Yaphet Kotto

Yaphet Kotto was formed in Santa Cruz, California in 1996 by former members of a band called Staple, guitarist/vocalist Casey Watson and guitarist/vocalist Mag Delana.

Bassist Pat Crowley, a childhood friend of Watson, joined shortly before drummer Scott Batiste. The band got their name from American actor Yaphet Kotto, with whom Delana was “fascinated with.” An insert in their first release The Killer Was in the Government Blankets stated “Yaphet Kotto is part of no scene.

Enjoy music for what it is/Not who it is.” The band’s lyrics dealt with various social and political issues such as the genocide of the Native Americans (“The Killer Was In The Government Blankets”), revolutionary inaction (“B and C”), the War on Terror (“Circumstantial Evidence”), American democracy (“Fact Nor Fiction”), and the legacy of segregation in America (“Reserved for Speaker”). Since the dissolution of Yaphet Kotto, former members have joined bands such as Saviours, Look Back and Laugh, Baader Brains, The Third Victim of Abigail Rutledge, Never Healed, The Old Firm Casuals and Middle-Aged Queers.

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