this time by the three other members of the Dead Kennedys. They claimed that Biafra failed to pay them royalties on Dead Kennedys albums; as a result, the rights to the albums were turned over to Manifesto Records[?]. Biafra maintains that he did not deny them any money, and in addition, says he is no longer receiving royalties on the Manifesto releases. The lawsuit has been a blow to Alternative Tentacles, though sales from their other artists and authors are keeping the label going.

See also: list of record labels

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