Tag Archives: punk rock

The Debut Ramones Album “Ramones” Hits 40 – Punk Rock Is Born

Lace those sneakers and zip up your MC jacket and set the volume to louder than loud because today my legions we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the very first Ramones album, an eponymously titled LP, cassette and 8-track tape called “Ramones”. It’s almost hard to believe that the Punk Rock sound pretty much began with these four guys from Queens but as a NYC resident I have to say that it’s pretty awesome to know that such music is a Big Apple property. Now before going any deeper into this reflection I have to say that while I have been a Ramones fan for AT LEAST thirty-six years, my learnings about them began with their fifth album “End Of The Century” and from there I went backwards to open my young musical mind to the beginnings. I knew some tracks from the release when I began my own exploration because by that time in my history a whole lot or Ramones tunes were on the radio. Considering I was just almost 11 when “Ramones” was released to the general masses, I can honestly admit that my parents were NOT playing me Punk Rock music at the time nor owned a copy of this now historic release. Truth be told there was not truly a title for the format until this album had some shelf life. The Ramones formed back in 1974 after having met at Forest Hills High School and the original lineup consisted of Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Tommy Ramone. “Ramones” was a stage identity and the member’s real names in order were Jeffrey Hyman, John Cummings, Douglas Colvin and Thomas Erdelyi. Sadly, all of the original members have passed away with Joey being the first back in 2001, Dee Dee 2002, Johnny 2004 and the last with Tommy in 2014. At least the band got into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002 and it amazes me that the institution was actually timely about something.
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Today: “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones & The Birth Of Punk” @ Queens Museum

ramones logo circle

Hey there readers, I’m here bright and early on a Sunday morning to let you all know that starting today at the Queens Museum will be an exhibit entitled “Hey, Ho, Let’s Go: Ramones & The Birth Of Punk”. Given its title I don’t actually think I need to explain what the exhibit entails but to make sure you are all on point I have embedded the entire press copy from the museum below. Check it out.

The Ramones in alley behind CBGB, 1977 (Danny Fields)
The Ramones in alley behind CBGB, 1977 (Danny Fields)

The Press Release:

“The Ramones all originate from Forest Hills and kids who grew up there either became musicians, degenerates or dentists. The Ramones are a little of each.” – Tommy Ramone, first press release.

Released in April 1976, the Ramones’ self-titled debut album introduced the world to four unsmiling hoods in ripped jeans and leather jackets, and to the uncompromising attitude known as punk. Ramones’ minimalist tunes, slapstick lyrics, buzzsaw guitars, and blitzkrieg tempo became the wellspring for a genre of music and a strain of culture.

On this first album’s 40th anniversary, the Queens Museum and the GRAMMY Museum are partnering to present an unprecedented two-part exhibition celebrating the lasting influence of punk rock progenitors the Ramones. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk. While the exhibition’s two parts will share many key objects drawn from more than 50 public and private collection across the world, each will explore the Ramones through a different lens: the Queens Museum iteration will begin with the Ramones’ roots in Queens and reveal their ascendancy in both music and visual culture, demonstrating their remarkable influence on music, fashion, fine art, comics, and film. The Grammy Museum version will contextualize the band in the larger pantheon of music history and pop culture.
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Congratulations to The Ramones On Receiving of The Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award

As a Heavy Metal music fan for more years than I care to disclose I can quickly tell you of how unimportant the Grammy Awards have been to me when it comes to my favorite genre.  They are for the most part clueless in terms of what they are voting on and who ends up winning (the historic Metallica loss to Jethro Tull coming to mind) but since that ill-fated event, the category of “Best Heavy Metal Performance” has been given out and usually hits the mark properly.   They also have a Lifetime Achievement award which was this year given to the legendary New York Punkers – The Ramones.  I had to admit that I was surprised about this based on their original misunderstanding about Metal.  I mean, if they didn’t know that stuff how could they ever recognize Punk Rock.  Still, they did recognize it and gave the award to the band so kudos on that honor.  The photos below come from the front window display of the Guitar Center on 14th Street in Manhattan.  I couldn’t resist trying to share them with the worldwide readership as I passed them by.   I admit that I was glad to find the center offering up their own honor by showcasing some of their historic stuff. Continue reading Congratulations to The Ramones On Receiving of The Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award

