for September 17, 2004
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for today's rant...
[Inscrutable Links: John Peel Says "Hi". FM106.3 Staff List. FM106.3's 1988 playlist.]
Sad to See You Go, Goodbye.
by Stiffy Biceptz
Stiffy Biceptz is very sad today. Johnny Ramone, the last of the three core members of the most influential American band in modern pop history, has died of prostate cancer at age 55.
I have spoken many times in this column about the Ramones, so there isnít much new that I can say to further emphasize how great, and how important they were and continue to be. Ultimately, their importance is hinted at in the fact that Johnnyís death was a headline news item on CNN, listed right after the war in Iraq, and the presidential race. The deaths of Joey and Dee Dee were also treated with the same importance. Hmmm...
Slowly but surely the impact of the Ramones on the pop/rock/alternative music world has been realized in the last 15 years. As the years went by, bands, hits and trends came and went. Over that time the Ramones' reputation grew and grew. Nowadays, no self respecting Alternative artist dare not mention the Ramones as the ultimate influence, the first and foremost, the spark that changed it all.
If Joey was the heart and face of the Ramones, then Johnny was the brains. He was the one who ran the business and protected the band's limited funds, but far more importantly he jealously guarded the band's reputation in all things creative. He was the one who wrote most of the songs and created that trademark Ramones sound. A Mosrite guitar, a few rapidly connected chords, and a wall of Marshalls. That sound, that simple beautiful sound, single handedly destroyed the culture of corporate rock that threatened to kill pop music in the early 70ís. It ultimately spawned most of what we love in alternative music, everything from punk to goth. As with Bono (who worships the Ramones) Johnny was to the end unstained by any compromise, musically, artistically or personally. His integrity survived 30 years of pressure to sell out, to collaborate, to give in to the money. Perhaps the ultimate statement of his independence was the fact he was a staunch Republican, in a profession and from a culture of almost total allegiance to Democrats and liberals.
I recommend any of you not familiar enough with the Ramones to read any of the great biographies about the band and its members. Theirs was a remarkable story of rags to better rags to immortality.
Iíve missed the Ramones since they retired in 1996. No live show before or since was as great, and I doubt there ever will be.
My final comments. The lessons from the Ramones are: Be independent, make your own choices, never compromise who you are. Do it yourself, do it right. Those are the reasons the Ramones will always be my favorite band, and Johnny my favorite Ramone.
©2004 Stiffy Biceptz
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter
Friday, August 23, 2019
Rufus Wainwright and The Rails at Grunin Center For The Arts, Ocean County College
Extreme at Starland Ballroom
Old Dominion at Stone Pony Summerstage
Surfer Blood and The Morgan Freemasons at The Saint
Spring Heeled Jack at Stanhope House
Matt Wade Band at Langosta Lounge
Little Vicious, Candy Cavity and Damn Jackals at Asbury Park Yacht Club
Muscians On A Mission presents Songwriters & Storytellers: Channeling Woodstock (Open Mic & Food Drive) at Monmouth Museum (6:30p)
The Marshall Tucker Band and The Bennett Brothers at Sony Hall
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Asbury Lanes
More NY/NJ Shows That Matter
ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...
A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
Datarock - True Stories
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
HEALTH - Die Slow
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue
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