Spirit of ‘77
1977 that is. The Punk era – an era that left a lasting cultural impression (check out that DIY attitude to guerrilla film-making, the web etc – that is pure Punk) and lead me personally into the arms of the Holy Trinity: Drums, Bass and Electric Geetar holding services in the Church of Rock. It saved the world from the dreadfulness that was disco, for which the world should forever be grateful. And that period gave us the two and a half minute glories of the great Ramones. And now another member of that band has followed his fellows, Dee-Dee and Joey Ramone to a far-too-premature grave with the news that Johnny Ramone succumbed to cancer in his early fifties today. To many this won’t mean much – to those of us old rockers it means mountains. To those folk, my brother and sisters in loud, thrashing music and ear damage, I say let us join together in a chorus of Sheena is a Punk Rocker and pogo up and down before observing a two and a half minute silence as another little piece of our youth is taken from us. Then put some Ramones one the stereo, turn it up and tell the neighbours to go fuck themselves.
Yes, those of you who don’t remember the era are saying, hey, Joe, where you going with that punk album in your hand? It was just some old band, forget about it. Well, I know it’s only rock’n’roll. But I like it. Gods but I love it. Some of us Sold Our Souls for Rock and Roll and For Those About To Rock, We Salute You. We’re heartbroken today, but we will be Back In Black and when the mourning is over we will once more pick up our axes and have some Crazy, Crazy Nights. And for those who still wonder what the fuss is about then just get your ignorant ass over to any book on popular music and read that the Ramones are one of the few bands who changed the artistic and cultural landscape. Few have redefined popular tastes, but the Ramones did.