Too Drunk to Fuck (2:42)

Cover of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

From Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables and 34 other releases

“Too Drunk to Fuck” was the fourth single by the Dead Kennedys. The record was released in May 1981 on Cherry Red Records with “The Prey” as the b-side. Both songs from this single are available on the rarities album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (1987).

The single reached Number 31 in the UK Singles Chart, although it was not stocked in some record shops because of its provocative title. It was the first UK Top 40 single to include the word “fuck” in its title. Not surprisingly, it was banned from Radio 1 airplay and Top of the Pops by the BBC. In chart listings, it was usually referred to as “Too Drunk To”. When it reached the Top 40, presenter Tony Blackburn referred to it simply as “a record by the Dead Kennedys”.

The song features a heavy surf rock/garage rock riff from guitarist East Bay Ray and satirical lyrics from Jello Biafra that paint a trenchant picture of an outrageous, moronic party; it was used in the 2003 Angel episode “Destiny” as driving music for punk vampire and heavy drinker Spike.

Licensing controversy
After the rest of the band were awarded the rights to the Dead Kennedys material, they licensed “Too Drunk to Fuck” for use in the film Grindhouse. Almost immediately, Biafra criticized his former bandmates, specifically citing the song (a cover by Nouvelle Vague) being used in a rape scene in the movie, saying “Some people will do anything for money.” The rest of the band responded in kind, challenging him to donate his share of the money to charity.


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