Dead Kennedys performing 'Pull My Strings'
On March 25, 1980, the DKs were invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards in front of music industry bigwigs to give the event some "New Wave credibility", in the words of the organizers. The day of the show was spent practicing the song they were asked to play, the underground hit, "California Über Alles." In typically subversive, perverse style, the band became the talking point of the ceremony when after about 15 seconds into the song, Biafra said, "Hold it! We've gotta prove that we're adults now. We're not a punk rock band, we're a new wave band."
The band, who all wore white shirts with a big, black S painted on the front, pulled black ties from around the backs of their necks to form a dollar sign, then started playing a new song "Pull My Strings", a barbed, satirical attack on the ethics of the mainstream music industry, which contained the lyrics, "Is my cock big enough, is my brain small enough, for you to make me a star?". The song also referenced The Knack's biggest New Wave hit, "My Sharona". The song was never recorded in the studio but this performance, the first and only time the song was ever performed, was released on the posthumous compilation album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.