The Ramones : Classic Or Dud

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I have to stick with the conventional view that the first three albums are uber-classic and Road to Ruin merely very good.

Especially what do you reckon about 80's and 90's Ramones? I've been listening to disc 2 of the Anthology and whilst it's pretty poor in comparison with the '76/77 bruddas, I'm still enjoying it. Sounds like they were trying really hard for a HUGE stadium anthem for most of the '80s, along with crap-but-fun attempts at thrash-metal, doo-wop metal, synth-pop-metal etc.

Hey Ho, let's go....

Dr. C, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Doc: you're going into FAR more detail than I could, and as usual I can only admire the erudition. But my position would be a bit more critical of the band in general. I can't see how they were worth more than a couple of 45s, really. Too limited, too little interest in songwriting, as far as I can see.

the pinefox, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Never liked them. Same thing with The Clash, some irritating quality which I find hard to define. But definitely overrated.

Omar, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

The fact that the first two albums leave me indifferent yet I consider 'Rocket to Russia' utter classic, even though they're all THE SAME ALBUM, was a useful education for me in the theory and practice of minimalism.

tarden, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I'm mostly the predictable old school fan - 1st-3-are-classics, "Road to Ruin" & the Phil Spector one (Phil Spector produced it, big deal, how could you tell if it didn't say so on the cover) & "Subterranean Jungle" are real good too, the rest has its moments but I never bought any of it. My only slight heresy is that the *2nd* album & not the more conventional choices (1st, 3rd) is my favourite. Reason - colour of cover. Sky-blue album covers make me feel happy & optimistic.

duane, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Comparing them to the Clash, man that gives me some insight into why Europeans (except the French) don't care about rock&roll any more - 'cause they never quite got it in the 1st place.

duane, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Well, I didn't actually compare them with The Clash, just said that *as* with The Clash some hard-to-pinpoint quality irritates me. Always prefered The Stooges over The Ramones.

Omar, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

appearences in Hard Core Logo _and_ Pet Semetary = Classic! one, two, three four...

Geoff, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Dislike the first album for the left/right production, still a classic band, hmmm, yeah.

james e l, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I love the left/right production. Try listening to nothing but the bass out of one speaker...it's fantastic!

Michael Bourke, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

So simple it's brilliant. Getting every album would be beyond insane, but as mentioned those first four are pretty damn well genius. The one with Phil Spector should have been great, but alas.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Pinefox sez - "too little interest in songwriting".

You're very much OFF the money there, Pinefox. Will explain why in detail later on.

Dr. C, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hooray! Can't wait. (Can't begin to imagine what your argument might be, either.)

the pinefox, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Puritanists. Not much mystique in that...

Jason, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Comparing them to the Clash, man that gives me some insight into why Europeans (except the French) don't care about rock&roll any more - 'cause they never quite got it in the 1st place.

Can't quite figure out whether that's a putdown of the Clash, or the Ramones, or neither, or both - and I'm not even European !

Patrick, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

They never really made a credible album again after TOO TOUGH TO DIE (and even that was marginal), but did manage to achieve greatness with the odd track every now and again ("Tomorrow She Goes Away" off MONDO BIZARRO, for example, was grade A). Still, the first four albums...let alone IT'S ALIVE (which I maintain is the only album you'd ever need by the band) cement them as a classic, Classic, CLASSIC! Gabba Gabba Hey!

alex in nyc, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Don't tell me that Dr C has realized that the Ramones did, indeed, have little interest in songwriting...

the pinefox, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

It's too bad the Ramones have become such an institution in our punk worshipping age that no one can really talk about them frankly. I like em but they are sort of a gimmick

Mike Hanle y, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Just hang on, Pinefox - I'll get to it.

Dr. C, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

"It's too bad the Ramones have become such an institution in our punk worshipping age that no one can really talk about them frankly. I like em but they are sort of a gimmick "

They became an institution for a reason, Mike. They admittedly worked the gimmick angle (certainly no more so than, say, the much-fawned over White Stripes), but I risk flogging the very obvious point by saying they did it *FIRST*! Respect is due. As for frankness, I don't believe anyone is saying their later work is as significant as their seminal first few albums.

alex in nyc, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

The fact that we're even debating this point is shocking, although no accounting for taste, etc., and some people will offer an argument for anything. CLASSIC, ok?

