Maybe too, it all comes down to what you consider the spirit of the band — the music, or the personality. "Look, there are classical and romantic cycles in the arts," says Ray, "and it has to do with whether the art or artist matters more. Like, Cole Porter is a great songwriter, but Lady Gaga is a personality. Rock and roll and punk, that's a romantic cycle, and sometimes that favors the sizzle over the steak."
So is Ray the bad guy for taking away the sizzle, or at least trying to sell steaks when that's what he's good at? "I don't know — I mean, I like to think that the spirit of the band, the punk spirit, is still alive. It's like when you were a kid and you believed in Santa Claus. When you found out that he didn't exist, did that mean that the spirit of giving never existed, or stopped existing? To me, that seems like an example of tying up the personality and the idea."
You can see why Ray would want to divorce the personality from the music — he's touring a show that features his music without the personality that so many consider integral to the appeal of the band. And it's hard not to be persuaded by this simple appeal to the spirit of music amid the harsh light of bitter acrimony.
DEAD KENNEDYS + WELCH BOYS + DIRTY TACTICS + LENNY LASHEY "GANG OF ONE" | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | October 13 at 8 pm | $16.50 | 18+ | 617.562.8800 or thedise.com
: Music Features
, Paradise Rock Club, Punk Rock, Dead Kennedys, More