They began playing short simple 3 chord songs played loud and at full speed. They played a small club in New York called CBGB's for several years where they
attracted a cult fan following and the notice of a small record label. They were signed to their first record deal and with the release of their record, "Ramones" launched what has become the foundations of
punk rock, influencing many more bands to come.
The Ramones released 14 studio records between 1977 and their demise in 1995 as well as several live albums. They attracted a huge international fan following of which I am proudly a member.
Although their music and lineup changed over time, they always made great music, and gave terrific live shows. If you ever saw them live, you know what I am talking about.
I have currently divided my site into two pages, this one which describes why I like the Ramones and how I
started listening to them, and my second Ramones page which is a
collection of my personal reviews of my favorite Ramones records, a list of my favorite songs, and links to all things Ramones. I hope you enjoy my fansite.
I began listening to the Ramones back in my sophmore year of
high school, when my best buddy "EF" introduced our
French class to the Blitzkrieg Bop, Beat on the Brat and Cretin
Hop. Well hey ho I've never been the same since. Just what was
this strange music coming from records with pictures of four guys
wearing leather jackets and ripped jeans? It was the coolest
music I ever had heard. Unfortunately most of our classmates,
teachers, and principal didn't agree with us. A small group of us
were big fans of the Ramones from then on. EF always liked Dee
Dee best. We danced and sang the songs from the first four albums
(Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket to Russia, and Road to Ruin)over and
over all through high school, at school dances, sports practice
and in the hallways after school.
When we graduated in 1981, End of the Century was the newest
Ramones record and we all loved Do You Remember Rock & Roll
Radio? As we spent the next few years deciding what the heck to
do with the rest of our lives, we still remained Ramones fans. I
remember hearing Subterranean Jungle for the first time in 1983
and was just mesmerized by it. EF really liked the Too Tough To
Die album, he said the Ramones invented hardcore punk back in
1977 and with this album they were back to claim it.
In my humble opinion this and "Road to Ruin" are their best overall records.
EF liked to collect rare Ramones recordings, and I must thank
him for that. I have numerous rarities on tape thanks to his
effort. He really liked S.L.U.G if I remember correctly. We sat
upstairs in his bedroom many nights listening to stacks of vinyl
records, many nights it was Ramones records. I graduated from
college in 1984 and would soon head west to California where I
would find a new friend who was a Ramones fan.
I had come to California on a temporary basis to assist in the
building of a new Domino's Pizza Restaurant. I ended up staying
in California indefinitely, spending my days making pizza and
riding motorcycles. One busy Friday night I was making pizza's as
quickly as possible and started singing Ramones songs. One of our
new drivers picked up on this and started singing with me. It
turns out he is a huge Ramones fan too. We sang our favorite
songs all night long, and became good friends after that. We saw
the Ramones play live in San Francisco at the now defunct
Wolfgang's Nightclub. At the concert there was quite a rowdy
crowd, and the mosh pit was going full throttle. I decided to
join in the fun. I got as close to the stage as I possibly could
and climbed up on stage with the Ramones. It would only last a
few moments as I was pushed back off by the security force. I
remained down front slam dancing my way to a great night!
We saw the Ramones play in San Francisco two more times, in
1988 at The Fillmore auditorium and again in 1989 at the I-Beam
Nightclub which was a way cool show because of the club's small
size. We found out that the Ramones were going to be on the
morning show on KITS Live 105 Radio a few days before the I-Beam
show. The host Alex Bennet always invited a "live"
studio audience to come down and be part of the show. When we
found out the Ramones would be there we knew we had to make the
Marc and I left very early to be in San Francisco at 5:00 A.M.
for the start of the show. It was a chilly San Francisco morning,
and we were the first two to show up at the studio. We waited out
in the cold foggy air until 05:45 A.M. when we were let in to the
studio. The morning show began at 06:00 A.M. and before long the
studio was filled. Shortly after 07:00 the Ramones arrived, or at
least some of them. Joey, Johnny and Richie all showed and got a
warm reception from the audience. They talked about the Halfway
to Sanity album and tour, and what was coming in the future. They
thanked us all for coming so early to see them, and some of us
got to talk to them briefly. It was a great experience to meet
them in person. We met the late filmmaker Russ Meyer that day
Northern California, USA-1999
Fifteen years later, I still am here in California. The
Ramones have long since disbanded, and I am creating this tribute
to them on the web. I really enjoy calling myself a Ramones fan,
their music has given me many good times in my life. Meeting them
in person was a big thrill, but the concerts were the greatest! I
was very sad when they announced the end, but with all things the
end must come. I heard Joey talking on the Howard Stern Show one
morning in 1999 telling about how there was alot of
disagreement in the band up until the end, and they basically had
different viewpoints and this was inevitible.
Three founding members are gone:
Joey Ramone passed away on April 15th, 2001 at the age of 49 after a long fight with lymphoma. He apparently was originally diagnosed with the disease in 1995 and was able to fight it until a fall in the snow caused a broken hip and replacement surgery in early 2001. He was said to be listening to U2's song "In a Little While" in his hospital bed at the time of his death with friends and family members by his side. His first solo album "Don't Worry About Me" was released shortly after his death. The corner of Bowery and Second Street in New York City was renamed Joey Ramone Place on November 30th, 2003 in his honor. Sadly Joey did not live to see the Ramones inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Dee Dee Ramone passed away on June 5th, 2002 at the age of 50 in his Los Angeles home apparently of a drug overdose. He had a long history battling the demons of drug addiction. In addition to being a founding member of the Ramones, he was an author, poet, and painter. Several of his paintings were displayed in galleries.
Johnny Ramone passed away on September 15, 2004 at the age of 55 in his Los Angeles home after a 5 year battle with prostate cancer.
Many fans visit the burial sites of the Ramones each year. Johnny has an elaborate memorial in the Hollywood Forever Cemetary in Los Angeles. Dee Dee is also buried there with a less elaborate headstone. Joey was buried in a Lyndhurst, NJ cemetary alongside other family members.
Graves of the Ramones
Most of the Ramones records in my collection are on vinyl records (we didn't have cd's in those days!). I was elated to locate the very hard to find copy of Leave Home with Carbona not Glue on it in a used record bin at Rasputin's. I have most of the newer stuff on CD and one cassette of All the Stuff and More Vol. 1. I
also have a few of their videos and a copy of the Rock and Roll
High School movie(although it has commercials and edited footage)
which I taped from VH1. I have lots of rare stuff, and b-sides on
tape thanks to EF who bought anything Ramones related. Again
thanks EF! I hope you still have all those records. Thanks to several sites on the Internet, I have some of those rare recordings in mp3 format also. On my Ramones
Crummy Stuff page I share my favorite Ramones records and songs. I
hope you as a Ramones fan will keep the flame, and maybe we'll be slamming and hey ho-ing once again. I have included links to the Ramones Official Website and a great fan site called Ramonesonline.com(no longer online-ed.), You can catch up on all the latest news and find more Ramones links at these two sites.
Gabba Gabba Hey!