Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s and 70’s. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

The Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated”

Joey Ramone came up with the idea for this song after he burned himself with hot water and had to be treated at a hospital. Ramone would inhale steam from a kettle before concerts to help clear his nasal passages.

The chorus, where Ramone sings about “Nothing to do” and “Nowhere to go,” was inspired by their 1977-78 tour when they ended up in London around Christmas. It was their first time in the city, but it was pretty much shut down. Joey and Dee Dee stayed in their hotel and watched movies.

For Johnny Ramone’s guitar solo, he plays the same note 65 times in a row. Very punk.

This was the first song that Marky Ramone recorded with the band (he took over on drums for Tommy Ramone, who stayed on as a producer). He says the song was completed very quickly in the studio, and his part took just two takes. Regarding the musical inspiration for the song, he explained in an interview: “We always loved the ’60s groups: The Kinks, The Who, The Beatles, The Stones, Dave Clark Five, etcetera. And we loved what was done by The Searchers, a band from the ’60s from part of that British Invasion. So we attempted to do our way of doing it, our style, which came out great.”

The song has been used in a number of movies and TV shows. They include:

Carpool (1996)
Detroit Rock City (1999)
Daddy Day Care (2003)
Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003)
The Lather Effect (2006)
Terminator Genisys (2015)

TV Shows:
Gilmore Girls (2002 – “Application Anxiety”)
The West Wing (2003 – “The Long Goodbye”)
Cold Case (2005 – “Blank Generation”)
South Park (2007 – “Guitar Queer-o”)
ER (2007 – “Blackout”)
Constantine (2014 – “The Devil’s Vinyl”)

Ten years after this song was first released, the Ramones made a video for it. Directed by Bill Fishman, it’s one continuous shot of the band sitting at a table while various characters try to distract them. Fishman would later direct the group’s video for “Pet Sematary.”

Psychedelic Lunch

Punk rock as we know it was officially born in 1976 when New York City’s very own Ramones dropped their debut album, Ramones, on an unsuspecting public. Life would never be the same! I remember first seeing the album cover advertised in Circus magazine and being drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Stark, uncompromising attitude in a black and white photograph, the cover looked simultaneously intimidating and inviting. These guys looked as much like a gang as a rock and roll band, and it excited me. It made me want to hear what they sounded like, and when I finally did, I became a fan for life. Ramones stripped away all the excess elements of rock music and distilled it to its raucous core…a handful of basic chords, melodic hooks that stuck in your brain, and crazy lyrics which covered topics mostly unexplored by anyone at that time. All four members of the band took the last name Ramone, cementing the gang/family connection, making it easy to remember Joey (vocals), Johnny (guitar), Dee Dee (bass), and Tommy (drums). A handful of songs from this landmark release remain punk rock classics for all eternity; Beat On The Brat, Judy Is A Punk, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, 53rd And 3rd, and the immortal Blitzkrieg Bop. For the most part, the songs are delivered at breakneck speed (the entire record clocked in at 28 minutes) and are free of guitar solos or any other self indulgent forms of technique. Ramones is pure. Ramones is fun. Ramones is immortal. Hey Ho, Let’s Go!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

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