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‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’: Comix god Daniel Clowes’ cartoony video for the Ramones’ Tom Waits cover
06.17.2016
11:03 am

Topics:
Animation
Art
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Ramones
Daniel Clowes


 
On a recent episode of WTF, Marc Maron had an expansive chat with the renowned comix artist Daniel Clowes, the mind responsible for Eightball, Ghost World, Wilson, and the 2016 release Patience.

I learned a lot I didn’t know about Clowes—I hadn’t realized, for instance, that as a Pratt student who was born in 1961, Clowes was actually bouncing around New York City the same time that Blondie, Lydia Lunch etc. were making Manhattan such a vital artistic locale.

Clowes’ unbridled hostility towards the hippies that came before him and their arena-ready rock and roll (think Led Zeppelin) actually made him an ideal audience for the seething musical forms percolating right around that time. As he told Maron, “I was like the guy punk was made for, because it was destructive of all the stuff I hated.” And of all the punk bands in the world to choose from, one stood out:
 

Maron: Do you remember the first punk record [you bought]?
Clowes: It was the first Ramones record. ... The trouble was, that’s still my favorite one. Like, I never found anything I liked as much as that. I spent like five years like, OK, there’s gonna be another one—No, they were the best, and nobody else came close to that.


 
Clowes saw the Ramones play at Irving Plaza after they’d gotten a little too big for CBGB—most likely the March 4, 1980, show.

Fast-forward to the mid-1990s. The Ramones were putting out ¡Adios Amigos!, which would be their last studio album, and Clowes was a well-known figure in the comix scene who had released Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron a couple of years earlier. The single for the album was a cover of a Tom Waits song off of 1992’s Bone Machine called “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.”
 

 
If the video hadn’t been for Clowes’ favorite band, he probably wouldn’t have considered the sacrifices he had to make in order to finish the project. Clowes told the AV Club in 2008:
 

I got the phone call about that project on the first of June 1995, and it was on TV the first of July. It was a month from knowing about it to it being so done it was on TV. It was insane. I would stay up all night drawing pictures for it. At 6 in the morning, this bleary-eyed messenger would come to my door and pick up the latest drawings, take them to an animation studio in Mill Valley, and then come back later and pick up more. I had to postpone my wedding to do that.

The greatest moment of my life was, somebody sent me a cable-access show from Chicago that had Joey Ramone on it showing that video. And he was talking about, like, [imitates Queens accent] “This guy Dan Clowes postponed his wedding for us. He’s a great guy.”

 
Check out the video after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Ramones should have had their own Saturday morning cartoon
03.30.2016
11:44 am

Topics:
Animation
Music

Tags:
The Ramones


 
Last year DM writer Marc Campbell alerted readers to two excellent animations by British animator Neil Williams of “Chainsaw” by the Ramones and “Pay to Cum” by Bad Brains. As he wrote at the time, “I wish there was one of these cartoons for every Ramones song ever recorded.”

I’m happy to report that there are more Ramones cartoons by Williams, and they are well worth a look. On this page you can watch full cartoons for “I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement” and “Listen To My Heart” off of the Ramones’ first album as well as “Commando” from Leave Home.

All three of these videos have a distinct theme. “I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement” is a fun and spooktacular Halloween romp, placing the punk quartet alongside the gang from Peanuts, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Lugosi’s Dracula, Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein’s monster, and zombies from The Night of the Living Dead. “Listen To My Heart” pretty much inserts the, ahem, “Ramonestones” into an episode of The Flintstones, while “Commando” takes inspiration from the song’s military imagery, incorporating Boris and Natasha, Sgt. Bilko, Apocalypse Now, and so on.

If nothing else, the videos clearly make the case that TV executives missed a great opportunity back in the day. There actually was a TV cartoon that featured the Jackson 5, but most of that group were ciphers compared to the distinctive personalities of the Ramones. No band was ever more fun than the Ramones—they pretty much were cartoon characters anyway! They totally should have become a staple of the Saturday morning rotation of cartoons and groovy children’s classics, alongside Scooby-Doo, Capt. Caveman, Wacky Races, H.R. Pufnstuf, and Land of the Lost.

“Bow bow bow bow bow, bow bow bow bow, I wanna be an-i-mated.”
 
“I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement”:

 
Great cartoons for “Listen To My Heart” and “Commando” after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
I’m with the Band(s): Intimate photographs of punk legends at CBGBs

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Whether it’s the Left Bank, or Bloomsbury, or Sun Records in Memphis, the Cavern Club in Liverpool, or London’s King’s Road, there is always one location that becomes the focus for a new generation of artists, writers and musicians. In New York during the 1970s, this creative hub could be found in a venue called CBGBs where different bands came to play every night spearheading the punk and new wave movement and bringing about a small revolution which changed everything in its wake.

