Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!
CBGB was the breeding ground for the universally influential 1970’s New York City rock scene. When Hilly Kristal opened CBGB & OMFUG (Country, BlueGrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gourmandizers) in December ‘73 at the intersection of Bleeker and Bowery in Manhattan’s East Village, he transformed a dilapidated biker bar into a crucible for the most influential artists of the era. Heres some interesting trivia on the most influential punk rock band to come out of CBGB’s.
The Ramones were a very successful but most of their albums didn’t sell very well and they didn’t earn widespread acclaim until the ’90s, when their influence on the genre became clear. They earned validation when they were induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2002.
When Joey Ramone died, the surviving members vowed to never perform together again. In 2014, the last of their original members died.
In 1979, they starred in the movie Rock And Roll High School. In the film, students try to get tickets to a Ramones show and end up taking over the school.
They were the first punk band inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The Clash and The Sex Pistols were eligible the same year (2002) but didn’t get in.
The Ramones were inspired by ’60s girl groups, particularly The Ronettes. Joey Ramone helped produce Spector’s 1999 solo album, She Talks to Rainbows, and duetted with her on the track “Bye Bye Baby.”
Joey started dating a girl named Linda Danielle in the late ’70s. He took her on tour, but she started having an affair with Johnny, forming a very uncomfortable love triangle. In 1982, she left Joey, and in 1984 married Johnny, taking the name Linda Ramone. They remained married until his death.The relationship between Joey and Johnny was already tense, but this ruined it completely. They remained bandmates long after, but the animosity never abated. Johnny didn’t attend Joey’s funeral.
They appeared on an episode of The Simpsons where they perform at Mr. Burns’ birthday party. They sing Happy Birthday to him and afterwards, Mr. burns says to Smithers: “Have the Rolling Stones killed!”
In their early years, their goal was to write a new song at every rehearsal, which resulted in lots of material to choose from.
Marky Ramone was fired in 1983, shortly before completion of the Subterranean Jungle album. He was replaced by Richie Ramone until 1987. Richie wanted money from T-shirt sales, and Johnny refused, so he was replaced for a few disastrous shows by Clem Burke of Blondie (as Elvis Ramone), before Marky rejoined.
When Joey died, The Misfits removed their own content from their website and replaced it with a picture of Joey. Social Distortion did likewise, displaying a photograph of Mike Ness and Joey Ramone as tribute.
The band name came from Paul Ramon, which was a fake name Paul McCartney used when The Beatles (known then as The Silver Beatles) were touring Scotland in 1960. Doug Colvin was a big McCartney fan and was using the name Dee Dee Ramone when the band formed. The rest of the group thought it sounded like a cool name, so they decided to use it as their band name and aliases.
For the most part, they were miserable in each other’s company, which was tough because they were in such close quarters. After they played their final show in 1996, they each packed up and left without saying goodbye.
Before their concerts, the Ramones would rehearse their entire set (unplugged) backstage.
In 1978, they opened some shows for Black Sabbath’s Never Say Die! tour. It did not go well. In an interview, Marky Ramone described one of the shows: “After about five or six songs, we got booed, we got every kind of coin tossed at us, and any other thing you could imagine, and we just said, “F–k you,” and we left the stage. We gave them the middle finger and walked off.”
As quoted in the book England’s Dreaming, Revised Edition: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond, manager Danny Fields says the Ramones first album cost six thousand dollars to make, explaining, “The album was just making a statement. like the picture on the cover, you put them in the alley behind CBGBs and make sure it’s in focus. They had invented themselves, and they could have probably done the album for six hundred dollars.”
They never appeared on Saturday Night Live, although they did have an offer. In 1977 when the planned musical guest, the Sex Pistols, couldn’t get into the country, producers asked the Ramones to fill in. They turned it down, and the gig went to Elvis Costello, who left his mark by stopping his performance and launching into a song he wasn’t supposed to play.
The Ramones T-shirt has become a ubiquitous garment. It’s estimated that more Ramones T-shirts have been sold worldwide than the band’s albums.
In March 1996, the Argentine branch of Coca Cola announced they would give away free tickets to a Ramones concert in Buenos Aires in exchange for 10 caps from bottles of the soft drink. Massively underestimating the band’s appeal in Argentina, Coca Cola didn’t make enough tickets available, resulting in hundreds of Argentine youths rioting. Several Buenos Aires stores and businesses were looted and destroyed during their rampage.