Phil Spector produced the Ramones’ 1980 album End of the Century. At one point during the recording sessions in Los Angeles, Spector held Dee Dee Ramone at gunpoint, and forced him to play the same riff over and over again.
Perhaps because the King of Mono was still on the outside at the time this interview was filmed, one gets the distinct feeling watching it that the boys from Forest Hills were holding something back…
Joey was the biggest Spector freak in the band. Note how he doesn’t say a word..
Ferocious live footage of the Ramones at the State Theatre in Minneapolis from Wylde Rice, a super-hip Minnesota PBS show of the time. Backstage, the boys discuss the punk scene in England, dismiss the notion of punk “politics” and the reporting of violence at punk gigs as overblown.
They start off with a great “Rockaway Beach” and later rip through “California Sun” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Shot on January 21, 1978. The Runaways were the opening act!
‘We are. We are The Ramones. And you, you heard it first, right here,’ says Joey Ramone at the start of this gig from October 5th, 1981. The ‘right here’ was the Second Chance Saloon, Ann Arbor, which was one of The Ramones’ favorite clubs. The concert lasts just over an hour, and The Ramones get through 28 songs. Sometimes you need it hard and fast, so here it is.
01. “Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio?”
02. “Do You Wanna Dance?”
03. “Blitzkrieg Bop”
04. “This Business Is Killing Me”
05. “All’s Quiet On The Eastern Front”
06. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”
07. “Rock & Roll High School”
08. “I Wanna Be Sedated”
09. “Beat On The Brat”
10. “The KKK Took My Baby Away”
11. “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”
12. “You Sound Like You’re Sick”
13. “Suzy Is A Headbanger”
14. “Let’s Dance”
15. “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”
16. “I’m Affected”
17. “Chinese Rock”
18. “Rockaway Beach”
19. “Teenage Lobotomy”
20. “Surfin’ Bird”
21. “Cretin Hop”
22. “California Sun”
23. “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”
25. “Come On Now”
26. “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You”
27. “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”
28. “We Want The Airwaves”
Then the tape cuts out before the last 2 songs, which were “I Just Wanna Have Something To Do” and “We’re A Happy Family”. But hey-ho, it was good while it lasted.
Among his many accomplishments, Joey Ramone also played a small but significant role in Bruce Springsteen’s musical career, as Bruce himself related in his liner notes for 1995’s Greatest Hits: “I met The Ramones in Asbury Park and Joey asked me to write a song for ‘em. I went home that night and wrote this. I played it for Jon Landau and, earning his money, he advised me to keep it.” The song in question? “Hungry Heart,” which in 1980 became the first Top Ten hit both written and recorded by Springsteen.
Joey Ramone’s own hilarious recollection of asking Bruce for a song, filmed during a 1995 radio interview, appears as part of a bonus video segment on the DVD of End of the Century: The Story of The Ramones, the great no-holds-barred documentary on the triumphs and tragedies of the band’s career. In grand punk tradition, Ramone humorously berated “that Landau guy” and remarked that Springsteen “owes us.” When the interviewer suggested that perhaps Bruce could sit in with the band sometime, Joey replied that The Ramones didn’t want to be onstage with “some Jersey boy screwin’ up our song” if he couldn’t keep up with their ultra-fast playing. Ramone did, however, conclude the interview on a slightly more serious note by expressing “admiration” for Springsteen.
Here’s Springsteen covering The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.” Boston, April 22 2009. Not bad, but Springsteen ain’t no Johnny Ramone.
While no one will mistake this for a historic meeting of the minds, it does have its odd charm. The Marshall McLuhan of punk Billy Idol chats with Timothy Leary about rock n’ roll, cyberspace and computers. “Pretty deep,” Joey Ramone observes while Television (the band) let old skool technologies like drums and guitars do the talking.
End Of The Century is one of the finest rock documentaries ever made, doing justice to one of rock and roll’s great bands. Directors Jim Fields and Michael Gramaglia wring a tremendous amount of emotion in telling the story of a band that was as exhilaratingly wonderful as they were dysfunctional. With the help of Danny Fields, Joe Strummer, Legs McNeil, Arturo Vega, Rob Zombie and a shitload of friends, critics and admirers, this flick will remind you of why you fell in love with this band in the first place. Sometimes the simplest and purest of concepts reach epic dimensions.
Joey and Dee Dee Ramone appear with their artistic director Arturo Vega and longtime buddy Michael Mckenzie on Efrom Allen’s Underground TV program in 1978.
This is classic Manhattan public access; chaotic, anarchic and fun. I used to call this cocaine TV because I was generally zooted to the gills when I was watching it. This show is particularly good. Instead of the usual assholes that would call in to insult the artists that were being interviewed, the callers on this night seem genuinely curious about The Ramones and the scene revolving around CBGB. This was a time when something very fresh and unpredictable was happening in the downtown clubs and the bands and their audiences were all discovering it together. Even the cynics were starting to pay attention.