Amongst the musicians, writers and artists who played and hung out at Hilly Kristal’s club at 315 Bowery were conceptual artists Bettie Ringma and Marc H. Miller. Bettie had come from from Holland to the US, where she met Miller—a writer and photographer whose passion was for telling “stories with pictures, with ephemera and with a few carefully chosen words.” Together they started collaborating on various multi-media and conceptual artworks.

In late 1976, Marc and Bettie were drawn to the irresistible pull of creative energy buzzing out of CBGB’s. Most nights they went down to the venue and started documenting the bands and artists who appeared there:

Our first photograph of Bettie with the movers and shakers at CBGB was taken during our very first visit to the club in late 1976. Standing alone by the bar was one of Bettie’s favorite performers, the poet-rocker Patti Smith. At home at CBGB and a wee bit tipsy, Patti was more than happy to oblige our request for a picture with Bettie. Soon we were CBGB regulars, checking out the different bands and slowly adding to our collection of pictures.

Marc and Bettie’s original idea of creating “Paparazzi Self-Portraits” at this Bowery bar developed into the portfolio Bettie Visits CBGB—a documentary record of all the bands, musicians, artists and writers who hung out at the venue, with photographs becoming:

...a reflection of the new aesthetic emerging at CBGB, a contradictory mix of high and low culture energized by fun and humor, the lure of fame and fortune, and a cynical appreciation of the power of a good hype.

More of Marc and Bettie’s work from this punk era can be seen here.
 
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Patti Smith was hanging around at the bar, but no one was taking pictures of her because she was super-shy. She posed with me and then just went away: some musicians are like that, they’re not into socialising. They’re just artists.

 
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Debbie Harry is a really great singer. She had a very different style from what was emerging there at that time. She was not shy, but she was very aloof: you can see that in the picture, hiding half her face behind her hair. It wasn’t something she needed, because she was very pretty, she was the frontwoman. But it gave her safety.

 
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I just love the Ramones. When their music starts I can’t sit still, I just have to start hopping and dancing, and I’m 71 now. We saw them live about 10 times: we would go out of our way to see them perform.

 
More of Marc and Bettie’s work after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Joey and Marky Ramone mock George Bush on Howard Stern, Republican Johnny does not


 
The partisan animosity within The Ramones is arguably the most fascinating political subtext in punk history. Most famous is the story that “The KKK Took My Baby Away” was left-wing Joey’s kiss-off song to right-wing Johnny, who had recently taken up with Joey’s girlfriend. Joey’s brother disputes this interpretation, maintaining that the song actually referenced an ill-fated romance between Joey and a black woman, but the lyrics indicate a clear streak of a bleeding heart, regardless. There is also Johnny’s famous acceptance speech at the band’s induction into the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame, where he proclaimed “God bless President Bush, and God bless America” during that oh-so-embarrassing post-9/11 era of G.W love. There were other internecine jabs and some of them were in public.

The clip below is from one of The Ramones’ memorable appearances on The Howard Stern Show—this segment from 1990 probably didn’t help ameliorate the animosity between Joey and Johnny. The sketch features Billy West—best known as the voices of Ren of Ren and Stimpy and Fry from Futurama—as an oblivious President Bush. With surprisingly good comedic timing, Joey and Marky set up West to portray Bush as cavalier and avoidant, preferring golf to the responsibilities of the presidency (sound familiar?).

One can presume from Johnny’s political record (and his lack of participation) that he was not amused by such irreverent humor at the expense of our then commander-in chief.

Note Howard bemoaning his resemblance to Joey and the reference to Dee Dee’s mercifully brief career as a rapper under the name Dee Dee King,
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Eye-popping Bad Brains and Ramones’ cartoons that will rock your world


 
British animator Neil Williams (aka Stelos485) has created two of the coolest punk-related cartoons ever. The animation for the Bad Brains’ “Pay To Cum” is very much like the song and band itself: stripped-down, kinetic and as frenetic as a frog on a hotplate.

Williams’ animation for The Ramones’ “Chainsaw” is an ingenious mix of Saturday morning cartoon visuals, Tobe Hooper’s slice and dice horror films and beach party fright flicks. It’s perfectly in the spirit of The Ramones’ own obsessions and I wish there was one of these cartoons for every Ramones’ song ever recorded.

More of Neil Williams’ work can be viewed on YouTube channel.  It is definitely worth a visit. Check out his Beatles’ stuff and an animated version of the notorious Orson Welles’ frozen pea radio ad. 
 


