A 5 And A Half Page Essay About The 70s Punk Band The Ramones

1591 words - 6 pages

The Ramones started a music revolution. They were the first true punk band. They could not play nor could they sing; that wasn't the point. Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy were just four boys from Queens, New York looking for a good time. The Ramones were one of the first and most influential punk bands of the 1970's.Joey Ramone, born Jeff Hyman, May 19, 1951, was the lead singer for the band. Like most of his generation, he remembered listening to rock'n'roll radio in the early 60's. "Rock'n'roll was a savior. It gave you the sense of being an individual. It was something you had-nobody else but you. I remember my father getting me a radio that you hooked on the windowsill and then listened to with an earphone. I used to listen to it under the covers and get caught!"1 Even though Joey credits the Beatles as his main influence, he had been into music much earlier. When he was a kid, his father gave him an accordion, which he squeezed until there was nothing left of it. When he was thirteen his grandmother gave him a full drum set. When Joey began to sing, Alice Cooper was his main role model. But Joey was getting tired of Forest Hills, and Forest Hills High, for that matter. He also recalls being kicked out of his mother's apartment, for his own good. Which isn't to say he doesn't get along with her, he even appeared with her on TV on "Geraldo"!2 Joey gets along well with his dad now too, though back then they hardly saw eye to eye. Actually, it was his Uncle Sy who was supportive of his musical aspirations. In his late teens, Joey journeyed out to Manhattan to discover himself. It wasn't a happy period. Joey didn't fit in well. His experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs landed him in the psych-ward, planting the seeds for numerous future Ramones songs.3Johnny Ramone, born John Cummings on October 8, 1951, was the only son of a construction worker. As a kid, all he ever wanted to do was be a baseball player. On February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. After seeing them, he, like millions of others, went out and bought a guitar. "I saw the Beatles and the Stones, then Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck. I liked guitar bands like Hendrix and Cream, but I couldn't figure out how to play like any of them, so I just gave up."4 Later, when Johnny saw bands like the New York Dolls, he realized that you didn't have to play like a guitar "god", and that most guitar "gods" cared more about self-indulgent guitar solos than they did songs.5 But first came several years of odd jobs and unemployment. His goal at the time was to try to be normal, which might have happened had he not gotten a construction job at the same building where his friend, Dee Dee, also worked. "We used to sit outside for lunch every day and look at girls, and talk about starting a band."6Dee Dee was born Douglas Colvin on September 18, 1952, and grew up mostly in Berlin. An army brat whose father was a career officer, he went to an army school in...

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