If you find yourself with an extra half hour today, you should really listen to the Ramones 2nd album, 1977’s Leave Home. I’ve been getting back in the swing of things after more than two weeks of vacation, and yesterday, in the midst of catching up with my backed up work email, I stepped back, took a deep breath, turned up the speakers, and crankedLeave Home.
“Glad To See You Go”, “Suzy Is A Headbanger”, “California Sun”, “Pinhead”, “You’re Gonna Kill That Girl”, and my album favorite – “Gimmie Gimmie Shock Treatment”… a therapeutic tour de force of headbanging rock n’ roll NY punk.
The world is worse off without the presence of Joey Ramone. Eight years ago (8!) last month, Joey lost his battle with lymphoma – he didn’t even see his 50’s, and that’s a tragic shame. I think often about how strange it is to live in a world without Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer. It just doesn’t seem right, does it?
May 19th is Joey’s birthday, and like a lot of people around the world, I’m marking the occasion by blasting the Ramones. Much like we hold artists like Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven in such high esteem today, our descendants 100-200 years down the road will study and enjoy the works of one Jeff Hyman and his band of “brothers”: the Ramones – inventors of Punk. What a legacy. What a body of work to unleash upon the world. And the world needed it.
Here are a few from my favorite Ramones album, Pleasant Dreams, a 1981 record produced by 10cc’s Graham Gouldman. Johnny Ramone wasn’t crazy about the production, calling it “too slick”. But as I’ve mentioned before around these parts, I love every song. It may be polished compared to early Ramones, but the melodies & hooks are great, and it’ll always be a favorite.
The KKK Took My Baby Way (mp3)
This Business is Killing Me (mp3)
Visit:Joey Ramone.com – and if you’re in NYC, head down to the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash Tuesday noght at the Filmore @ Irving Plaza (see web site for details).
The British punk explosion of 1976-77 can pretty easily be traced to one night in London: July 4th, 1976. That was the night the Ramones came to town. It was their UK debut, opening for the Flamin’ Groovies at the Roundhouse in Camden.
In attendance were current and future members of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, and the Damned, among countless others I’m sure. The quality is pretty bad, but it’s still amazing to listen in on such an important night in music history. A 35 minute set that shaped the future of music. Pretty sweet.
The Ramones Live at the Roundhouse, London
July 4th, 1976
Intro / Sound Issues
Beat On The Brat
I Remember You
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
Glad To See You Go
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
53rd & 3rd
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
Listen To My Heart
Judy Is A Punk
I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You
Today Your Love Tomorrow The World
So how was 2007 for you guys and gals? I can’t complain here. I’m blessed with a beautiful wife and two precious girls, I have a steady job (knock wood), and my family and loved ones are healthy.
I thought I’d punt the blog into 2008 with my premiere podcast on Ickmusic. I used Garageband for the first time, and it made podcast makin’ a breeze. I’ll have to figure out some of the bells and whistles so I can include sound effects and some DJ action next time. For now though, we stick strictly to music – some tunes that will get you kick started for a great New Year’s Eve, even if it only involves sitting at home. That’s what I’ll be doing! Woo hoo!
One of the very best things about life as a working adult is the three day weekend, and we are upon one again. Props to Abe and George for this President’s Day Weekend!
Ho Na Nae! So Mardi Gras has gone and snuck up on us again, and my wife and I will be celebrating Arizona style by checking out the Dirty Dozen Brass Band over in Scottsdale this weekend. I cannot wait!!
The Phil Spectacle: By no means do I take pleasure in the pain and suffering associated with the poor woman who was murdered at Phil Spector’s mansion in 2003. But I read today that the Spector murder trial will be televised, and you can bet it will be great. I can’t begin to fathom the amount of wack job awesomeness that will be broadcast over the airwaves for the weeks (or months) of the trial. I mean, is it possible for the murder trial of this man not to contain at least some entertaining moments?
Check out this clip from End of the Century, where the Ramones discuss Phil, including the time he held them hostage at his home.
I guess it’s because ‘Pleasant Dreams’ had just been released about the time I discovered them, that it still ranks up there as one of my favorite Ramones albums. I was all of 11 years old when I heard my older brother listening to the Ramones, and soon enough, there I was in front of my mirror with a tennis racket singing “The KKK Took My Baby Away”.
‘Pleasant Dreams’ was produced by Graham Gouldman, a former member of 10cc. It was the Ramones’ 6th album, and probably the most pop oriented up to that point. I’m not sure how it’s judged by the early Ramones purists, but being a fan of good melodic pop / rock, this one remains one of my faves, and I always return to it more frequently than other records.
And little did I know that Joey Ramone shared the same tastes in female TV personalities.I used to have a job where CNBC played throughout the day. Maria Bartiromo was a highlight of the workday. Brains & beauty, gotta love her!
I read that in the late 90’s when the dot com startup boom was on, Joey got into day trading. Joey, you had good taste…. RIP.
Tonight it’s a full-on late 70’s punk rockin’ assault, as the Ramones rock Northwestern University. Coming to you from way back in October of 1979, this is a supercharged set from Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky. It’s quite shitty to think that three out of those four are no longer with us. Johnny died of prostate cancer in 2004; Dee Dee died of “heroin toxicity” in 2002; and Joey’s been gone since April of 2001, when he died from lymphoma.
So in memory of the punk pioneers (they formed in 1974, and were a heavy influence on the British Punk ‘revolution’ of 1976, the Clash and the Sex Pistols among them), turn this one up loud and enjoy.
“Rock & Roll College”
Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University
October 13, 1979
2. Blitzkrieg Bop
3. Teenage Lobotomy
4. Rockaway Beach
5. I Don’t Want You
6. Go Mental
7. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
8. Rock N Roll High School
9. I Wanna Be Sedated
10. I Just Want To Have Something To Do
11. She’s The One
12. I’m Against It
13. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
14. Havana Affair
16. Needles And Pins
17. I’m Affected
18. I Want You Around
19. Surfin’ Bird
20. Cretin Hop
21. All The Way
22. California Sun
23. I Don’t Want To Walk Around With You
24. Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World
26. Do You Wanna Dance
27. Suzy Is A Headbanger
28. Let’s Dance
29. Chinese Rock
30. Judy Is A Punk
31. We’re A Happy Family
There’s an eighties movie called ‘Get Crazy’. It starred Malcolm McDowell, who freaked everybody out as Alex in ‘A Clockwork Orange’. I haven’t seen ‘Get Crazy’. But on the soundtrack is a Ramones contribution called “Chop Suey”. It was an outtake from my favorite Ramones album, ‘Pleasant Dreams’. It’s a more pop-oriented album than their earlier releases, but as a little kid, I loved singing along to “She’s a Sensation’, ‘Don’t Go’, and ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’.
An alternate version to “Chop Suey” can be found on the remastered release of ‘Pleasant Dreams’. It’s a pretty infectious tune, a little new wavy, a synth solo, and backing vocals by Deborah Harry, and Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52?s.