ELKRIDGE, Md. — Mild-mannered 42-year-old insurance salesman Jello Biafra suffered another case of mistaken identity this week, as he was once again assumed to be the iconic former Dead Kennedys frontman, based solely on his name.
“I get these random pieces of fan mail from as far away as Estonia… and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with them,” said Biafra from his modest three-bedroom home. “Jello Biafra is my legal name. From what I understand, he chose his name ironically — which is an insult to the long, proud line of Biafras, of which I am a direct descendant.”
Biafra, whose name combines his paternal grandfather’s first name, Jerry, and maternal grandfather’s first name, Leo, claimed the seminal frontman and activist Eric Boucher, known as Jello Biafra, should change his name, as it is Mr. Biafra’s given, legal name. According to Biafra, not a week goes by without interacting with some “dirty punk” looking for the musician.
“I saw a sign that said ‘Jello Biafra Insurance.’ So, of course, I assumed Jello was doing some sort of installation art piece in the middle of nowhere in Maryland,” said Jamal Keewaydin, the latest of many disappointed Dead Kennedys fans. “I asked him to play ‘Soup Is Good Food,’ and he took a swing at me and threw me out.”
“Him trying to fight me was the closest to the actual Jello Biafra he got,” Keewaydin added solemnly.
The born-and-raised Biafra, who admitted he’s a pretty avid jazz fan, allegedly listened to the top Dead Kennedys tracks on YouTube years ago out of curiosity.
“I didn’t like it. It was all very aggressive,” said Biafra. “He said some very nasty things about the government, which I found offense — us Biafras are proud taxpayers. And whenever I apply for a loan or to be a volunteer or anything, they always assume I’m him. I once got kicked off the board of my Homeowner’s Association because somebody searched for my name online.”
When the musician Jello Biafra was reached for comment, he talked for two hours about gentrification in the Bay Area until the caller hung up.