Do you remember Rock ‘n’ Roll radio? Do you remember shitty ‘70s variety show TV?
Formed in 1969, Sha Na Na managed to secure an inexplicable spot at Woodstock that very same year—preceding Jimi Hendrix, no less. It was only their eighth gig. Their brief appearance in the film version of that festival catapulted them to retro-greaser stardom, and according to their website, they’re still an active group.
In the late seventies Sha Na Na also inexplicably managed to land a TV deal. Their show ran from 1977 to 1982 and consisted mainly of silly sketch comedy and musical numbers featuring guest stars. And if the Internet’s memory is correct, the Ramones stopped by to participate in the Sha-Na-Nanigans on May 9th, 1979. The skit they appear in is a parody of the game show Family Feud called “Greasers Feud” hosted by Sha Na Na member Jon “Bowzer” Bauman. Oddly enough, Bauman would later go on to host game shows in real life, including The Hollywood Squares.
The Ramones all have awkward speaking parts in this little skit, but moments later, they launch into a rousing version of “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”—which to my ears, sounds like a different recording than the album version even though it is clearly canned miming.
Of course, one of the best things about this video is seeing members of Sha Na Na dressed as women and dancing in the street to punk rock.
Naturally, no one could have guessed that a group formed in 1969 would outlive all four founding members of the Ramones, but if that’s what it means to win “Greasers Feud,” then Sha Na Na definitely has a leg up on the competition. However, in a strange coincidence I just discovered completely by accident that Sha Na Na founding member Dennis Greene died just days ago.
So, if Marky Ramone can manage to stay alive for a few more years, he may very well prove to be the last greaser standing.