Sean, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hey, nobody ever said the Ramones were automatically perfect...

Ned Raggett, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Pinefox sez : "Too little interest in songwriting".

To me this is so far wide of the mark that it completely misses what early-Ramones are all about. The analogies with Brill building and early 60's girlpop songcraft has been trotted out so often wrt The Ramones that it's tempting to dismiss it out-of-hand. There is some truth in it though - I can hear the Shangri-La's, say, in I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend or Babysitter. That's not to say that this automatically makes the Ramones good, of course.

But they're better than good - they're masters. Their best songs are great because they are lean and simple - there's nothing that shouldn't be there. Couple this with a simple melodic hook(nothing fancy - 4 chords max. and another 2 for the middle 8) and a propulsive beat, and you have something irresistable. Add some elements of The Ramones 'own world' imagery (pick from : NY street images, retards, 'nam casualties, glue, girls)and you have genius.

Take "Glad to see you Go" from Leave Home - straight into a Beach Boys/Eddie Cochrane morphed melody and just listen to the way that the song shifts gear slightly on lines 3 and 4 of the verse as Tommy closes the high-hat a touch under the chords and melody. The shift into the chorus is sublime and the sheer rush as it comes back to the last verse from the middle 8 ("I need somebody good, I need a miracle") is like a ride in the space shuttle - on the outside.

Take "Rockaway Beach" - another point on the curve linking "Summer in the City", " Dancing in the Street" and "Baby on more Time". Again - great chorus, great lyrics ("Chewin out a rhythm on my bubblegum") and a sense of PLACE. In less than 3 minutes you feel exactly what it's like to be a teenager in baking hot NY - and you feel it every single time you hear it. That's great songwriting, Pinefox.

Rockaway, Glad..., Listen to My Heart, 53rd and 3rd, You Should Never Have Opened That Door are equals of "Please, Please Me", "California Girls", "My Generation" ..... the list goes on....if you can look past the "punk" thing which is really a red herring as far as The Ramones are concerned.

I guess it all depends on what you look for in a song - they're not Burt or Jimmy Webb, but they tell a story, crank up the adrenaline, and make their own world for 3 mins for EVERY SINGLE TRACK on the first 4 albums. That's classic.

Dr. C, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Outstanding. Wonderfully worded, Dr.C!

alex in nyc, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Dr C: what you say, you say very well. You know your stuff, and you demonstrate it. Not for the first time, you have me admiring your pop knowledge.

I am still not particularly convinced about the overall point. In fact, come to think of it, I'm not at all convinced. But to be reasonable about this, I'm going to have to leave it till I've listened to the Ramones again.

the pinefox, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Bah

Mike Hanle y, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

the ramones are one of those bands i don't know much about, but would like to get round to hearing. i like beat on the brat but that is all i really know, i shall pick up some of their records soon i think

gareth, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Can't quite figure out whether that's a putdown of the Clash, or the Ramones, or neither, or both - and I'm not even European !
It's a putdown of the Clash.

duane, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Utterly classic. What punk COULDA been. But wasn't. Wasn't at all.

Sterling Clover, Tuesday, 17 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Rest you weary heads: it's a putdown of both ;)

But, Dr.C makes such a good case for Da Ramones that I'm thinking of checking them out again.

But part2, Jason makes a very interesting point that almost gets buried: the puritanism of much punk. I feel it's a key to why I don't like much of the stuff (although most of the time I think of punk as anorexic - no bottom ;) Will go up on the mountain and meditate on this insight.

Omar, Tuesday, 17 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Another great thing about The Ramones is that way that, because their songs have no flab and fuss, little details really stand out and make you listen for them each time. For example, any time they go for any kind of backing vocals it sounds great - the fade-out on "You Should Never Have Opened That Door", the "Oooh, oooh, oooh" bit on "Judy is a Punk". These details are very important and can really make a song (and the Ramones realise this) - little hooks that you may not always keep in mind, but when you play the track you're listening out for them from the opening chords of the song. MOST great songs have these elements.

