It should only take 2 minutes to read this.
I was dreadfully sad to find out that Tommy Ramone died. Sadder still that I had thought he was dead already. I’d lost track of The Ramones drummers. Elvis Ramone anyone?!
To me, the core of the Ramones has always been the quartet of Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee, Johnny, Podsy, Ralph, Ritchie, Fonzie, Dozy, Beaky, Noddy, Grumpy, Doc, Sid and Marky.
Sadly, with Tommy gone, the original Ramones have all had premature deaths and I find this especially sad; as they were a band with a real-cool-time whaddayougot young energy! Say wha? Whaddayoumean energy… These slacker long haired leather jacketed glue sniffers? Those funny shaped leaning sneering dicks with the indoor sunglasses who, by their own admission, want to be sedated? Hey you! Would you let your daughter marry a Stoned Ramone?
Punk was invented with the dead pan delivery of “Hey ho, Let’s go!” That and with the awkward, leaning a bit and the so what sneering a bit and by the looking a bit awkward while still screw you sneering a bit and sitting on some steps and stuff and by being aware that they are all the wrong heights to be even seen together, god it’s so unfair … and wearing sunglasses and long black hair and leaning with T-shirt, Jeans and leaning with leather jacket and all in glorious and expressive black and white.
Seriously though, there aren’t any pics of the Ramones looking comfortable or even nearly content when outside or inside unless they are sitting down or leaning on something. Even then, it’s a tense and odd affair. Every time I see a photo of a Ramones publicity shoot and look at their legs, I’m reminded that I need to buy a new comb and toothbrush. And just maybe a pair of skinny jeans and a leather jacket. Four awkward oddballs. Four oddward heroes.
All that is true until you put them on the fricking stage! Then they move! What legs! What energy! The songs are so young. Like the Beach Boys cars and girls ditties but amplified and moved into downtown New York. They are Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys and every 1960s New York girl group condensed into 2 minutes of T shirt shaped band guitar stance knee bending hair humping energy.
Phil Spector bumped into the teenage lyrics too and moved to produce the Ramones. It might have seemed a superficially odd pairing but it was absolute sense. It seemed right, the subject matter was kinda the same, right? Well, yeah, and no but, whatever, *shrugs*. Mr Spector wasn’t quite right for the Ramones. The tunes came out fine in the end I think, but there was a real delinquent rebel here and his name was Phil… The story goes that Spector pulled a (zipadeedodah) gun and made Joey Ramone play the opening chord to Rock and Roll High School 100s of times and kidnapped Dee Dee a bit in his house and also wouldn’t let Dee Dee play his pinball machine!? Wha? Crikey, what a weird and horrible place to be. But afterwards, they are then so darn NICE about it after putting up with the bad craziness. Couldn’t you just cuddle them?
This is such an innocent and nice and to be honest, a bit of a long (for them) strange interview about that:
Anyway this blog bit could go on and on. It is just meant as a wee wayhey send off to the Ramones. So goodbye and Wahey Ho to the Ramones! Equal parts America’s Slade and The Clash, with a bit of the Who, and a bit of Dangermouse, as well as Captain Caveman with a wee touch of The Archies and all via The Stooges, they were the perfect band and always, always, wholesome and perfect role models. If I had a kid and they aspired to be a Ramone, marry a Ramone or just wear jeans like a Ramone [except Bros], I’d be as chuffed as hell. Perfect, rough hi-energy drinks of skinny-jeaned music. It’s perfect little symphonies for the kids aged from 5 to 95. A mumbled rallying call to all of those who feel a bit oddward to shuffle to the front and lean in.
Those songs are over in a fla