Please explain the Ramones to me.

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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (rictified) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:17 pm

I like the Ramones Sheena (at least for a little while :twisted: ), just that like 99.9% of the bands they wanted to make money and IMHO sometimes compromised the spirit of what they started out doing. The Stooges on the other hand were around before the term "punk music" was even coined and just played what they liked and damn anyone who didn't like their stuff which at that time was virtually everyone. When they first came out the whole country (world?) was into flower power, love, etc, they did not emit love or flower power vibes at all, they came at you like a mad hurricane and most of the people at that time hated the aggression. I was just young enough that I had an open mind when I first saw them, the audience just stared at them like who is this krappy band and what the hell are they doing, what is that noise, why is that guy hitting himself in the head with his microphone, hurry up and get off the stage, I came to see some good stuff. Was almost complete silence when they got done, was a smattering of polite applause, that's it.
Even then very early in their career which ended in 1974 a few years before punk became a well known term they knew the audience hated them and they defiantly hated them right back which turned into parody for many bands later on, became the expected thing to do, even now it is with the proto-punk bands of today who are all posers IMHO. They played in very different times and paved the trail for all the later bands who had it comparatively easy compared to them, with The stooges it was real, they got bottles thrown at them onstage, Iggy would bait them for more, underneath it they were great rock n roll musicians and people just didn't understand the music, was too wild too crazy. With The Stooges there was no such thing as a punk "image" which also IMHO kind of negates the whole movement. I like to think that the real punk bands who came later kind of eschewed the punk label. A lot of the bands under the punk label were kind of tame, said they hated corporate rock yet at the same time worked with and were compliant enough to stay with the big labels and get paid. The Stooges got fired from two labels and made precious little money. The only other band I can think of that compares at all with that aspect although they were nowhere near as good as The Stooges were The Sex Pistols, but even by then it was becoming fashionable to give your record and radio company the finger. The Stooges were like some drunk who comes and crashes your wedding, unwelcome and unceremoniously given the boot.
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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (sowhat) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:39 pm

A very good point Bob, and thanks for that. It's always great to hear the opinion of somebody who was inside that.
The problem is, however, we can only discuss the acts who had at least some kind of popularity. I mean, some people say that the only true punksters are those who never got out of their garage, never played in big venues, never recorded any albums or if they did, they were never released for mass public.
The other point is, some people from the younger generation (people of my age — pushing 30 or well below 30) believe that mud fight at Woodstock '94 was as real as Iggy's communication with the audience. And maybe, to some extent, it was. And now compare that with the Ramones, who were definitely much more real than billion selling modern "punk rockers".
I'd say, perhaps Stooges started punk rock, but Ramones made general public notice it.
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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (expomick) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:38 pm

They all loved rock 'n roll, they wanted to be The Beatles, they wanted to be as big as the Bay City Rollers, and they hated (and also couldn't play) guitar solos.

Add the love of the radio pop of the 60's, filtered through the sounds emanating out of New York City, and not allowing their musical limitations hold them back from just getting up on-stage and turning up to eleven, the Ramones are about as rock 'n roll as one can get.

Named after Paul McCartney's one-time stage name, the exaggerated Beatle mop-tops, the fact that their first three albums all had 14 tracks on them, as they wanted to copy the Beatles' British albums, and add in powerchords, and a wardrobe from The Wild One, and you have the recipe for an ear-splittin' good time.

Personally, I love their first five albums, and also the "It's Alive" double album, plus the two tracks & five "live" tracks from Rock 'n Roll High School. The rest is spotty, though I have a soft spot for "Pleasant Dreams" I guess I love their first six studio albums. My favourite is their second, "Leave Home".

Try "Oh Oh I Love Her So" for a great example of their rock 'n roll pastiche.

And it's not like they did most of this knowingly; in the early years, it wasn't calculated. In my opinion, they hung around a decade too long, but wha' da 'ell else was they gonna do? Collect old movie posters and go to Major League Baseball games?

Actually, that's that Johnny ended up doing before his death.
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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (tmossman) » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:24 am

I have answered this post in my head a 100 times but Mick just nailed it.

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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (gareth) » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:02 am

Simply the best rock and roll band in the world, period. Without them, 90% of popular rock wouldn't exist in it's present form today. I saw them many times. 35 songs an hour. No frills, no messing, in and out. If you got it, you couldn't imagine it being done any other way. If you didn't, they might have well have been singing in Chinese. They got a bad rap, carried on for far too long, and died before they got their real due. Rush they weren't, but I miss 'em.
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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (jdogric12) » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:53 pm

Excellent write-up, Mick. Thanks! That was very informative and interesting.
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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (rickenmetal) » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:41 am

It is hard to call them punk because they existed before punk was considered a musical style. You could also say there were elements of punk in the music of the MC5, and even in the music of some 1960's underground garage bands, but usually a musical style is defined by general recognition of that style as an actual style, with the actual usage of the name of the style.