Dr. C, Tuesday, 17 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Comparing them to the Clash, man that gives me some insight into why Europeans (except the French) don't care about rock&roll any more - 'cause they never quite got it in the 1st place.

Which kind of explains why I like so few American bands. Seems that whatever genre they work in, there's always that wide Rock streak that suffuses it all and kind of obliterates whatever else they're trying to do.

CountV/John T, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Pssh, there are all kinds of American bands who don't have the dreaded blues taint you're so sensitive about, John. (By the way, welcome to ILM, yo - I remember you from rmp.)

Josh, Wednesday, 18 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

three months pass...
Update: I have returned to my (limited) Ramones, and been impressed. OK, I still ca't go all the way with the Doc, but this stuff is slightly more varied and inventive than I remember. And it has a good grasp of the basics, and of pop dynamics (whatever they are). So my opinion has gone up a tad, I think. It even made me want to write Ramones songs.

the pinefox, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

This is indeed good news. What tracks did you listen to, Pinefox?

Dr. C, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

All I have is an extensive best-of. The tracks I re-played included 'California Sun' (good riffing), '...Opened That Door' (adventurous chords), 'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker', 'Sheila [??] Isb A Headbanger' (ooh, what to think of that STOOPID bit at the end when they just sing 'head-ban-ger'?) - oh, and the one that has always stuck in my mind over the years with a little poignancy:

OH-OH-I-LOVE-HER-SO-O-OH.

the pinefox, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Suzy is a headbanger on mine, I guess you have the Australia-only version!

Dr. C, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Hey, I can't tell the difference. I know Judy is a punk, though. Isn't she?

the pinefox, Friday, 2 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

ah doh wa be berry idda peh seh-u-te-erry, ah doo wa a li my li aggi-i-i. FANTASTIC!!!!! even at their worst.

bob snoom, Saturday, 3 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Bob - yes it IS fantastic. That's kind of what I was getting at in the original question - their 80's (and early 90's) work still refuses to give up being fun, despite dodgy producers, ill-advised style shifts etc etc. Pet Sematary is a great example. We didn't really explore later Ramones in the way that I'd hoped - and I got sidetracked into trying to establish the case for EARLY Ramones as pop-meisters. (This was worth it in order to budge The Pinefox a couple of inches towards agreement on The Ramones = classic pop issue. He owes me a beer or six.) Best Late Ramones track - "I Don't Wanna Grow Up".

Dr. C, Saturday, 3 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

!!??!!

the pinefox, Tuesday, 6 November 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

three years pass...
R.A.M.O.N.E.S.

So I went to see what I thought was going to be a bunch of dodgy old punks on Saturday night and ended up seeing a dodgy old Scottish Ramones (this is a good thing).

Then I told my son (Mark, 5 and three quarters) that "Brian's band sound like the Ramones" and his jaw dropped and he said "THE RAMONES? REALLY? COOL!" and I think it's cool as fuck that my kid thinks it's cool that someone his dad knows is in a band that sounds a wee bit like The Ramones.

Then I listened to It's Alive this morning on the way to work and it reasserted itself as not only the best live album ever, but possibly one of the BEST ANYTHINGS EVER!

C.L.A.S.S.I.C.

Anyway, Weird Tales of the Ramones, anyone got it yet and want to tell me why I really need to buy it regardless of what I already own?

Onimo (GerryNemo), Monday, 22 August 2005 15:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Uhhh . . which one? I've seen three Scottish Ramones covers bands. Which pretty much says it for me on this thread. But if I could keep just one rock album of any kind, it would have to be 'It's alive'

Soukesian, Monday, 22 August 2005 16:38 (sixteen years ago) link

They weren't a covers band. They were a Scottish band who sounded like the Ramones, if the Ramones ever decided to sing songs about Coatbridge Baths and Shereen Nanjiani, that is. They did play Sheena Is A Punk Rocker just so people could go "Ah... that's who they sound like!"

