Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Everything changed near the end of 1977 when the Sex Pistols released their only album, Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols. It was time for something new in rock music, and Johnny Rotten and his crew had just the recipe. They came out with a sneering contempt for the bloated self-seriousness that had overtaken so many of the complacent bands of that time period. Along with the Ramones, the Clash, the Damned, the Dead Boys, and dozens of other young punk bands, the Sex Pistols specialized in vicious, attitude drenched songs pared down to the bare essentials of rhythm and fury. Holidays In The Sun, No Feelings, Bodies, God Save The Queen, Pretty Vacant, Anarchy In The U.K., Problems, E.M.I., just killer stuff that was totally revolutionary at the time, and still thrilling right now. Like a shooting star, they burned out just as quickly as they came, but it was a glorious fire while it lasted.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

On This Day in History


the_great_seal_of_the_ramones_by_mrdyrdenOn this date in history, 5/25/1995, I saw the greatest punk band of all time on the stage of the wonderfully intimate venue, The Vogue.

I’m talking about the Ramones and this was their final tour. When I was a teenager soaking up every bit of rock music I could wrap my ears around.

Photo of Ramones

The Ramones appeared in their denim and leather glory in an ad in the rock fan magazine called Circus.

The cover of their eponymous debut album called out to me and although their very existence was a result of their rebellion against a lot of music I really liked, I fell madly in love with their energy, the economy of their stripped down to the bare essentials attack.

The absurdly catchy nature of their melodies. And those lyrics and song titles! Nobody had ever written songs like “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Beat On The Brat”, “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” and “Teenage Lobotomy” before.

The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop (Live)

So, here I was at this little club in Noblesville, full of its own rich history, witnessing this iconic band cramming over 30 songs into a 90 minute slab of punk rock brilliance.

Nearly every song began with bass player C.J. barking out the intro ingrained into every Ramones fan’s heart…1,2,3,4!…and they were off to the races, Johnny bashing out the 3 chord anthems, Marky pulverizing the simple, but staggeringly tight beats that ran the locomotive, and Joey, impossibly tall and ghostly white in his leather jacket and rose colored glasses, long black hair hanging in his face as he sang those crazy lyrics in an almost impossibly fast pace.

The KKK Took My Baby Away – The Ramones


Some of the highlight songs for me included, “Judy Is A Punk”, “The KKK Took My Baby Away”, “Psycho Therapy”, and “Pinhead”, where their pinhead mascot came out with the famous “Gabba Gabba Hey” sign and had every fan in the room shouting out those words and pumping our fists in the air.

Photo of RAMONES and Johnny RAMONE and Joey RAMONE

I’m listed as the concert critic in these reviews, but what I really am is a fan. I started going to concerts when I was 13, and I will continue as long as I am physically able, because I am a fan.

I’ve seen so many amazing shows, and they bring such joy into my life. The Ramones were joy incarnate and I’m beyond lucky that I got to be there that night!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

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