“Acey Slade & The Dark Party” by Acey Slade & The Dark Party

Artist: Acey Slade & The Dark Party
Title: “Acey Slade & The Dark Party”
Label: PID
Release Date: 2/9/2010
Genre: Glam Rock/Punk Rock
Rating: 4/5

“Acey Slade and The Dark Party” is the eponymously titled latest release by the one and only Acey Slade (known from the likes of Murderdolls, Dope, Trashlight Vision, Wednesday 13 and probably more than I know about) and with it the musician continues to surprise his fans with the level of chameleon that he can be with his artistic expression. It’s important to know right off the bat if you are expecting a Murderdolls or Trashlight vibe that you will be disappointed but if you are fans of seeing how Slade and his band mates are hoping to serve your auditory palate then it will be an interesting exploration. The release begins with a quasi “Twilight Zone” kind of spoken intro that leads you into the sensational “Here Today” track. This tune speaks volumes and plays along the lines of how instant our society has become. You are truly as it sings “here today, gone today” thanks to our instant gratification and forgetting what we just absorbed on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Up next is “Sugarcum” and it’s a very danceable tune with a vibrant chorus and then a very techno-laden drive is to be found in “Nothing’s Gonna Change”. There is still a deep heavy groove that would make this work in a harder Rock setting but it’s clear that Slade and the guys were bringing a whole new aesthetic to their musical mix. There is a great interplay between Slade and guitarist Andee for sure. There is an almost Bowie-esque brooding during parts of “She Brings Down The Moon” and while this one is more Gothic Hard Rock you can sense that there is a space to be slinky on the dark dance floor if you wanted to.
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“Punks Not Dead” [DVD] by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Punks Not Dead”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 8/17/2009
Genre: Punk Rock Documentary
Rating: 3.75/5

“Punks Not Dead” is an interesting documentary film that presents to the viewer what I felt was a great inside and historical look into the Punk Rock and Hardcore movement when it first started to pick up steam back in the mid 70’s. It succeeds in its quest to inform the home audience of today by blending interview footage from notable acts such as The Damned, The Ramones, Circle Jerks, The Subhumans along with many, many more and explains to you in their own words just how reviled and accepted the Punk Rock genre was in its infancy. The film wisely starts at the apparent beginnings of the whole movement and explains how the whole DIY principle worked out. If you don’t know what DIY is, you should know that it stands for “Do It Yourself” and how it is still a larger practice today when it comes to the underground scene of any music genre in addition to what now calls itself today’s Punk. When the term was new it referred to how the bands booked shows by using phony credit card numbers and shared public phones that they were able to use for free and how most bands sent out their music to the fans from their houses and often sought a place to crash from these same fans when they would be in their town. One of the key quotes gives kudos to how all of this networking, touring and building of a music scene was all being done without the support or even interest from major record companies. The experts in the Punk music realm discuss how like many things with an original small fan response or underground only following can get big and eventually reach the mainstream. Of course this happening sometimes generates the feeling in its original fans that it had sold out from the aesthetic that it once held and was no longer relevant. We see this all the time with the fans who stake claim on bands “first” and no longer liking them when the rest of the world jumps on board. Some bands that are cited as helping to push Punk into the mainstream are The Offspring, Green Day, Rancid and Pennywise. They even mention Nirvana and while the Grunge Rock band definitely sold millions of albums, I didn’t see them as a Punk act and wondered how they came to feel they applied to this situation. Quotes from founders of many of the original Punk Rock record companies are spoken to and they explain how almost every dollar earned was put right back into getting the next record out for the band that had earned the money or another worthy act. That’s a lot different from a label earning money on the Joe Blow New band and putting the money into Aerosmith that’s for sure.
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