Onimo (GerryNemo), Monday, 22 August 2005 18:15 (sixteen years ago) link

Anyone that says Dud is a dud.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Monday, 22 August 2005 19:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Amen, brother.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 22 August 2005 19:05 (sixteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
Rock & Roll High School is still a fantastic film.

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Saturday, 22 April 2006 02:09 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...

This is looking pretty classic:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ramones-Its-Alive-1974-1996/dp/B000EGEVZK

Finally, the It's Alive footage on DVD, with about, er, 100 other tracks!

DVD1:
-------
CBGB New York, NY (9/15/74)
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement
Judy Is A Punk

Max’s Kansas City New York, NY (4/18/76)
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
53rd and 3rd

The Club Cambridge, MA (5/12/76)
Chain Saw

Max’s Kansas City New York, NY (10/8/76)
Havana Affair
Listen To My Heart

My Father’s Place Roslyn, NY (4/13/77)
I Remember You
Carbona Not Glue

CBGB New York, NY (6/11/77)
Blitzkrieg Bop
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Beat On The Brat
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
Rockaway Beach
Cretin Hop
Oh Oh I Love Her So
Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World

The Second Chance Ann Arbor, MI (6/26/77)
Rockaway Beach
Carbona Not Glue

The Ivanhoe Theater Chicago, IL (7/6/77)
Pinhead
Suzy Is A Headbanger

The Armadillo Austin, TX (7/14/77) Early Show
Commando
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend

The Armadillo Austin, TX (7/14/77) Late Show
Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy
53rd & 3rd
Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World

Liberty Hall Houston, TX (7/15/77)
Loudmouth
I Remember You
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

Liberty Hall Houston, TX (7/16/77)
Oh Oh I Love Her So
Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World

Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert L.A., CA (8/9/77)
Loudmouth
Judy Is A Punk
Glad To See You Go
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

The Camera Mart Stages New York, NY (9/3/77)
Swallow My Pride
Pinhead
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

It’s Alive, The Rainbow Theatre London (12/31/77)
Blitzkrieg Bop
I Wanna Be Well
Glad To See You Go
You're Gonna Kill That Girl
Commando
Havana Affair
Cretin Hop
Listen To My Heart
I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
Pinhead
Do You Wanna Dance?
Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
We're A Happy Family

Bonus features:
- Dee Dee and Joey - The Beginning (Interview)
- Tommy - Forest Hills High School (Interview)
- Danny Fields - Revelations (Interview)
- Joey & Dee Dee - Influences (Interview)
- Joey & Danny - Artistic Growth (Interview)
- Violence? (Interview)
- What is Punk? (Interview)
- Tommy - How I learned to play drums and we got a record deal (Interview)
- Dee Dee - Coffee And Cigarettes (Interview)
- Johnny - Hard To Stop (Interview)
- Argentina - The First Time (Interview)
- Mandagsborgen (Interview)
- Sha Na Na Shenanigans (Interview)
- It's Not My Place (In The 9 To 5 World) (Video)
- Somebody Put Something In My Drink (Rare Video) (Rough Cut)
- Photo Galleries (Also Ramones fans got chance to send photos taken by them to the DVD).

DVD2:
-------
Musikladen Bremen, Germany (9/13/78)
Rockaway Beach
Teenage Lobotomy
Blitzkrieg Bop
Don't Come Close
I Don't Care
She's The One
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Cretin Hop
Listen To My Heart
I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
Pinhead

The Old Grey Whistle Test London (9/19/78)
Don't Come Close
She's The One
Go Mental

Top of the Pops London (9/28/78)
Don't Come Close

Oakland, CA (12/28/78)
I'm Against It
Needles And Pins

San Francisco Civic Center, S.F., CA (6/9/79)
I Want You Around
I'm Affected
California Sun

The Old Grey Whistle Test London (1/15/79
Rock 'N' Roll High School
Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?

