Too Drunk to Fuck

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"Too Drunk to Fuck"
Dead Kennedys - Too Drunk to Fuck cover.jpg
Single by Dead Kennedys
B-side"The Prey"
ReleasedMay 1981 (1981-05)
GenreHardcore punk
Surf punk
LabelCherry Red
Songwriter(s)Jello Biafra
Dead Kennedys singles chronology
"Kill the Poor"
"Too Drunk to Fuck"
"Nazi Punks Fuck Off"

"Too Drunk to Fuck" is the fourth single by 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 36 in the UK Singles Chart,[1] 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. It was banned from Radio 1 airplay 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 a group calling themselves The Dead Kennedys".[citation needed] The Dead Kennedys supplied a sticker for some record stores who took offense to the title which said, "Caution: You are the victim of yet another stodgy retailer afraid to warp your mind by revealing the title of this record so peel slowly and see..."

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. The song ends with a sound of a man vomiting.

Licensing controversy[edit]

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."[2] The rest of the band responded in kind, challenging him to donate his share of the money to charity.[3]


Chart (1981) Peak
UK Indie Chart[4] 1
UK Singles Chart[5] 36


  1. ^ "Biography of Jello Biafra". Alternative Tentacles. 2001. Retrieved 2005-02-19.
  2. ^ "Jello Biafra condemns Dead Kennedys for licensing song to "Grindhouse"". Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  3. ^ "Dead Kennedys respond to Jello Biafra regarding Grindhouse". Retrieved 2007-03-21.
  4. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "Dead Kennedys - Singles". Retrieved September 5, 2014.

External links[edit]