As an 1980s teenager growing up in New York City, I got the chance to see The Ramones on a fairly regular basis. The beloved local band played clubs all over the city, including the famed CBGB on Manhattan’s lower east side as well as at my hometown haunt, L’amour, a heavy metal club in Brooklyn. Every kid with a token for the subway — whether they typically listened to hard rock, punk, metal, or hardcore — flocked to see the local heroes play their signature tunes like “Blitzkrieg Pop,” “Pinhead,” “Teenager Lobotomy,” and “I Wanna Be Sedated.”
The mop-topped liked-surnamed band members — singer Joey, guitarist Johnny, bassist Dee Dee, and original drummer Tommy — formed the band in 1974, and always donned t-shirts, jeans, Converse sneakers, and leather MC jackets on stage to play their fast-paced punk anthems, getting crowds to shout out catchphrases like “Hey, ho, let’s go!” and “D.U.M.B. everyone’s accusing me!”
The Ramones are considered to be the forefathers of punk rock, thanks to the aggressive simplicity of early tunes like “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,” “Judy Is A Punk,” and “I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement,” but their extensive collection of songs also features music heavily influenced by the 1950’s girl groups (“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”), Bobby Freeman (“Do You Wanna Dance?”), as well as surf music and British Invasion bands.
...continue reading »