Top of the Pops London (1/31/80)
Baby I Love You

Sha Na Na L.A., CA (5/19/80)
Rock 'N' Roll High School

Mandagsborsen Stockholm, Sweden (10/26/81)
We Want The Airwaves

TVE Musical Express Madrid, Spain (11/17/81)
This Business Is Killing Me
All Quiet On The Eastern Front

US Festival San Bernardino, CA (9/3/82)
Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
Rock 'N' Roll High School
I Wanna Be Sedated
Beat On The Brat
The KKK Took My Baby Away
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Chinese Rocks
Teenage Lobotomy

The Old Grey Whistle Test London (2/26/85)
Wart Hog
Chasing The Night

Obras Sanitarias, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2/3/87)
Blitzkrieg Bop
Freak Of Nature
Crummy Stuff
Love Kills
I Don't Care
Too Tough To Die
Mama's Boy

Provinssirock Festival, Seinäjoki, Finland (6/4/88)
I Don't Want You Anymore
Weasel Face
Garden Of Serenity
I Just Want To Have Something To Do
Surfin' Bird
Cretin Hop
Somebody Put Something In My Drink
We're A Happy Family

R.I.T., Rochester, NY (10/8/88)
Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio
Wart Hog

Rolling Stone Club Milan, Italy (3/16/92)
Psycho Therapy
I Believe In Miracles
I Wanna Live
My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)
Pet Sematary
Animal Boy
Pinhead

Top of the Pops London (6/29/95)
I Don't Wanna Grow Up

River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina (3/16/96)
I Wanna Be Sedated
R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
Blitzkrieg Bop

StanM, Monday, 27 August 2007 18:53 (fourteen years ago) link

(also, LOL at those reviewers going on about this without looking up the tracklist)

StanM, Monday, 27 August 2007 18:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Oof -- might have to pick this up.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 27 August 2007 18:57 (fourteen years ago) link

First 4 + Too Tough to Die otm

Josefa, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 21:32 (one month ago) link

Their debut is by far their best. I'd say Pleasant Dreams has as many good songs as Rocket to Russia.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 21:49 (one month ago) link

xxp The Spector album didn't live up to my hopes, but it's got great stuff, especially "Danny Says." Definitely worth checking out.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 22:10 (one month ago) link

An argument for the '80s albums.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 29 March 2022 22:48 (one month ago) link

The ‘80s albums have to be argued for, the ‘70s ones speak for themselves

Josefa, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 23:04 (one month ago) link

I love a lot of stuff the 80s albums. Animal Boy is what brought me into the fold, so that's the one that will always have my heart. I want synths in my Ramones! Mental Hell does not feel 2.5 minutes long to me. That song is epic. After that, I bought Brain Drain. When I then went back to get the first album, it was truly a different band that it took a few listens for me to understand, kinda like this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ybn8hqTj8s

I've been waiting for a while for a reissue of the 80s albums, and lo and behold this Record Store Day, there is a 7-LP box set (Pleasant Dreams, Subterranean Jungle, Too Tough To Die, Animal Boy, Halfway To Sanity, Brain Drain, and a rarities disc). But I definitely don't want to buy a 7-LP box set of the 80s Ramones records. I could make do with maybe half of them. Really hope they all get re-released on their own after this.

peace, man, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 23:13 (one month ago) link

On my Ramones poll ballot, I didn't even have anything from the 70s until 9th place, that's where my head is at.

1. Poison Heart - I just want to walk right out of a world where Poison Heart didn't even place in a Ramones poll.
2. Howling at the Moon (Sha-La-La)
3. Pet Semetary
4. I Wanna Live
5. I Believe In Miracles
6. Something To Believe In
7. Eat That Rat
8. Love Kills
9. I Just Wanna Have Something to Do
10. Chinese Rock
11. 53rd & 3rd
12. Mental Hell
13. Loudmouth
14. Don’t Bust My Chops
15. Mama’s Boy
16. My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)
17. Havana Affair
18. Judy Is a Punk
19. Apeman Hop
20. She Belongs to Me
21. We Want the Airwaves
22. Danny Says
23. Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)
24. We’re a Happy Family
25. Rockaway Beach

peace, man, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 23:17 (one month ago) link

The Ramones’ career after the first couple of albums was one long continuous attempt to sell out, with no one ever buying. Doing 1960s covers didn’t work. Working with Phil Spector didn’t work. Doing a Roger Corman film didn’t work. Adding synthesizers didn’t work. Theme song to a Stephen King movie didn’t work.