 
The Ramones animation after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Forget that shitty ‘CBGB’ film, ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ from 1978 takes you inside the real CBGB


 
Three aspiring musicians: Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd were looking for a place “where nothing was happening” for their band Television to play. If nothing was happening then the bar owner had nothing to lose. One day, down in the Bowery, Verlaine and Lloyd spotted a place initialed CBGB-OMFUG. They sidled across, went inside and talked to the owner a former singer and musician Hilly Krystal. As Lloyd recalled in Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s essential oral history of punk Please Kill Me, Hilly wanted to know what kinda music they played. They answered with a question:

‘Well, what does ‘CBGB-OMFUG’ stand for?’

He said, ‘Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers.’

So we said, ‘Oh yeah, we play a little of that, a little rock, a little country, a little blues, a little bluegrass…’

And Hilly said, ‘Oh, okay, maybe…’

 
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In fact, the only real stipulation for appearing at CBGB’s was to play new music, and although Suicide and Wayne County had already appeared at CBGB’s (after the demise of the Mercer Arts Center), it was not until Television, Patti Smith, The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads and The Dead Boys started taking up residency that CBGB’s changed from something where nothing happened to somewhere it all happened.
 

 
If you were disappointed by the shitty CBGB’s movie made a couple of years back starring Alan Rickman, then you will get a better sense of the energy, talent and musical revolution that took place at CBGB’s in the mid-1970s with this hour-long TV documentary Blitzkrieg Bop . Focussing on The Ramones, Blondie and the The Dead Boys, Blitzkrieg Bop mixes live performance with short interview clips and a racy newscast voiceover. It’s recommended viewing.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Marvelous Mage of Manhattan TV: Joe Franklin R.I.P.

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Photo by Jim Herrington.
 
Joe Franklin died on Saturday. He was 88. The cause was prostate cancer. The world has lost one of TV’s weirdest and most wonderful wizards of the airwaves.
 
Joe Franklin was to late night cable TV in New York City what Papaya King was to hot dogs: Manhattan through and through. I watched his show religiously during the late 70’s/early 80’s. After a few shots of Jack Daniels and half a dozen lines of Peruvian flake, there was nothing more mesmerizing than the loopy surrealism of Joe Franklin. His stream of consciousness raps, fractured and deliriously deft, coupled with his vast knowledge of TV, music and movie trivia, was like listening to the Akashic Record of 20th century pop culture being transmitted through an Elf on meth. Franklin was a character in a David Lynch movie before David Lynch had even made a movie. He was a trip. And most of us punk rockers and downtown artists loved him.

My show was often like a zoo,” Franklin said in 2002. “I’d mix Margaret Mead with the man who whistled through his nose, or Richard Nixon with the tap-dancing dentist.

Here’s a wonderful clip from 1988 of Joey and Marky Ramone on The Joe Franklin Show. As you will see, Joey is somewhat in awe of the genius of Joe. And they respected him too much to correct his pronunciation of their name as The Raaaymones.

I gotta give props to Joe’s sidekick, bug-eyed deejay Paul Cavalconte, for being ultra-hip, despite The Smiths question.

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Shania Is a Punk Rocker: Celebrities wearing Ramones t-shirts
10.30.2014
01:30 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Pop Culture

Tags:
The Ramones
celebrities

Joey Ramone
Joey Ramone

It’s been a good decade-plus now, but at some point wearing faded band t-shirts from the 1970s and early 1980s started to become a trendy thing to do. Eventually celebrities got in on the act, and these days the very famous are frequently photographed sporting vintage (or faux vintage) band tees.

The t-shirt that’s all the rage amongst actors and pop stars is the one featuring the classic Ramones logo (seen above). The iconic tee has been worn with pride by faithful Ramones fans for nearly forty years, and that logo is so freakin’ awesome that its coolness couldn’t help but rub off on the punks who wore the shirt—partially due to the fact that even members of the Ramones could be seen in a Ramones t-shirt.

But now the rich and powerful want a piece of the hip pie, too. Knowing the group’s music doesn’t even seem to be a prerequisite for these celebs (does anyone really think Paris Hilton listens to the Ramones?).
 
Paris Hilton
 
Who knows, maybe Harry Styles from teen pop sensation One Direction actually likes the leather-clad punks from Queens, but he seems to over-compensating or something, as there’s a shit-ton of photos of him online dressed in the iconic t-shirt.
 
Harry Styles
 
Like Harry, most opt for the classic logo, but really any Ramones shirt will do.
 
