Remember The Ramones - The Fleshtones

from the forthcoming album Wheel Of Talent (2014)

At this year's Grammy Awards, there was great hubbub over 2014 marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  For good reason.  Nobody was better.

However, 2014 also marks another important anniversary: the formation of The Ramones in a Forrest Hills, NYC garage.  Long before The Clash or The Sex Pistols, there was a tiny room with Dee Dee yelling 1-2-3-4.  It blows my mind that this happened 40 years ago.  It equally blows my mind that this happened only ten years after Beatlemania.

When thinking how revolutionary they were, just consider that The Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1974 were:

1.  The Way We Were by Barbara Streisand
2.  Seasons In the Sun by Terry Jacks
3.  Love's Theme by Love Unlimited Orchestra
4.  Come And Get Your Love by Redbone
5.  Dancing Machine by The Jackson 5
6.  The Loco-Motion by Grand Funk Railroad
7.  TSOP by MFSB
8.  The Streak by Ray Stevens
9.  Bennie And The Jets by Elton John
10. One Hell Of A Woman by Mac Davis

Meanwhile deep in Queens, The Ramones were playing Blitzkreig BopBeat On The Brat, and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.  Soon after, they would venture into the East Village and find an audience at CBGB's.  Soon after that, they would forever change music without releasing a single gold record.  Note that their only gold record would be the greatest hits compilation Ramones Mania.

Hats off to The Fleshtones for gracing us with this song.  It is fitting that this song comes from them, as they too were mid-70's NYC punks who found their way onto the CBGB stage.  The lightning chords, the overdriven tones, the thundering beat, and the anthemic vocal stylings are all reminiscent of The Ramones.  I dig the CBGB references,  I dig that they count to four, I dig that they end with the chord progression from Teenage Lobotomy.  I just dig it.

So, how do I Remember The Ramones?  I've seen them a dozen times, but the gig that most comes to mind was an impromptu show at a small bar in Bay Shore, New York, many moons ago.  My brother and I went.  It was a ferocious hour of music with two-thirds of the place becoming a mosh pit.

As is often the case, most moshers follow a code where - despite the pushing and shoving - nobody ever gets too viscous.  However, on this night there was a dick in the crowd looking to hurt people.  We watched as he hit a girl in the eye with a premeditated elbow, knocking her to the ground.  This outraged my brother who soon returned the favor.  This only served to further incite the dick who was now slamming back and forth, flailing his arms and fists.  The climax came with my brother stage diving on top of the dude.  Watching him airborne - with Johnny Ramone a few feet behind him in a chainsaw strum - is the greatest photo I never took.

So, that is how I Remember The Ramones.  Gabba Gabba Hey.

Click Here to listen to Remember The Ramones on SoundCloud.

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