"Hate the Police" by the Dicks -- Inarguably one of the most potent anti-establishment rants of the American hardcore era. Wheeled out by the legendary Texas band in 1980, the song bluntly details the actions of a corrupt cop who beats on minorities and otherwise abuses any sense of justice that local law enforcement types are popularly associated with. Perhaps not surprisingly, the song resonated strongly with a lot of people at the dawn of Reagan-era insanity, and the biting implications were made no more palatable by the fact that Dicks frontman Gary Floyd was openly gay. Factor in the reality of Texas not being known as a beacon for progressive thought at the time, and you've got yourself a textbook example of American protest song history.
Although this is not a Dicks history lesson (and far be it from me to think I could offer one of any substance anyway), it should be noted that "Hate the Police" is still available on the band's brilliant retrospective on Alternative Tentacles Records, which you can buy here. You can also download the MP3 of "Hate the Police" from the label by right-clicking on this link.
Mudhoney covered "Hate the Police" on the exemplary Mondostereo compilation LP (Away from the Pulsebeat Records, 1988) and their version of the song became (and probably still is) one of the most-looked-forward-to moments of the band's live shows.Years after the Dicks packed it up, Gary Floyd formed the hard blues group Sister Double Happiness, who carried the performance legacy of "Hate The Police" up through the end of the 20th century. Below are videos of each of those bands performing their renditions of the song -- Mudhoney (left) recorded live in Prague, 2006, and Sister Double Happiness (right) recorded live in Zurich, 1993.
Sister Double Happiness broke up sometime in the 90s, and with no definitive word as to whether Gary Floyd's excellent and criminally overlooked followup group Black Kali Ma continued performing "Hate The Police", WFMU is pleased to offer this off-the-cuff cover as performed by Billy Jam (vocals) and Scott Williams (accordion) during the transitional moment between their two fine radio programs. [Download MP3]