Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Ramones and the celebrating thereof can sometimes be a bittersweet undertaking. The actuality often gets overtaken by the individuals involved or just some kind of clunky revising of what seemed to be the most simple songbook on earth. Not so. There has to be heart, soul and spirit involved and I have to tell you that the songs have seldom sounded better than they did last night.

I knew it would be good but wasn't expecting monumental. And so many songs that you'd never have heard the actual band play. It was something of a pleasure then to go home with my ears ringing to the sound of some seriously joyous noise. These things did more for the memory of the band in this short hour than has been done in a long, long time. They distill the fabric of that ripped denim powerhouse with a genuine passion for rock'n'roll. Not the commodity known as punk rock. This was Riverdales-type good!

And of course there are the credentials...! Any lesser mortal dedicating "Glad To See You Go" to Michael Jackson might have seemed trite. "You're gonna smile, you're gonna laugh". Not half.

So here was that chunky Wild Kingdom guitar tearing it up with a double solid rhythm section. What a joy to hear these cracked off by a real drummer and not some clockwork monkey making short work on the old biscuit tins. I'm not taken to grinning uncontrollably but there was no other way. And the crowd was great. Some old enough to know better but we didn't care because the excitement was back. If you could trap this kind of energy in a jar then we'd be on to something and gas or electricity could go fuck themselves.

And there was a little bit of CB's about the room. Not even the second most salubrious spot in town but a pretty decent venue nonetheless. So I hope that some of you folks will go to Camden tonight and that it turns out to be the blast that Glasgow was. You kids out there in Scandanavia and Spain should be thinking about how to get these guys out to your backyard too because this is an exercise in everything that's positive about what made us what we are.

No cynical, misguided ego trip just a schlepp down memory lane in the company of the greatest pop catalogue on earth. It was always about the music and an hour in the glory of this will reinforce that. I might not have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. Leaving the place, people were heard to say that it was "better than any Ramones show they had ever seen". I'll leave you to draw your own conclusion to that. Murray saw it too so he'll hopefully second this emulsion. My thanks to Daniel Rey, a real gent and one of the great guitar wranglers. Grand to be able to catch up with him again. And as for the upcoming Joey album, Ed Stasium has all the raw material so it'll be coming out in due course. The fact that we'll finally get to hear it being the most important factor in all this.

CJ's site


murray ramone said...

I hadnt even planned on going, but it turned out a mate had persuaded his girlfriend to take the car and got in touch assuming I was going. I'm so glad I did, I sort of expected to be slightly dissapointed which is why I wasnt going to go but I wanted to see Daniel Rey more than anything. I was speaking to the drummer from roughmute who's mates hadnt bothered making the trek - "Its the only Ramones I'll ever see" and thats sad but true. What a show though ! It was like hearing the Ramones with the guitar bits from the albums intact ! They played great stuff from all over the place which made me want to pick up all the albums and listen to them again, something I havent done since Johnny died. The drumming was spot on, never heard of the guy before but he was exactly what was needed. A brief chat with Danny after the gig was the icing on the cake. Not to be missed. These songs are too good to be unplayed - I want to see it again now ! I had thought about putting them on in Edinburgh when I saw they had the Sunday night free, but I couldnt make the sums add up so I turned it down. I'd definately take the chance if theres ever a next time.

Murray Ramone

Anonymous said...

Bril!! Nice report as always Lindsay and also Murray's taste can be trusted too... I only wish I could see any of their upcoming gigs over here in Krautland but that won't happen as I'm A) outta country and if, B) I wouldn't spend a fortune to see the lads at a tiny support slot at the huge Toten Hosen festivals where they get max of 30 mins in the daylight, surrounded by kids.... not the atmosphere I'd enjoy. Oh boy! Especially as I've totally agree to that they'll kick ass as I luckily got at least to hear em "retort wise" from one of their california gigs my mate recorded plus a video from their São Paulo club gig.... such a tight outfit, I really enjoyed it! IMO the wigman can finally pack his bag and retire instead of boring (I didn't said torture) us with his ongoing tingel tangel touring, especially with a twat like Michele Graves on the mic. Had to say that. Dang, I really need to find me at least 24 hours of free time and somehow blitzkrieg to Berlin, even if it's only for their accoustic set at the Ramones Museum (still thinking about what that's good for... but hey, just imagine Joey smirkin'!). Did any of you blokes recorded their gig?
Bird's the word!! Cheers, Heiko

murray said...

I didnt record the gig, sadly - I almost did because I know the first band that played - Fire Exit, old school paisley punk rockers, mutual mates with Arturo Bassick and I would've taped their set for them if I'd been through on time, but my lift wasnt until later so I didnt bring the gear. I dont like recording surruptitiously as it stops me from enjoying the gig so much as I'm worrying if I've stopped the minidisc etc - easier to leave the stuff at the mixing desk, one minidisc on a feed from the desk and one with mics to get the room sound and mix them together later

the last recording I did for Vic Godard is now out as an official cd and sounds better than Loco Live yet cost little more than a citylink return and some time to produce

there was a guy there videoing the whole thing badly from the back, but I didnt speak to him about it

martin63 said...