The Ramones did influence a lot of bands, and a lot of punk bands listen(ed) to the Ramones. I would say punk started in England in 1976.
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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (paologregorio) » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:35 pm

+1 for Mick from me as well.
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Re: Please explain the Ramones to me.

Postby (whojamfan) » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:42 pm

The Ramones invented punk rock period. Punk rock was the intention of taking the 70s 20 minute out of touch with the regular guy rock stuff back to the three chord two minutes fifty songs of the 60s. Falling in love, feeling alienated, dysfunctional housholds, junkies, pimps, crime, and what was going on around them were the subjects, as well as a cool sense of patriotism. Nobody was playing anything like them, all downstroke guitar, jackhammer follow the leader bass, and a new style of drum playing(see the extras on the "End of the Century" dvd)made them unlike any other band, love it or hate it. The fact that they played an hours worth of music in 45 minutes, nobody else was doing this. The term punk rock was coined about this time by either "sniffing glue" fanzine, or some other CBGBs connection.

This is why the term "proto-punk" exists. All that good fuzzy Nuggetts type stuff is very cool, but nobody was calling it punk.The MC5, one of my all time favorites, invented revolution rock and were by far the most under rated and misunderstood bands of the 60s. They were much better players than the majority of the American bands of the day, and really tore it up. Definitely, and admittantly, a major influence on the Ramones.

The Stooges, great band when Iggy wasn't so messed up on drugs he couldn't perform, or play for long. The first 2 albums helped end the 60s peace and love vibe, and gave the average person tired of the whole hippie thing a great alternative to being good little boys and girls. The third album, "Raw Power" has got to be one of the most abrasively scary albums ever made. "Search and Destroy" as well as "Raw Power" are great songs, and are often the most covered off of this record. The serious asskicker of the album,"Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell", has to be one of the most insane songs ever recorded, and you're never the same after each time you listen to it. James Williamson tortures that guitar to the point of pure molten fire, and would really love to hear a good 2 guitar "metal" band even attempt to capture the angst and fire of this one, but no, they always play it safe covering the other 2 I mentioned. I've yet to experience a song that so remarkably captures all the pain and anger of a self destructive relationship come to an end. The original album had a crazy mix, but Iggy came out with a remix a few years back. The remix is more even, but the original will slice up your brain with razor blades and dip them in alcohol if you crank this up on a record player equipped stereo. Absolutely not the album to listen to on your first acid trip. The Stooges were also a major influence on the Ramones.

The "New York Dolls" were more of an influence on the Sex Pistols than the Ramones, and having the same manager is more likely the reason. "Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers" were really an influence on British Punk, as well as American, but the Ramones had already been doing gigs by then.

I'm sorry, but Alice Cooper was/is a Vaudeville style hard rock band, that has about as much to do with punk as Kiss, who oddly enough, were called a punk band occasionally early on in their careers, as well as AC/DC. All three bands rock, but have never been, or have anything to do with punk either as a musical style,fashion,or movement.

The Ramones did what they did for many, many years, and invented the style of what has become to be known as punk music. Hollering 1-2-3-4 at the beginning of the songs and being a nonstop wall of sonic fury live will forever seal them as the true inventors of this musical style. Over the years, they have tried to have hits, but had suffered the prejudice of FM radios new enemy to replace Disco, Punk. I find it odd some 20 years after it was released, "I wanna be Sedated" finally got airplay in between Green Day and Alice in Chains. Also, Sire records started out as a little independent that signed a few of the CBGBs guys/gals, and it wasn't untill Madonna that they reached super big label status(I believe).

England, took punk to the next level, by turning it in to a multicolored hair,mohawked,no future scene, and sure enough, by late 78, it was pretty much over.They redefined punk as this anti everything threat that quickly led to it's demise, so most of the "first wave" bands threw in the towel, or went Mod, Ska, or Metal. The groups that weren't giving it up, became the leaders of the "second " wave of punk England had in 79 through the mid 80s. Motorhead was part of this, bridging the gap between metal and punk, just like GBH, and way too many other bands to mention. This second wave had the addition of the appeal of football(soccer)hooligans, as it was more street based and less based on vague political concepts. Still, anyone of these bands would cite the Ramones as a major influence.

So there it is, all this "useless information"(as my dad calls it)that hopefully can explain the signifigance of the Ramones, and what they contributed to the music community. From day 1, everywhere they played inspired people to pick up instruments saying" if these guys can do it, so can I". I miss them dearly and it is truly a shame they never had the commercial success they deserved. Many influenced, but the Ramones invented punk as a definitive musical style, and the Brits wrote the book on the fashion, and took it to another level. American hardcore started at this time as well, but that is another long post.
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