Hey Ronnie! 10 best punk songs about Reagan
Thirty years ago today, at 12:27 p.m. mountain time, John Hinckley, Jr., shot then-president Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.
April 1983 issue of TIME. How could '80s lefties not kind of loathe and fear this guy?
Reagan, of course, survived the shooting, went on to easily win a second term against Minnesota Democrat Walter Mondale (after pwning Mondale in the debate) and had dozens of punk bands reference him in their vitriolic, riotous songs.
In that spirit -- and because Reagan is arguably the biggest punk icon of the '80s -- here are the ten best songs about Reagan, which would have never been written had one-time Evergreen, Colorado resident Hinckley Jr. succeeded in his psycho mission.
10. D.O.A. - "Fucked Up Ronnie"
Vancouver's D.O.A. got its start during the Carter years, and the band, as Kill From the Heart points out, was just as political as it was party-heavy, a combination that is all too rare these days (looking at you, Bono). Don't miss the excellent live version of this song, recorded just before the 1984 general election.
9. "Fistfight In The Parking Lot" - Crisis of Conformity/ SNL band
This sketch debuted more than a year ago in February 2010, and surprisingly, no enterprising young punk has made a bootleg single of it. This video is hilarious (thanks to Fred Armisen) and on-point musicially (thanks to Armisen's punk history). Also, main Foo Fighter Dave Grohl (former drummer of D.C. hardcore band Scream) is on drums. Crisis of Conformity has an uncanny '80s hardcore schtick. It also gets bonus points for mentioning that other classic symbol of the Right: Alexander Haig, a reference so delightfully dated and now obscure that it's funny.
8. D.R.I. - "Reaganomics"
One of the best thrash bands Texas ever produced, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles also toured on the "Rock Against Reagan" tour (you thought we forgot?) along with another member of this list, the Dead Kennedys. This track is off the 1985 classic Dealing With It LP.
7. Direct Control - "Ronnie's Dead"
Off the 2006 You're Controlled LP, Richmond's Direct Control put this song second, making sure few would miss it. Side note: This is one of the best 12-inch punk records of the decade, you should buy it.
6. Wasted Youth - "Reagan's In"
The now-iconic cover of this 1981 EP drawn by Pushead (not sure if it was released before or after Reagan was shot, but we're guessing after), was originally that of Charles Manson, but changed to Reagan. This title track is also the first on the record, and while it's not as popular as others like "Fuck Authority" or "Teenage Nark," it's a great example of early '80s hardcore out West in L.A.