Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: the ramones (page 1 of 2)

The Lyrics To Judy Is A Punk Without Research

Jackie’s a drunk
Judy’s a runk
They bobo fall-a wall-a with the SPA

(Yah-wooh)

And Oh I don’t know why
Oh, I don’t know why
Why’d you die?
(Oh, yeah)
Why’d you die?

Second verse, same as the first

Jackie’s a drunk
Judy’s a runk
They bobo fall-a wall-a with the SPA

(Yah-wooh)

[CHORUS]

Third verse, different from the first

Jackie’s a monk
Judy is a skunk
They both wannaga Frisco joined the FLA

[CHORUS]

 


I’ve been listening to this song since I’m 14 years old, and never known what the fuck Joey was talking about. I know the sounds he’s making, but the words? Not a prayer.

Now: go listen to the song and try to decipher that third line. (The tune’s a minute-and-a-half, so you definitely have time in your day.) Write down what you think it is. (WARNING! Don’t go to YouTube because the lyrics are printed right under the video.)

Did you get it? Try again. Try a million fucking times. You’ll never guess; I certainly didn’t.

Ready?

Sure?

Some people enjoy mystery’s warmth to the chill of naked fact, and if you’re one: leave now.

Okee-doke, here’s the whole first verse:

Jackie is a punk
Judy is a runt
They both went down to Berlin, joined the Ice Capades

I swear those are the real words that Joey is singing. Listen again knowing what they are.

Now you can hear it, right?

Questions:

  • What the fuck does that even mean?
  • How does someone from Queens pronounce “Ice Capades” like that? (I actually know. Joey Ramone’s accent is perfectly decipherable. His normal speaking voice was a thick, nasal, glottal, consonant-swallowing Queens accent, but he imitated the British punks Glam rockers when he sang. If Mike Francesca did an impression of Joe Strummer Ian Hunter, it would sound the same.)

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Be A Different Song

Enthusiasts, I was vague in my wording, which is a sin. Language was stolen for us by Prometheus and eleven of his wacky buddies from a Las Vegas casino; for this, they were chained to boulders for eternity and eagles randomly came by to eat their nipples. That you didn’t know when the eagles were coming back was the worst torture: if eagle-time were always noon, then at least you could steal yourself for the de-nippling.

What are you talking about?

Gods and legends. Like always.

Someone should eat your nipples.

Go away, I’m talking to the Enthusiasts.

They should have their nipples eaten, too.

Why?

They know what they did.

Regardless, I’m actually interacting with the nice people for once instead of ignoring emails and making fun of the Comment Section.

How so?

I asked them to name the BEST EVAR song whose title was a woman’s name.

Sexist.

I was going to ask about the BEST EVAR man’s name song.

Suuuuuuure you were.

Swear.

Uh-huh

Anyway, millions of Enthusiasts wrote in with their picks, but like I said at first: I was unspecific in my request. What’s the point of Rock Nerd lists and bullshit unless it’s picky and arbitrary? There’s no fun in arguing about something as nebulous as “Best Song,” but “Best Song by a Band with a Really Short Drummer?” That’s a serious Rock Nerd party right there, my friend.

So: we reduce the entrant pool by upping the requirements. We look for not just the Best Song containing a Woman’s Name in the Title, but Best Song in which the Woman’s Name is the Whole Title.

This means My Sharona is out (not that anyone voted for it) and so is Polk Salad Annie and Ruby, Don’t you Take your Love to Town. Sheena is a Punk Rocker is also, sadly, disqualified.

But The Ramones still make the list:

An underappreciated classic from their most-appreciated album. Of note: Joey managing to rhyme “Ramona” with “come over,” and declaring that the titular Ramona was, in fact, a spy for the BBI. What is the BBI, you ask? Excellent question. You should ask Joey.

Also of note: the intralyrical band member shout-out. This is an extraordinarily rare Rock Move, but when performed well, it wows the judges. Examples can be found at the end of Surrender by Cheap Trick and in the bridge of Girls, Girls, Girls by the Crue.

Next up is something by the Allman Brothers:

Nah, I’m fucking with you. This is what Hakim Bey would call a TAFZ (Temporary Allman-Free Zone).

What is it with you and the Allmans?

If they wanted me to like them, then they shouldn’t have talked so much shit about the Dead.

You pick a side and stick with it, huh?

I’m loyal.

Talk about Dolly Parton.

If you don’t like Dolly Parton, then you’re wrong.

Anything else?

Nope.

You’re the greatest undiscovered literary talent in America.

Why, thank you.

Just continue.

BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!

The keen-eyed will notice that this song’s title is actually Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), and therefore not eligible. The keen-eyed should remember what I like to do to people’s eyes in the stories I write. Bruce gets a pass because he is Bruce.

Could’ve gone with Rosalita.

Rosalita doesn’t have the line about Madame Marie in it. Therefore, Sandy is better than Rosalita.

SLAP!

Did you just slap me? How is that even possible?

Don’t worry about it.

Ow.

Go on with your list and know that I’m watching you, buster.

Ow.

Bunch of you chose Gloria, but you all chose the wrong one and should be ashamed of yourselves. I advise you begin drinking heavily. Sure, Rock Nerds are supposed to worship Van Morrison and Patti Smith, but I like brunettes with unruly eyebrows and growly voices in spangled jumpsuits. Plus, the synth riff is killer.

I’ve posted this before; I don’t care: I’ll post it every day until I die. Little Richard on all the cocaine in the entire world.

Jesus, my gums are getting numb watching him.

If you rub your dick on the screen, you’ll be able to fuck all night.

SLAP

Why!?

You’re vulgar.

Violent is worse than vulgar!

Also more persuasive. Stop being coarse.