Josefa, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 23:30 (one month ago) link

Rhino's two-CD Hey! Ho! Let's Go! anthology does a good job of cherrypicking from the '80s, maybe even an amazing job if you don't think it's too generous. (It's in chronological order and the Spector cuts close the first disc.)

It's also my introduction to the Ramones. I knew OF them thanks to The Simpsons but I didn't really know who they were until I read an L.A. Times review for Rhino's set that explained their place in rock history. I found that set later at my library and it wasn't long before I got those first four albums.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 23:38 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I had Hey Ho for a while back in the day. It's pretty solid.

peace, man, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 00:01 (one month ago) link

I like Pleasant Dreams so much I wrote a whole thread about it. And yeah, TTTD is really good too. Animal Boy has some filler, but it also has Richie Ramone's great "Somebody Put Something in My Drink," plus "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg." (And "Crummy Stuff," maybe as close as Dee Dee got in the '80s to writing like it was 1976.)

"Somebody Put Something in My Drink" is actually the first Ramones song I remember encountering. I was a kid, somewhere in the single digits in age, and my parents took me to someone's home and it was playing in the basement where their kids were. Like pop music in general was still esoteric for me and it was such a weird song to me the title lyric just stuck. I never heard that song again but I always remembered it, and I was surprised to find it on Hey! Ho!, like "Wow, THESE are the guys who did that song?"

birdistheword, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:10 (one month ago) link

Because I am lolold it's fascinating to me that youngsters could have first encountered The Ramones via Animal Boy, or via The Simpsons. It's a whole different viewpoint than mine. Cool, actually.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:24 (one month ago) link

Yes, exactly.

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:27 (one month ago) link

The first Ramones thing I ever heard was It's Alive - I remember thinking it was all the same song but that soon changed

StanM, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:28 (one month ago) link

The first time I heard the Ramones, it was Eat That Rat. When I was in elementary school, maybe 4th or 5th grade, I would just sit up in my room spinning the radio dial and taping whatever music I found. On this particular late 80s day, I landed on a station that may have been a pre-corporate WHFS. The songs I got that day were Eat That Rat by Ramones, Rise Above by Black Flag, Peek-a-Boo by Siouxsie and the Banshees, and a cover of Helter Skelter by Mighty Sphincter. Then they segued into a report on Orioles baseball. I really dug the first two and sought out their albums a year or two later; there was a lot I didn't understand about the Siouxsie song and she kinda scared me a little; and later that day when I asked my parents what "sphincter" meant, it was definitely an awkward moment.

Wish I still had that tape.

peace, man, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:34 (one month ago) link

My sister-in-law had Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin, which I don't remember playing but certainly did read the lyric sheet. My other brother had lots of English punk but no Ramones. My first encounter with them as a music fan would have been the "Something to Believe In" video, all of which gave me the impression they were a "funny" band, like Devo.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:34 (one month ago) link

So many good cameos in that video.

peace, man, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:36 (one month ago) link

The first album I heard was Leave Home, in maybe 1986 or '87. I definitely owned it, the debut, and Rocket to Russia before Ramones Mania came out in '88. I only saw them live once, in 1989 or 1990, and they were amazing — it felt like they played 50 songs in an hour and a half. (It was really only about 30, but they absolutely blasted through them.) The opening acts were GBH and Warzone, and I remember a lot of punk vs skin fights before the Ramones came on.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:41 (one month ago) link

A friend saw them on the Escape from New York tour in 1990, where Chris Frantz of Tom Tom Club came onstage right after the Ramones begging people to stay for their set.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:50 (one month ago) link

I saw that tour! Debbie Harry headlined. I still have the t-shirt.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:58 (one month ago) link

Debbie Harry showed up recently in another context in a Commodore commercial with Andy Warhol.

