This Ain't No Picnic

Song Review by

The Minutemen actually filmed a low-budget video for 1984's "This Ain't No Picnic," featuring the band performing the song in typically manic fashion, intercut with footage from war movies of the '40s, topped off by a typically bland clip of Ronald Reagan in his leading-man days. The striking video actually got some MTV airplay, which combined with the comparatively epic length of the song -- just a shade under two whole minutes! -- to make it the group's first flirtation with the burgeoning alternative music market. The Minutemen couldn't have chosen a more appropriate introduction, since "This Ain't No Picnic" sums up the group's political viewpoints in a more succinct fashion than usual (seriously, the basic message of this song is arguably simply a more pissed-off version of Huey Lewis & the News' "Workin' for a Livin'"), with a simple but catchy chorus consisting of D. Boon and Mike Watt screaming the song's title over a rat-a-tat George Hurley drum fill. "This Ain't No Picnic" provided a place for new listeners to grab on to the sprawl of Double Nickels on the Dime without alienating The Minutemen's hardcore fans.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Double Nickels on the Dime 1984 SST 1:56
Introducing the Minutemen 1998 SST 1:57