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POP EYE

July 06, 1986|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

PAGING TIPPER GORE: Remember all the uproar over an allegedly pornographic poster included inside the new Dead Kennedys album "Frankenchrist"? The group's lead singer, Jello Biafra, was one of five persons recently charged with distributing "harmful material to minors" after a parental complaint about the poster, which was created by artist H. R. Giger and depicts clinical close-ups of male and female genitalia engaged in sex acts. Biafra claims the seizure represents a violation of artists' freedom of speech, saying "this case is the direct result of the religious right's power-play to impose censorship via ratings and legal harassment against artists whose views happen to be different from their own."

Biafra (who ran for mayor of San Francisco in 1979 and placed fourth) has inserted a "fact-sheet" in new copies of the "Frankenchrist" album, along with information about local police "training manuals" that contain warnings about the dangers of rock and lists of bands to avoid. It also includes a form that allows listeners to order the poster (for a fee of 50 cents) after including their name, address, religion, draft registration number and sexual preferences. (If you want to decide for yourself about the poster's allegedly pornographic content, it has been reproduced on Page 91 in the July 1 issue of the Village Voice.) The album also contains a disclaimer: "If you find this form humiliating, you could be right. Just wait until you have to sign one of these every time you want to buy a record." (Biafra, whose arraignment was scheduled for Thursday, has said he will plead "not guilty.")

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