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 14:59 (one month ago) link

There’s also this, which is read by AI Andy in the recent doc:

Monday, August 15, 1983

Cabbed to meet Jean Michel Basquiat at the workout with Lidija, he was doing it with us (cab $5). He’s in love with Paige Powell.

Got a call from Pia Zadora who said she wanted a Dollar Sign and she’d take it with her if it fit into her husband’s jet, so they were measuring it.

Oh, and one of the Ramones was having brain surgery yesterday because he was kicked in the head on West 10th Street in a fight over some cheap-looking girl.

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 15:09 (one month ago) link

Holy crap, I didn't even know that story.

Quick google search came up with an article published shortly after and a Dangerous Minds blog post. I knew about Joey and Johnny's fallout over Joey's ex/Johnny's soon-to-be wife, but man, not that.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 15:24 (one month ago) link

I remember hearing about it on the rock and rollradio and maybe seeing it on the nightly news.

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 15:26 (one month ago) link

Should clarify, Joey and Johnny didn't fight each other, it was some other guy who thought Johnny was chasing after HIS girl.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 15:28 (one month ago) link

The brain surgery unfortunately erased Johnny's impeccable mental storehouse of chord substitutions.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 15:41 (one month ago) link

Wow, linked in that Dangerous Minds post is a really cool TV interview I've never seen before, when they played Minneapolis in 1978.

In '78 I lived in small town Minnesota. Disco was king. There was a big glitzy place that used to be a movie palace, but there was also a little subterranean bar where a friend was the DJ. He'd play hits from Saturday Night Fever, but also weave in oldies sets of Beatles, Beach Boys and Stones. I would bring my 45s of "Rockaway Beach" and "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" down and he would play them and I would jump around, although I'm sure everyone else in the place hated them.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 15:45 (one month ago) link

Cruel lol, Htbfy

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 15:57 (one month ago) link

Another cruel lol at this from Dangerous Minds:

and then there was the 24/7 problem that was Dee Dee Ramone

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:00 (one month ago) link

That whole blog post was good, thanks. Bonus points for mentioning the film Get Crazy as discussed (by me, mostly) here: https://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?showall=true&bookmarkedmessageid=7812536&boardid=41&threadid=15150

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:10 (one month ago) link

Hm. Wonder why it didn't do the link thing.

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:11 (one month ago) link

The Ramones’ career after the first couple of albums was one long continuous attempt to sell out, with no one ever buying. Doing 1960s covers didn’t work. Working with Phil Spector didn’t work. Doing a Roger Corman film didn’t work. Adding synthesizers didn’t work. Theme song to a Stephen King movie didn’t work.

This has generally been my view, but I don't see it as a crass sellout, in that within their circle (like the Lou Reed first impression unthread) they really were told they were the chosen ones. So why wouldn't they try to go for it? There was always just enough crossover hype to keep stringing them along. Unperson, really like your essay on the 80s records - I hadn't really considered that Johnny was trying to keep the band servicing the core audience that needed them while Joey wanted a bigger crowd.

Then there's the final tragic irony that right around the time Johnny dies, Ramonesy guitar pop become the mode of Disney Channel tween pop songs.

bendy, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:16 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that quote above came out more negative than I intended. The Ramones were always lovable whatever they were trying to do. I was always rooting for them to have a major commercial breakthrough. They really tried hard and always maintained some essence of Ramonesness through it all. And the live show was always punishingly punk in a wonderful way.

Josefa, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:31 (one month ago) link

I wonder if Johnny would have tempered his purism if, at some point, they had actually managed a gold album or a top ten hit.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:43 (one month ago) link

Had to revisit this - someone uploaded the HD version (albeit the cropped one):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MIYVamAiN8

birdistheword, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:44 (one month ago) link

Feel like maybe I spam this but you just reminded me of
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_1sA0PVArw

The Central Rockaliser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2022 17:16 (one month ago) link

I didn't know about Johnny's head injury. The first time I saw them was spring '84, which would have been the next tour after his recovery. (They were great, of course.)

