Just when you thought there was nothing left to see, that you’d watched every Ramones clip YouTube has to offer, up pops something like this. A veritable ten-minute rock and roll history lesson from the Ramones. The fact that they were put on TV this early in the midwest is shocking enough, but for an extended story that is quite unedited, where their message comes across loud and clear, a message that holds true to this day and forever, well, it’s just something else. It’s so exciting for me to revisit the open and endless possibilities of that time, to see the group embraced by small town weirdo hippies turning punk right before our eyes as the whole country got bored of so-called “rock music” and disco! And the local news (or maybe this was a local PBS newsmagazine, it’s hard to tell) totally getting it!
We see the band performing three numbers at the Red Lion in Champaign IL and signing autographs at the local Musicland store (‘mema them?). Johnny Ramone does most of the talking and he is already looking forward to retiring! Beyond great! Major thanks to whoever found this, it’s only been up on YouTube for a few weeks. And to think that I just received a gold record for the first Ramones’ LP (thank you Linda Ramone!) which took 38 years to happen. THIRTY EIGHT YEARS to sell 500,000 copies! I will never understand this. U2, who have a song about the Ramones on their new “download thing,” had it put in 500 million iTunes subscribers pockets in one day. It’s not fair! But in the end it all came true as the Ramones become what they always knew they should be, one of the top most influential bands of all time… I just hope they can see it happening from whatever juvenile delinquent heaven they’re rehearsing in. Long live the Ramones!