Along with Robin Byrd and Al Goldstein, Efrom Allen was one of the pioneers of NYC cable TV talk shows. With its mix of porn stars, punk rockers and nightlife impresarios, Underground TV was always reliably weird entertainment on those nights when you just wanted to stay home and get fucked up.
I love everything about this video of Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone being interviewed for cable TV in Eugene, Oregon on May 2, 1983. Their uncompromising purity is so rare and genuine. When the female interviewer insistently and cluelessly pushes the idea that they will somehow become bored and outgrow their unique style of rock and roll, the guys respond with frustration and disbelief. Why would anyone want to change something that was and is perfect?
At one point Johnny says The Ramones’ career might last a couple of more years. And he’s fine with that. Little did he know. The band continued for almost another 20 years before 3/4s of the band died. I miss them dearly.
During the interview Johnny mentions that MTV rejected their new, at the time, video for “Psychotherapy” for being too violent. Watch the uncut version after the jump.
Arturo Vega painting a banner with The Ramones’ logo, one of the most enduring brands in rock and roll history.
When I first came on board here at DM, I posted a couple of clips of The Ramones rehearsing in 1975 in the loft of their artistic director Arturo Vega. The links to the clips are no longer current, so I thought I’d offer an update with some extended footage and a bit more history regarding Vega and The Ramones relationship.
As the ‘creative director’ for the Ramones, Arturo Vega played a key role in developing the visual style that was integral to the band’s image. His most well known creation is the Ramones’ eagle logo that he based on the great seal of the United States. He replaced ‘e pluribus unum‘ with ‘Hey Ho let’s Go‘ and swapped the arrows in the eagle’s talons for a baseball bat. The logo went on T-shirts, which during the early years of the band frequently rivaled the record sales. Arturo also housed Joey and Dee Dee for many years. His loft was the Ramones headquarters, rehearsal space and crash pad.”
24 year old Vega arrived in NYC from Mexico in 1971 to perform in musical theater. He eventually ended up in the East Village where he transformed an old plastic flower factory into the loft that became the mid-70s punk version of Warhol’s Factory..
In 1975, both DeeDee and Joey lived with me at “The Loft”, which is around the corner from CBGB, so every night after CB’s closed the party would move on to my place, which is on a second floor. Most people didn’t bother ringing the bell they would climb the metal gates from the store at the street level and come through the windows, which is what three guys that came together did to nobody’s surprise. In those days New York City was on a loosing battle against crime, the city was at one of it’s lowest points ever neighborhoods like the East Village were heroin supermarkets, the Bowery was “free for all” territory, we liked it. Any way these three guys came back to the loft a few times after that, and one day one of them confessed to me that the first time they came in they intended to rob everybody, but found the party so cool they decided to join us instead. SEE! PUNK ROCK DOESN’T PROMOTE CRIME, IT STOPS IT!’ – Arturo Vega
This footage is raw, which is exactly as it should be.
Kicking off with “Rockaway Beach” this is The Ramones performing live on the classic German TV show Musikladen, in a special recorded on September 13 1978, in Bremen.
“I Don’t Want You”
“Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”
“You’re Gonna Kill that Girl”
“Don’t Come Close”
“I Don’t Care”
“She’s the One”
“Sheena Is a Punk Rocker”
“Needles & Pins”
“Listen to My Heart”
“I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You”
“Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”
Ain’t sure how long this will last on Youtube so I had to share it right now. I’ve haven’t seen this promo video of The Ramones’ 1978 release “I Wanna Be Sedated” looking and sounding this fucking good anywhere on the airwaves/Internet since it was last in heavy rotation on MTV back in 1988.
Remastered? Definitely. Must be on a DVD compilation, but I can’t find it.
Rock impresario, record producer with the Midas touch and the unquestionably the most boring and wooden TV presenter of all time, Don Kirshner, known to millions as the host of late-night 70s TV show, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert has died at the age of 76 of heart failure.
In the 1950s, Don Kirshner was co-owner of Aldon Music, a New York-based music publishing company that employed or had under contract, many of the most important songwriters of the “Brill Building” school, including Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller. Throughout his long career Kirshner was most closely associated with Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Carole King, Kansas and of course, The Monkees and “The Archies.”
In 1973, he produced and hosted Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, a 90-minute syndicated show that featured bands that you never would have seen on American television otherwise. On Rock Concert, America first saw acts like Sparks, Queen, Marc Bolan and T-Rex, Kiss, Cheap Trick, The New York Dolls and many, many, many others. It ran until 1981. Kirshner’s notoriously uncharismatic stage presence was mercilessly lampooned on Saturday Night Live by Paul Shaffer.
Below, the Ramones on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert in 1977. Where ELSE would you have seen this on American TV at the time?
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
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