In 1995, The Ramones released the album titled “Adios Amigos! (“Goodbye”). About 12 months ago, the header had turned into reality. The Ramones bid their farewell to the world.
Finally, on August 6, 1996, exactly 23 years ago, at The Palace, Hollywood, California, The Ramones held their last concert. The final performance from the punk quartet that was established in 1974 was enlivened by a setlist of 30 songs, a pair of encore, and several guest musicians from Lemmy Kilmister to Eddie Vedder.
For more than 20 years, The Ramones have been trying to keep standing upright — making music a place of joy. However, that night, after 2,263 gig, The Ramones finally realized one thing: it was time to stop.
“I can tell you that this will end soon,” Joey Ramone, told Billboard, in 1995. “All good things will end one day. I have mixed feelings. There is a lot of fighting, nonsense, frustration and politics. ”
Despite the farewell title, The Ramones’ last concert did not shed tears or other emotional feelings. Everything went flat – like nothing happened.
“We did a show and after that no one said a word,” recalls Marky Ramone, the drummer. “Nobody said stay with each other.”
Talking about The Ramones means talking about four young people who seem to have no future in changing the world punk music landscape. The Ramones story is a story about freedom, the search for identity, and efforts to bury the bitter past.
The Ramones golden moment in the punk universe was born in 1976 when their single titled “Blitzkrieg Bop” exploded on the market. The popularity of The Ramones grew even when in the same year, they managed to invade the British mainland with plenary, which was then followed by similar achievements in other countries such as Canada.
When The Ramones shine, the world is engulfed by punk waves. In England, there are Sex Pistols and The Clash. While in the US, a shabby club called CBGB located in Manhattan East Lower Side gave birth to bands that were later touted as American punk rock fans, from Blondie, Television, to Talking Heads.
The Ramones themselves are an important part of the growth of punk in the 1970s. Founded in 1974 in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, The Ramones, consisting of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy. The name The Ramones, as proclaimed by The New York Times, was inspired by a pseudonym that Paul McCartney had used: Paul Ramon.
The four members of The Ramones have known each other since high school. Their high school period could be said to be nothing special. Moreover, as Charles M. Young wrote in “The Ramones Are Punks and Will Beat You Up” published in Rolling Stone (1976), they are often cast aside by women.
“They [women] always want to go with [men] who have Corvet,” Johnny remembers. “So, yes, we can’t do anything but climb the roof of the house and breathe in glue. When musicians never had a boyfriend [at the beginning of his career], they got a guitar instead. ”
In 1974, The Ramones were formed. However, the road is not easy. The first problem that arises, in addition to mediocre musical ability, is the incompatibility of the personnel with their position. It took months for the four personnel to finally sit in the right seats: Dee Dee on bass, Tommy on drums, Joey became lead singer, and Johnny held the guitar.
From the start, The Ramones wanted to play music as simple as possible. It means, even though they bring rock standard, they don’t want the music to be complicated.
“Our music is the answer to the early 1970s [music] when musicians with big egos would do vocal harmony and play long guitar solos and they were called geniuses. That is bullshit. We play rock & roll. We don’t do [guitar] solos. Our only harmony is the tone of the guitar chords, “said Tommy.
So, from here, was born a concise music but save great embers of enthusiasm. Music that succeeds in combining the four keys with bold, naughty, and provocative lyrics so that the listeners are joyful.
The Ramones debut before the public occurred in August 1974 on CBGB. Shown for approximately 17 minutes, The Ramones apparently failed to give a positive impression. The public thinks they are not capable of playing music. Criticism is a reward for them.
The unpleasant experience made The Ramones seriously clean up. They practice hard to improve quality and improve style to make it easier for the audience to remember. A year later, The Ramones have been transformed: four young men in leather jackets and torn jeans who bring rock & roll colors that are fast, attractive, and energetic.
The Ramones Revolution was captured well by Danny Fields, a band manager who previously managed to orbit The Stooges and MC5. Danny was stunned and then introduced The Ramones to Sire Records.
“I liked it in the first five seconds, from the moment they started playing. I can’t stop thinking about it, “he said.
The agreement between The Ramones and Sire was successfully signed. Shortly after signing the contract, The Ramones, in May 1976, released their first album.
The rest, as we know, flap the reputation of The Ramones is never the same.
“They want to be the biggest band in the world,” Linda Ramone, Johnny’s wife, told The Guardian. “They want to be as big as the Beatles.”
Drugs, Love, and Tyrants
Together with Sire, The Ramones made several albums, from Pleasant Dreams (1980), Subterranean Jungle (1983), Animal Boy (1986), Halfway to Sanity (1987), to Brain Drain (1989). In these albums, The Ramones’ music is increasingly transformed – loud and aggressive – although it has not changed their signature from the start.
Among the albums made, End of Century (1980) is often seen as the most successful album. The reason is, this album managed to sit at number 44 on the Billboard 200 charts – higher than the other The Ramones album.
As fame loomed, problem after problem did not escape on the body of The Ramones. From Tommy’s discharge, the Johnny-Joey conflict due to romance, as well as Dee Dee’s acute dependence on cocaine.
But, a significant factor in the internal cracking of The Ramones is Johnny’s attitude which is considered to like to act arbitrarily. Johnny, always the de facto leader of The Ramones, wrote Mikal Gilmore in “The Curse of the Ramones” published by Rolling Stone, governing the band with an iron fist. Johnny, for example, did not hesitate to give fines to each personnel when training came late. Johnny is not afraid to beat up his band mates (or others) if he is caught making him sick.
These complex problems lead to a decline in appearance as well as the solidity of The Ramones. The band, which was created from the beginning with the spirit of friendship, turned into a fist fights and arguments that never met the end point.
So that the problem did not drag on and seemed to not have the right solution, Johnny decided to limit the existence of The Ramones until 1996, after completing the album and completing the tour. After the last concert was held, The Ramones officially broke up the partnership.
For Johnny, The Ramones is his home. The difference is, Johnny has his own way to maintain the house that was built for decades.
“I don’t say much to other people. This is how I live my life. Of course I feel lost. I just don’t want to admit it. “