Holiday in Cambodia

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"Holiday in Cambodia"
Single by Dead Kennedys
from the album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
B-side "Police Truck"
Released May 1980
Format 7"
Genre Hardcore punk, gothic rock, post-punk
Length 4:38 (album version)
3:43 (single version)
Label Cherry Red / Alternative Tentacles
Writer(s) Jello Biafra/John Greenway
Producer(s) Dead Kennedys
Dead Kennedys singles chronology
"California Über Alles"
(1979)
"Holiday in Cambodia"
(1980)
"Police Truck"
(1980)

"Holiday in Cambodia" was the second single by the American punk band Dead Kennedys. The record was released in May 1980 on Alternative Tentacles with "Police Truck" as the b-side. The title track was re-recorded for the band's first album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980), and the version that appeared on this single, as well as the single's b-side, are available on the rarities album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (1987). The cover picture of the single is taken from the 6 October 1976 Massacre in Thailand, and depicts a member of the right-wing crowd beating the corpse of a student protester with a metal chair.

The song attacks both Eastern totalitarianism and Western complacency. The song's lyrics offer a satirical view of young, self-righteous Americans and contrast such a lifestyle with a brutal depiction of the infamous Pol Pot regime of Cambodia.

The re-recording of this song that appears on Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables is different from the single version, being fifty-five seconds longer and featuring an extended guitar noise intro as well as an extended solo. While the original performance includes the satirically quoted word "niggers", subsequent performances by the reformed Dead Kennedys, and other artists listed here have substituted the word "brothers" in its place. Biafra, however, has often in the past and currently, replaced the word with "blacks".

In October 1998, Jello Biafra was sued by former members of the Dead Kennedys.[1] According to Biafra, the suit was a result of his refusal to allow "Holiday in Cambodia" to be used in a commercial for Levi's Dockers; Biafra opposes Levi's due to what he believes are their unfair business practices and sweatshop labor. However, the other members claimed that their royalties had been defrauded. "The record industry has been skimming royalties owed artists since the beginning," according to Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray. "This case is no different from blues musicians being taken advantage of in the twenties and thirties. Many people doubted the claims we made against our former record label back in 1998 but with this announcement there is no denying we were the victims here." [2]

Covers and other versions[edit]

In other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ V. Vale, Ex-Dead Kennedys vs Jello Biafra, RE/Search Publications.
  2. ^ "Record Label Drops Legal Action Against Dead Kennedys". Dead Kennedys News. 2004-07-14. 
  3. ^ "Fresh Duck for Rotting Accordionists ~ Release by Duckmandu!". MusicBrainz!. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Einhart, Nancy (2002-04-03). "The Keys to Success". SF Weekly. 
  5. ^ "Office Of Future Plans and Damon Locks cover "Holiday In Cambodia"". Retrieved 13 April 2013. 

External links[edit]