Pull My Strings (11:42)

Cover of Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death

From Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death

Pull My Strings was a song by the Dead Kennedys, written by DK lead singer Jello Biafra and drummer Ted specifically for the 1980 Bay Area Music Awards. The song would not find its way onto a record until 1987’s Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.

The song, recorded live at the awards show, begins with the band playing the opening chords to California Über Alles, one of their more famous songs. After the first few bars, Biafra yells out “Hold it!” and sarcastically tells the audience that they’re becoming a New Wave band because they “need to prove (they’re) adults now”. Klaus Fluoride begins to play another bass line, and a new song begins.

Biafra begins singing about his not being able to afford a car thanks to his self respect, and decides to sell out to the record companies to make some money. He decides to become one of the cookie cutter new wave acts breaking into pop music at the time. The chorus implies that the musicians in the new wave bands need to be dumb and have a large penis, and are able to be pulled by strings like a puppet because they’ve sold their souls to the record labels, who can now mold them into whatever they want.

One of the targets of the Dead Kennedys in the song appears to be The Knack, who hit big around that same time with My Sharona.


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  • israel1916

    droo drool drool drool drool drool

    26 May 8:54pm Reply
  • Sanity_Theorist

    This is pretty funny, even if I think the '80s had the best pop for comedy. Wonder if Jello had any idea what pop would become with pop punk now, haha

    25 Oct 2014 Reply
  • ravenpryde

    Only $10? Man, that's quite a bargain compared to what we have to pay today.

    11 Mar 2014 Reply
  • DavCnuk

    Is my cock big enough... Is my brain small enough... For you to make me a star!

    6 Oct 2012 Reply
  • HebraicNeuroses

    we're not a punk rock band, we're a new wave band

    22 Jun 2012 Reply
  • jacelot

    but there's just one problem...

    27 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Harfang

    Bob Dylan backing vox. BAHAHAHA!!! [3] ...Kinda prescient of how he (probably not by his own doing) became part of "corporate rock" later in the '80s...

    19 Apr 2012 Reply
  • lastinglove

    Oooh. ;)

    13 Apr 2012 Reply
  • theofer

    So, is it big enough?

    30 Nov 2011 Reply
  • CubbieBlue999

    Bob Dylan backing vox. BAHAHAHA!!! [2]

    13 Sep 2011 Reply
  • MDC-DKfan

    the dead kennedys are the best band ever they are what punk is about punk isent about playing stadiam shows,acting like rockstar aswholes and looking cool punks about doing somthing new fucking the system and adressing whats going on (DK) rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7 Jul 2011 Reply
  • krossa5

    Is my brain small enough?

    9 Jun 2011 Reply
  • Grimmoire

    lol @ my Payola

    25 Apr 2011 Reply
  • tomrud73


    25 Apr 2011 Reply
  • soadbyob

    love the california uber alles intro

    25 Feb 2011 Reply
  • JimmyFlux

    Bob Dylan backing vox. BAHAHAHA!!!

    20 Feb 2011 Reply

    I ask is there any video footage of this live performance?

    13 Feb 2011 Reply
  • redfox_seattle

    This song is freaking amazing. One of the only punk bands I still dig.

    12 Feb 2011 Reply
  • slaytanic12

    best bass lines ever

    5 Jan 2011 Reply
  • PitaDauphin

    my cock

    27 Dec 2010 Reply
  • All 93 shouts

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