TUESDAY TUNES | RAMONES | BLITZKRIEG BOP
Posted on October 6, 2015 by Trace
— T U E S D A Y T U N E S —
t h e r a m o n e s
THROW BACK ‘14….
Another Icon Gone… (JULY 15 2014) we lost the last surviving member
of punk rock legends the RAMONES.
In tribute to Tommy Ramone’s passing.
Tom Erdelyi aka TOMMY RAMONE the last surviving member of the Ramones died on July 11 2014 at his home in Queens. The cause was bile-duct cancer, he was 65.
“In my heart I’ve always been a Ramone.”
The Ramones were a New York punk group, formed in Queens, New York City, 1974. Their buzzsaw music and don’t-give-a-rip attitude have been a lasting influence for more than a generation.
Tom Erdelyi hadn’t planned to become Tommy Ramone, but circumstances forced him into a new identity as the drummer and driving force behind one of the most influential and unforgettable rock-and-roll bands of the 1970s.
The four, clad in leather, with torn jeans and style-free haircuts, pounded out songs that had the speed and subtlety of a machine gun.
It didn’t matter that they could barely play their instruments: The Ramones were a rock-and-roll primal scream, an expression of rebellion, loneliness, spite and raw, unfiltered fun.
As a show of brotherly solidarity, each band member adopted the last name Ramone. The band had read that Paul McCartney had checked into hotels as Paul Ramone, derived from the name of pop-music producer ‘Phil Ramone’.
The other original Ramones included Joey (Jeffrey Hyman) on vocals; Johnny (John Cummings) on guitar; and Dee Dee (Douglas Colvin) on bass.
Tommy, who had worked as a record producer beginning in his teens, was going to be the band’s manager and was helping audition drummers when the group was forming in 1974. When none of them could follow the Ramones’ style, he picked up the sticks himself, learned to play drums on the job and became Tommy Ramone.
The group’s first album, “Ramones,” came out in 1976, with the quartet posing against a brick wall, hands in pockets. Tommy Ramone was wearing sunglasses, as he usually did while performing.
One critic after a gig in 1976 noted that “Wrapped in black leather, the Ramones assault, insult, stalk, posture and swagger their way through a collection of mindless numbers.”
In the Ramones’ alternative universe —
“That spirit of wild, careless anti-conformity was precisely the point. The band was an upthrust finger pointed toward the sappy, overproduced pop music of the time.”
Almost every Ramones song began with Dee Dee shouting, “1-2-3-4!” The band then launched into its peculiarly fresh teen anthems, most played with the force of a fire hose. At the band’s live shows, devoted fans crowded the stage in a sweaty throng, screaming along with the simple lyrics: “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!” or “Rock, rock, Rockaway Beach. We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach!”
There was no illusion of high art, and the Ramones came off as just what they were: a bunch of blue-collar outcasts who wanted to snarl at the world, make a lot of noise and get some kicks. Tommy Ramone left the band in 1978 but continued to work as producer on the band’s records well into the 1980s.
“Touring was very hard for me,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2007. “What made them so good also made them very hard to deal with on a 24-hour basis. They were such intense personalities.”
The Ramones broke up in 1996 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. They influenced British punk bands who became more famous and a generation of younger groups, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Nirvana to Green Day.
The Ramones captured the spirit of their time, yet none of their early recordings became a top-selling hit.
All the band’s songs were credited to “The Ramones,” but Tommy Ramone was a major contributor to many.
July 12 2014
What happened to the other Ramones? —
They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years.
In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. By 2014, all four of the band’s founding members – were dead.
On 20 July 1999 Dee Dee, Johnny, Joey, Tommy, Marky, and C.J. appeared together at the Virgin Megastore in New York City for an autograph signing. This was the last occasion on which the original four members of the group appeared together.
Joey, who had been diagnosed with lymphoma in 1995, died of the illness on 15 April 2001, in New York.
In 2002 the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Green Day played “Teenage Lobotomy” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” as a tribute, demonstrating the Ramones’ continuing influence on later rock musicians.
The ceremony was one of Dee Dee’s last public appearances; on 5 June 2002, two months later, he was found at his Hollywood home, dead from a heroin overdose.
The documentary film End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones came out in 2004. Johnny, who had been privately battling prostate cancer, died on 15 September 2004 in Los Angeles, shortly after the film’s release.
The final original member, Tommy Ramone, died on 11 July 2014 after a battle with bile duct cancer.
Conflicts between the band members —
Tensions between Joey and Johnny colored much of the Ramones’ career. The pair were politically antagonistic, Joey being a liberal and Johnny a conservative.
Their personalities also clashed: Johnny, who spent two years in military school, lived by a code of self-discipline, while Joey struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcoholism.
Johnny, who was fascinated by the Nazis and Adolf Hitler, would sometimes torment Joey (who was Jewish) with anti-Semitic remarks.
In the early 1980s, Johnny “stole” Joey’s girlfriend Linda, whom he later married. As a consequence, despite performing together for years afterward, Joey and Johnny stopped speaking to each other.
Johnny did not call Joey before the latter’s death in 2001, but said in the documentary End of the Century that he was depressed for “the whole week” after the singer died.
Aside from this central conflict, Dee Dee’s bipolar disorder and repeated relapses into drug addiction also caused significant strains.
Tommy left the band partly in reaction to being “physically threatened by Johnny, treated with contempt by Dee Dee, and all but ignored by Joey”.
As new members joined, payment methods and image representation became matters of serious dispute.
In 1997, Marky and Joey got into a fight about their respective drinking habits on the Howard Stern radio show.
Meaning of Blitzkrieg Bop Lyrics —
“Blitzkrieg Bop” was named after the German World War II tactic blitzkrieg, which means “lightning war”. The song was mainly written by drummer Tommy Ramone, while bassist Dee Dee Ramone came up with the title (the song was originally called “Animal Hop”).
Dee Dee also changed one line: the original third verse had the line “shouting in the back now”, but Dee Dee changed it to “shoot ’em in the back now”.
The precise meaning and subject matter of the song are, unlike many of The Ramones’ other early compositions, somewhat vague and obscure.
LYRICS – “Blitzkrieg Bop”
Hey ho, let’s go
Hey ho, let’s go
They’re forming in a straight line
They’re going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds
The Blitzkrieg Bop
They’re piling in the back seat
They’re generating steam heat
Pulsating to the back beat
The Blitzkrieg Bop
Hey ho, let’s go
Shoot’em in the back now
What they want, I don’t know
They’re all reved up and ready to go
On a daily quest for Freedom
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