I'm just curious... has anyone here seen the Ramones live in all of these phases? Or at least three of them?

a. 1976-1977 w/Tommy on drums
b. 1978-1983 w/Marky on drums
c. 1983-1987 w/Richie on drums
d. 1987-1989 w/Marky again post-sobriety
e. 1990- w/Marky on drums but C.J. instead of Dee Dee

If so, which lineup was your favorite?

Josefa, Thursday, 31 March 2022 19:16 (one month ago) link

*Tommy 1974-1977 should be

Josefa, Thursday, 31 March 2022 19:19 (one month ago) link

Tommy period is obviously the best but Marky is the best drummer.

everything, Thursday, 31 March 2022 20:28 (one month ago) link

Fair enough.

Never Mind the ILX, Here's the Blecch Pistols (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 31 March 2022 20:29 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

It's gonna be incredible.

Anita Quatloos (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 14 April 2022 23:13 (one month ago) link

Some radio station I used to listen to had an except of Joey saying those words that is now burned in my brain since I heard it over and over and over, but doesn't look like I will be able to discover its provenance.

Anita Quatloos (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 14 April 2022 23:14 (one month ago) link

I'm watching the documentary Ramones RAW where Gilbert Gottfried reveals how he was the secret fifth Ramone. @RealGilbert pic.twitter.com/IH3VQUtsX8

— tom c (@librariantom) March 11, 2022

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 14 April 2022 23:24 (one month ago) link

"Somebody Put Something in My Drink" is actually the first Ramones song I remember encountering.

it was one of my first too. I had Sheena Is A Punk Rocker on a compilation and I liked it but it seemed kinda lightweight next to some of the UK punk on the same compilation. one of my friends at the time was this Greek stoner guy who was into punk and metal but mostly the kind of skater 90s stuff like NOFX, Lagwagon and Propagandhi. I used to bring my Dead Kennedys CDs round. anyway he was playing Ramones Mania one night but it was towards the end and he was like yeah this is the Ramones and it was Somebody Put Something In My Drink and I didn't really like it, thought it was too rock/metal or something. I've come around on it a bit since.

anyway a couple of years later I bought All The Stuff And More 1 & 2 and that was it I was off

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Friday, 15 April 2022 01:02 (one month ago) link

We shouldn't forget Elvis Ramone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXWSyo0aPnc

https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/blondie-clem-burke-the-ramones/

This departure put The Ramones into turmoil as they needed to replace Richie, and fast. Having already been forced to postpone a pair of hometown shows at New York’s Ritz, the band were desperately aiming to avoid more concert cancellations when they made the call to Clem Burke, calling in a favour and join inventing ‘Elvis Ramone’. Despite being an offer that Burke couldn’t refuse, he was immediately thrown straight into the deep end with little to no rehearsal time to help integrate him into the Ramone family.

Recalling years later, The Blondie drummer described his first live show with fellow New Yorkers a disaster: “They asked me on a Monday when they had a gig on a Friday,” Burke explained. “It was the hardest work I ever did in a band.” Burke would only ever do one more show with the Ramones, the band deciding in the days between their next show that his style wasn’t the perfect fit.

The following weekend, as the drumming revolving door turned once again, the band made the call to re-appoint Marky Ramone who, of course, was their original drummer before Richie took up the sticks. Marky, it’s well documented, originally left the band due to drink problems which, thankfully, he was able to curb and he would stay in the band until their final show as an outfit in 1996.

Years later, while reflecting on the turbulent years, Joey Ramone explained why Burke and the Ramones styles didn’t quite work out: “His drumming style wasn’t right,” he said. “It was very loose, like in Blondie, not as rigid as we need. Double time on the hi-hat was totally alien to him.”

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 16 April 2022 07:24 (one month ago) link

Lol, of course

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 16 April 2022 09:20 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

But I definitely don't want to buy a 7-LP box set of the 80s Ramones records.

I definitely bought the 7-lp box set of 80s Ramones records.

peace, man, Monday, 9 May 2022 18:29 (one week ago) link

LOL

birdistheword, Monday, 9 May 2022 19:32 (one week ago) link


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