Dead Kennedys

Pull My Strings

Composed by Dead Kennedys / Jello Biafra / Ted (Bruce Slesinger)

Song Review by

One of several otherwise unrecorded songs captured on the live side of the career-spanning compilation Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death, the hysterical (in all senses of the word) "Pull My Strings" is a multi-part evisceration of those who tried to latch onto punk credibility as a means to pop stardom. For example, one section of the song is a less-than-subtle parody of the Knack's "My Sharona" ("drool, drool, drool, drool...my payola!"), and the chorus equates brain and penis size in an unflattering fashion. Musically, this lengthy song has several distinct sections, including an audience participation segment near the end that plays like a deadpan arena rock parody; combined with Jello Biafra's unapologetically theatrical vocals, the uncharacteristically musically complex "Pull My Strings" is the one song that makes plain Biafra's contention that one of his primary influences in starting the Dead Kennedys was Sparks' early art-rock period: this song would have fit very nicely on the spiky, artsy A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death 1987 Manifesto Records 5:53
blue highlight denotes editor's pick