Megan Fox
Megan Fox prefers Marky Ramone

Image-conscious celebrities co-opting cool isn’t anything new, so we shouldn’t be surprised. Maybe they genuinely appreciate the Ramones and are using their platform to expose the masses to the band. Perhaps we should be thanking them for keeping the spirit of punk alive?

Nah.
 
Fergie
Fergie
 
Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
 
More celebrities in Ramones t-shirts after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
The Ramones on the Jerry Lewis Telethon
08.29.2014
08:57 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk
Television

Tags:
The Ramones


 
Well here’s something kind of strange and wonderful: The Ramones playing on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in September of 1989. The choice of songs couldn’t be more appropriate: “I Believe In Miracles” and “I Wanna Be Sedated.” This was C.J.‘s debut gig with the band and it must have been a particularly surreal initiation for the newly adopted Ramone.

This was aired on WWOR-TV in New York City.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Ramones on ‘Regis and Kathie Lee’

The Ramones
 
Nothing of any great consequence occurred during this 1988 interview with America’s then favorite surrogate TV husband and wife, Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford, but it’s fun to watch. The punk rock legends on their morning gabfest to promote Ramones Mania, their greatest hits album.

Regis and Kathie Lee ask them about working with Phil Spector, about whether their “cult” status has constricted them in any way, and about their Brooklyn/Queens background. Regis mocks the very idea of a song being called “I Wanna Be Sedated” or “Teenage Lobotomy” and even insists that Joey tell him the opening lines of the latter.

Eventually everyone ends up somehow agreeing that really Dee Dee ought to be the focus, and Kathie Lee asks him about navigating ten years of marriage when groupies are part of the equation. The Ramones seemed genuinely happy to be there, and Regis and Kathie Lee, pros both, seemed perfectly happy to have them there.

I gotta tell you—as a New Yorker, I could listen to those Ramones accents all day long.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The Marvelous Mage of Manhattan TV: Joe Franklin R.I.P.
For your viewing pleasure: ‘End Of The Century - The Story Of The Ramones’

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
MAKE IT STOP: See how far you can make it through Dee Dee Ramone’s rapping!

Dee Dee King
 
Poor Dee Dee. He went through so much in his life! An erratic childhood with an alcoholic father, heroin addiction, working with Johnny Ramone—the list goes on! But nothing, and I mean nothing excuses his foray into rapping. Below is his single, “Funky Man,” recorded in 1987 as “Dee Dee King.” Listen, if you dare.

One thing in his favor, Dee Dee was a legitimate hip-hop fan, and he was really dedicated to trying to contribute something new and meaningful to the genre. Unfortunately, this also meant that he started to wear track suits and gold chains. According to legend, Johnny Ramone refused to board a plane with him until he changed back into his Ramones “uniform.” He even quit The Ramones in 1989, citing a focus on his rap career as the impetus for the decision.

Dee Dee later expressed regret at his rap venture, acknowledging the project was a bust.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Shut yer fucking mouth: Punk started in New York!
05.31.2013
05:05 am

Topics:
Punk

Tags:
The Clash
The Ramones


 
In the ongoing debate (which shoulda been settled years ago) of whether 70s punk started in New York or London, I think Joe Strummer in this performance is sending the message that it started with four guys from Queens, New York. I know in the big scheme of things this ain’t a whole lotta much of nuthin’. But for some of us old punkers, it is a bone of contention. And punk is all about contention
 

 
And this should shut the mouth of the idiots who continue to claim punk originated in England.
 

 
Case fucking closed. The Ramones started it. The Clash took the energy and ran with it. The Pistols pissed it away.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Ramones tread very, very softly when talking about working with Phil Spector, 1982
04.17.2013
09:29 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Ramones
Phil Spector

image
 
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..

Sent our way by the legendary Mr. Danny Fields
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Blitzkrieg Bop: Backstage with The Ramones in 1978
02.18.2013
05:28 pm

Topics:
Punk

Tags:
The Ramones

image
 
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!
 

 
Thanks you, Michael Ferrier!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Stunning 30-minute version of The Ramones’ playing ‘Cretin Hop’: Epic!
01.29.2013
12:06 am

Topics:
Punk

Tags:
The Ramones
Cretin Hop

image
 
The Ramones’ “Cretin Hop” time-stretched into a 30-minute soundscape that is truly epic and oddly beautiful. Waves upon waves upon waves upon waves upon waves…

Johnny’s guitar sounds like a massive tuning fork struck by hand of God. The vocals: A heavenly choir.

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabbagaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabaheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!
 

 
Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant stretched into an monolithic roar after the jump….

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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