Ramones by The Ramones

Posted: August 19, 2013 by generationgbooks in Music

rbayley-albumI discovered the Ramones through a crappy greatest hits compilation that my brother bought while we were working together at Little Caesar’s Pizza. I’m not sure if this was influenced by Nick Jedd, but there’s a good chance it may have been. Nick is singularly responsible for my discovering Faith No More. My brother, whether I like it or not, was responsible for my discovery of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy.

I’m not even sure what the greatest hits collection was titled, but it was a CD that we played constantly. Little Caesar’s, like my current job, had a boom box and the rules were- there are no rules. Music could not be heard by customers in the lobby, because we had a dough machine (the berkel) going at many times throughout the day, and we also had those two 650 degree ovens cranking. We had the boom box stationed on the ice machine in the back, near the wash station and the dish station. Pretty much anyone, except whomever had the luck of working the  ovens that shift, could hear the music. Since the Ramones were known for their spirit, their speedy, energetic short anthems, and their somewhat dark subject matter, it was perfect for that place.

Years later, Jen and I went on another one of our formally frequent record store shopping sprees. This one was Discount Records on 148th in Midlothian, near Jen and Carol’s house. (For the record, in case I haven’t mentioned her, Carol is Jen’s mom. Jen is my other best friend, and Carol was my godmother. She is no longer with us, unfortunately. Her and Jen are responsible for AC/DC. That’s another blog post.) We liked Discount Records because their specialty was hard rock, punk, and classic rock. I was just getting into some punk; through Jen, I had recently found and enjoyed the Sex Pistols and The Germs. I was having one of my days when nothing was really speaking to me, so I hit the other side of the albums and looked up. There was a Ramones shirt hanging from the ceiling, above what were a number of Ramones albums. I asked Jen which was their first, and I purchased it. It was a used album, but looked like new. Oddly enough, despite the fact that it’s in my possession now, it still looks pretty good. So we went back to her house and put it on Carol’s record player. We all loved it. I was in love. With the motherfuckin’ Ramones.

The reviews I had read of this were universal in their critiques that it did not match the brilliance of later Ramones records. Well, duh, it’s their debut. They’re not all going to be Off the Wall or Appetite For Destruction. If anything, for someone like myself, who was just venturing into the world known as “punk rock”, this was a perfect introduction.

“Blitzkrieg Bop” was a hoot to me to hear, likely because of how they sounded when they sang “Blitzkrieg Bop”. Admit it, it’s a funny song to begin with, but the delivery of those two words are pretty unique. “Beat On the Brat” is a song that my brother and I used to use when we were torturing my younger sister, calling her “Mushroomhead” and other juvenile taunts. “Judy Is A Punk” honestly lit no fires under me. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” is a song by the Ramones that is still in my favorites queue. “Chain Saw” and “Now I Want To Sniff Some Glue” were songs that, due to their title alone, inspired many discussions. They also inspired me and Jen to write some of our crazier stories, like the Axl Rose Wrestling School and the Circus of Slash. “Loudmouth” is another of my all-time favorites, as are “Let’s Dance” and “I Don’t Want to Walk Around With You”Overall, it’s a pretty seamless album, if you take out the crappy ending of “Today Your Love, Tomorrow Your World”you have a pretty great little vinyl record. I loved it then, I love it now.

  1. Once had a great memory-producing moment where I was in the car driving back from lunch with a carload of co-workers all the same age-ish and the song came on and we all proceeded to sing along, unbidden, including a uniform head-bopping to the end of the song. Wayne’s World had nothing on us, and we were completely spontaneous…something pretty unforgettable. It was short ride back to work, and the song just about covered the span…when you are 20 years old, and that happens out of nowhere, it is pretty awesome.
    Thank you, Ramones…

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