Here’s something wholesome:

Shortly after this performance Buddy Holly’s plane would be shot from the sky by a rocket launcher-wielding Don MacLean.

And there’s Lorelei by the Pogues, and Angie by the Stones and Victoria and Lola by The Kinks and that one from Rod Stewart that was kind of about him being molested. The Band did Ophelia AND Caledonia AND Evangeline, because it’s more fun to write about people with interesting names; Beatles had Michelle and Eleanor Rigby and Elvis Costello wrote Alison and Veronica.

But I like this one:

HE LOVES BERNADETTE SO MUCH.

Dude.

It’s an exciting tune. I got aroused.

Sexually?

Yes.

SLAP

You had to know that was coming.

I think I’m into it now.

Ew.

And Levi Stubbs was Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, so this wins.

EXCEPT:

Yup, it’s the love ballad sung by a grown man in a kitty suit.

Listen to it! It’s one of the prettier rock ballads ever written, plus no member of KISS besides Peter Criss appears on the track, which makes it by default better than the songs the band members played on.

Okay, I’m done.

That’s how you wrap it up for the nice people?

Yeah, fuck ’em.

Okay, yeah.

Rock Nerd Fight!

Okay, Rock Nerds: time to throw down. Here’s the question:

Who besides Joey Ramone could get away with pronouncing the word “pins” that way? Seriously: who?

Okay, fight.

The Tears I Gotta Hide

Don’t forget that Joey Ramone had quite a lovely, if oddly-accented, voice. Also, someone stopped by the studio with a twelve-string and tuned it for Johnny.

My Brain Is Hanging Upside-Down

Things to remember today:

  • Steven Tyler and Ted Nugent both legally adopted their underage “girlfriends” so they could transport them across state lines without any trouble from that pesky ol’ Mann Act.
  • No matter how many women you beat, if you can carry a football, you deserve a statue.
  • Ronald Reagan laid a wreath at the grave of SS soldiers, and then later expressed regret for “opening old wounds.” Not sorry that he brought flowers for the men who ran concentration camps. Sorry that people got all riled up over it.
  • That pissed Jeffrey Hyman off, and he wrote a song about it. (How he got Johnny to play on it is anyone’s guess.)

Cruisin’ Around In My GTO

God bless The Ramones, and save a prayer for P.J. Soles.

Got Your Surfboard?

Take Friday out to the woods, to a forgotten cabin hidden in the forest where the trees soak up all the screams for help. Do things to Friday with your hands, and with a hammer, and with your imagination.

Don’t let Friday tell you what to do.

 

By Any Other Name

We need to keep up with the times, gents! What if we made like The Ramones and all changed our last name to “Grateful Dead?” I would be Bobby Grateful Dead, Bobby said.

Last names should be easy to spell, Billy said.

Doesn’t that sound a bit Jewish, Mickey said?

Can everyone pronounce it on the first try, Keith and Mrs. Donna Jean said, then went back to choking each other.

No batter, no batter, Phil said because he had skipped the meeting to watch a softball game.

What’s a last name? Pig said.

Rejected Ramone Names

  • Gaylord Ramone
  • D’Brickashaw Ramone
  • Fleshlight Ramone
  • Pops Ramone
  • Poops Ramone
  • Franklin “The Alabama Tusheewagon” Ramone
  • KRS Ramone
  • Ramòn Ramone
  • Adolf Ramone
  • Rappin’ Rodney Ramone
  • Sunshine Ramone
  • Black Snake Ramone
  • Kim Jung-Ramone
  • Pope John XXIII Ramone
  • Itchy Ramone
  • Enomar Ramone
  • Dee Dee Ramone (Already taken.)

New York City Really Has It All

Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone by Marky Ramone is the latest, and probably last, in a rather specific sub-genre of rock books: Fuck Johnny Ramone. There have been a number of these tomes written, but as Marky is pretty much the only Ramone left alive (C.J. was eaten by a crocodile in Idaho under rather suspicious circumstances,) this will be the ultimate addition to the library.

Marky was the second and fourth drummer in The Ramones, which has led to him being called “the Grover Cleveland of Punk Rock” by me just now. The original drummer, Tommy Ramone had had enough of Johnny’s misery and Joey’s mental instability and Dee Dee’s mental incongruity. (They also would not let him smoke in the van. That is true.) So, he went back to being plain old Tommy Erdelyi and Marc Bell got to take his place behind the drums and in the van.

The van is important to Ramones lore. It is seen as a testament to their working class roots and pragmatic, DIY spirit. It was, in reality, a diesel-powered symbol of Johnny’s stinginess. A gig anywhere from DC to Boston would see them hop back in the van for the long ride home, instead of shelling out for a hotel room. There was no smoking in the van.

It was a weird and scuffling existence. None of them seem particularly bright, except for Tommy (who, if you’ll remember, gleefully sprinted away from these unpleasant outer-boro goons at the first opportunity.) In Marky’s book, Dee Dee is more of a scamp; whereas all other books uniformly portray him as an insane former child prostitute who enjoyed stabbing people.

Johnny Ramone was an asshole. There’s simply no other way to put it. He liked saying asshole things and doing asshole stuff and hit women and rooted for the Yankees. He ran the band like it was a plumbing-supply company in Bayhurst. He fucked the lead singer’s girlfriend. Then, he married her. Johnny did not allow smoking in the van.

And poor Joey. Poor, sick, crazy-as-shit Joey. Counting and touching and not touching and counting again. Stepping up and down and getting him in the van could take hours. Most band meetings were held in the can outside Joey’s house: they knew they’d be there for a while.

But Joey looked like this in his blue jeans, and sounded like this when he clung onto that microphone for dead life in that inside-joke British accent of his:

The Ramones are all dead now, pretty much. Long live The Ramones.

Hey ho, let’s go.

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