Court of the Ginger King: The Ramones – Guilty of Over Importance

Now granted, I actually sold back my greatest hits of The Ramones a few years ago, but I still respect the ol’ New Yorkers. There’s nothing better than having a shitty day and listening to “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” or “Teenage Labotomy” minutes on end. On the other hand, this is the band responsible for writing a song about “Pet Sematery.” Hmm, maybe I might agree with Russ on this one… nah. Let’s begin, folks!

-Michael Roffman, Editor in Chief

The Ramones are not the best punk band, originators of punk, relevant anymore, nor were they even that good a group of musicians. Take off the fucking Ramones’ logo shirt you bought at JC Penney and give it a rest. I am going back to lists for this one since it makes it easier for readers to criticize and get angry about things and it makes my job easier. Why? Because I get to just fill in the numbers.

1. “WHAGH, The Ramones started punk, not The Sex Pistols or any other band. WHAGH, I hate you.”

First of all, settle the fuck down. Now, first things first, I hate the movie SLC Punk! I fucking hate it. It disgusts me on both a music and film level, but I will say that the movie’s stance on disregarding that debate is an interesting one. Here is the thing about the punk movement:  it was a media named musical movement of people with so much attitude about life they felt the need to play music no matter how sloppy or offensive it was. The “dumb ass” music press just happens to name the two similar-but-very-different-movements the same thing. Whoopsie. The Ramones didn’t start shit. Were they the first band to play guitar-driven, slightly sloppy rock tunes meant to get young teens dancing? Nope. Were they the first band to play music criticizing society? Nope. Were they the first band to focus on style and image? Nope. Were they the first to have a cult movie based on their music? Nope

Well, the last one doesn’t matter, but the point is that there were a lot of other bands playing sloppy, sassy rock music. (Sassy means ‘with attitude’! Watch out 1990’s cliché stereotypical gay men, I’m taking the word back.) The Ramones were a band of limited musical skill, playing aggressive songs. This was nothing new, and nothing was ‘started’. (Psst! It was being done in the 50s with garage rock). Plus, The New York Dolls and The Dictators were playing the same style of music in the NY area.

The fact is one band is incapable of starting a musical movement all by itself.

2. “I am a rebel, a misfit, don’t put me in a box, man. The Ramones speak to me.”

INT. MARKETING BOARD ROOM – Anytime, 1950-2000

A fine oak meeting table sits shrouded in smoke as a group of men sit around puffing away at their cigars. They are intently staring at a large man in a charcoal colored suit with a maroon silk tie sitting atop a black collared shirt.


We need a way to connect with everyone

aged 16-34, they need to buy our shit.


Well, what we have discovered in tests is

that everyone aged 16-34 thinks they are

a rebel or misfit in some way in their lives.

A red haired man busts into the room.


Here’s the thing, if everyone else has the

same feelings you do you aren’t a rebel

or misfit. Neither you nor The Ramones are unique.


3. The Ramones are edgy as fuck; they are badass, mess with society, cause chaos and did crazy things.

I can buy Ramones merch at basically any clothing store in America. There are a bunch of Ramones’ fans who are in their sixties. Last time I was in Walgreen’s, I heard a Ramones song while I was picking up super glue and candy. Between The Clash, Sex Pistols, and The Ramones, most Americans know more of The Ramones.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they are kind of lame now. These punk rockers are basically accessible pop music at this point. It still isn’t as edgy as the Pistols’a stuff, too many old people and any guy off the street like it and their products earn millions every year.

Look I don’t want to be a dick here, I like The Ramones. The debut album will forever be on my iPod. But lets calm the fuck down and stop treating them like they were second coming. I know, I know. I am shitting on the memory of The Ramones, but at least I am not putting their names on any useless piece of shit they sell at fucking Hot Topic. Get the fuck out of here! They died! I respect the dead, but their impact as a band deserves to be respected and not to be used as a fashion statement by prepubescent suburbanites.

As I was saying, everyone needs to chill out. The Ramones were a good band, made people happy, and had something special. WERE. They were all these things, and if you bow before them now, you are probably old or stubborn. And if you were obsessed with them back then, you never heard garage rock.

The Ramones should not be as big or more well known than The New York Dolls or Talking Heads, but they are, which means people are getting a little out of line with their Ramones’ love.

Court adjourned.

Check Out:

New York Dolls – Looking For A Kiss


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