The group unwittingly played an unusual supporting role in the incident.
Chad Ludington, a professor at North Carolina State University and one of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates, said in a statement cited by The New York Times that 38 years ago, he and Kavanaugh were drinking beer with friends at a New Haven bar following a UB40 concert. They spotted someone who they believed resembled Ali Campbell, then the band’s lead singer.
When the man told the group to leave him alone, Kavanaugh allegedly cursed and “threw his beer at the guy,” which led to a fight. During that altercation, another member of Kavanaugh’s group allegedly “took his beer and smashed it into the head of the guy.”
Ludington told The Times:
“I don’t know what Brett was doing in the melee, but there was blood, there was glass, there was beer and there was some shouting, and the police showed up.”
Kavanaugh was among five people questioned by the New Haven Police Department about the assault, The Times reported. Although he was not arrested, a 21-year-old man accused Kavanaugh of throwing ice at him.
At the time, UB40 was riding high on the success of its 1983 hit, a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine.”
The Times report caused both “Red Red Wine” and the band’s name to trend on social media, which led to more than a few cracks, given Kavanaugh’s repeated references to liking beer rather than wine, red or otherwise:
I will pay one million dollars for any footage of Kavanaugh singing and/or karaoke-ing “Red Red Wine”
— John Hodgman (@hodgman) October 2, 2018
Red Red Whine pic.twitter.com/Gi0duoOwEa
— CSGV (@CSGV) October 2, 2018
Everyone who had UB40 in the Kavanaugh shitshow pool step forward to claim your winnings.Having “red red wine” doesn’t count, that’s a separate entry. (It’s also a Neil Diamond song). https://t.co/k9l6SKSGiw
— Emily G (@EmilyGorcenski) October 2, 2018
RED RED WINE?!?!?! NO!!!!!! I LIKE BEER!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/LXTdksKvw6
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) October 2, 2018
I LIKE RED RED WINE. DO YOU LIKE RED RED WINE, SENATOR? https://t.co/2ilhhBPJjL
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) October 1, 2018
“I LIKE RED, RED WINE!” pic.twitter.com/kvExYTpZsG
— Convolver ? (@Convolver) October 2, 2018
Kavanaugh wanted to punch the lead singer the the band that sings “Red Red Wine”. His loyalty to beer knows no bounds.
— FreddyG (@OrangeFreddyG) October 2, 2018
I feel bad for UB40 right now. "Guys, look! We're trending!" [clicks through] "MOTHERFU—"
— Chris Holm (@chrisfholm) October 2, 2018
UB40: ?Red, red wine…?Brett Kavanaugh: I LIKE BEER! pic.twitter.com/p6Q5mMxVwQ
— Pièce de Résistance (@PieceDeReSister) October 2, 2018
He was just mad that everyone was drinking red red wine instead of his beloved beer!
— Ander Commander (@Andercommander) October 2, 2018
UB40 wasn't even on my Brett Bingo card.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) October 2, 2018
Who gets this riled up AFTER A UB40 CONCERT?!?!? https://t.co/FC4RJ1CieW
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) October 2, 2018
— Andrew Brennan (@ATBrennan21) October 2, 2018
Among all the Kavanaugh grossness, I appreciate the reminder of my awesome UB40 phase. Red red wine, stay close to me. Don’t let me be alone. It’s tearing apart my blue blue heart…
— Sophie M. Hayward (@sophmiddlebrook) October 2, 2018
“When some people get pissed, they see Red. Me? I see Red Red Wine, my friend.”-Brett Kavanaugh ? ? ? ?
— Andy Juett (@andyjuett) October 2, 2018
RED RED WINE YOU MAKE ME FEEL SO FINE YOU KEEP ME ROCKING ALL OF THE TIME pic.twitter.com/aKnHcJiyzh
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) October 2, 2018
Kavanaugh: I like beer.Investigator: But do you like(•_•)( •_•)>⌐■-■(⌐■_■)red red wine?
— Seth Masket (@smotus) October 1, 2018
Kanavaugh should be serenaded with “Red, Red Wine” for the rest of his life
— Kitty Curley (@kittythegolfer) October 2, 2018
Alexa, play Red Red Wine by UB40 pic.twitter.com/pzNufjAzGR
— Garrett (@GretCline) October 2, 2018
Here's an opinion nobody asked for: I haaate Red Red Wine. I think it's a terrible song.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) October 2, 2018
Wow, I'm still sick of "Red, Red Wine" from the 9th grade.
— Alafair Burke (@alafairburke) October 2, 2018
Getting older mostly sucks, but I feel sorry for anyone too young to understand how funny someone getting into a fight after a UB40 concert is.
— Sean Thomason (@TheThomason) October 1, 2018
This is a good time to remind everyone that Neil Diamond wrote "Red Red Wine" pic.twitter.com/rD1hj4vXlI