Last night in London was a blast! Sadly only c.100 people there but everyone loved it - I have loaded some photos and videos onto Facebook and will also add the videos to YouTube. Apparently they will be back next year - whoo hoo!

murrayramone@hotmail.com said...

they probably sold more than 100 Ramones T-shirts in Gap in Oxford Street this week .....

how do you get people to go to gigs ?

speaking of which I see that Anvil are playing Edinburgh soon .....

martin63 said...

Very true Murray on the t shirts point. Re the getting people to gigs issue it does help to advertise a bit....and certainly that did not really happen with the CJ London show unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Looking at Martin's vids I can tell that they weren't shot in NYC -- the crowd is bouncing around to a song that ISN'T Blitzkrieg Bop. Punk is dead in NYC, at least for the moment, and the Ramones fanbase here is embarrassing.

It's unfortunate that only 100 people showed up to the show but to be realistic I think a lot of people think "it's the replacement bassist" with two guys." It's a shame.

Lindsay, when you said, "Leaving the place, people were heard to say that it was 'better than any Ramones show they had ever seen'" my first thought was "I bet those people only saw the post-Dee Dee Ramones. Was I right?

- Russell

Lindsay Hutton said...

Russell, I'd say that was right. However, the noise these three guys made was close to the real thing and the spirit in which they battered it out was truly inspiring.

When you consider how the Ramones T-shirt has entered almost "Hard Rock Cafe" type popularity, it's ridiculous that particularly on the first time through, these gigs aren't rammed. I didn't know that Gap did Ramones T-shirts.

I don't consider The Ramones in "punk" terms really and never did despite the fact that they didn't receive the deserved recognition when they were "alive". As for getting people out to gigs, the UK has always been a poor relation in those quarters and of course, NYC isn't the place it once was. No place is. Glasgow is still a place where magic can happen now and then.

Tuesday night was one of those as I believe The Dolls show was. I'm still knocked out at how the CJ surpassed all possible expectations. I'm curious to find out how busy the Wooden Shjips show in London was.

Anonymous said...

(Note: I gotta chop this comment up -- I got carried away and wrote a novel)

The NYC punk scene is dead compared to 5-10 years ago. I'm not even thinking '70s-'80s.

I don't know if it read that way, but no disrespect was meant to CJ and Daniel in my last comment (I don't know the drummer so can't say much about his playing). I saw CJ and Danial play twice and they were good Edit Anonymous said...The NYC punk scene is dead compared to 5-10 years ago. I'm not even thinking '70s-'80s.

I don't know if it read that way, but no disrespect was meant to CJ and Daniel in my last comment (I don't know the drummer so can't say much about his playing). I saw CJ and Danial play twice and they were good both times.

- Russell

Anonymous said...


What I was saying in my original comment, that is when I wasn't insulting the nu-Ramones fans, was that it's a shame that this tour is going to be added to the very lengthy list of "good tours that will be played to a handfull of people" (tho' I'd say 100 people is more than a handfull but you know what I mean).

I reckon everybody who has commented here knows the score so I don't know why I'm bothering, but my opinion about why it's happening is that a lot of venues think, "I have something w/ the Ramones' name atttached to it and I know I'm gonna get X number of people even if I don't bother promoting it. So why spend money?"

Another thing is that CJ apparently has no use for Mickey Leigh and I guess the feeling is mutual because CJ has never been invited to a Joey Ramone event that was sponsored by Joey's family.

So at least one of the two people who own the Ramones' name refuses to publicize him. So he lost the kind of logistical support, including media, that you see with the Joey and Johnny Ramone events.


Anonymous said...


Nor do I recall him ever being mentioned at ramones.com so he lost all that free internet publicity. And CJ's lack of internet presence has gotten even worse since ramones.com closed down. At least it had a message board with decent traffic and they didn't stop fans from posting info about him.

There's still the joeyramone.com site but again CJ isn't mentioned on the main site. And while his name isn't verboten on the board people are less likely to go out of their way to post news about CJ. Plus there's a hell of a lot less traffic at joeyramone.com (or CJ's site) than there was at ramones.com.

Arty's aite doesn't mention the tour either. Nor does it have a message board where fans can post about it.

I'm sure that some venues think that they're automatically gonna get the Ramones media machine (or whatever you want to call it) and the high name recognition but it's not happening. People hearing "the Hey Ho Song" on a TV commercial isn't going to put asses in the seats.

And it's my opinion that a lot of the people who buy Ramones shirts at Hot Topic in 2009 aren't gonna go to a CJ Ramone show. And a lot who might go are too young to go to a bar.

And here's one of the results of all that:

Subscribers: 3

I know the thing has only been up for a week, but c'mon, there's three people in the band. Plus they're in the middle of a european tour.

So the whole thing is FUBAR. It's not unfixable but it'll take some money, time, and effort.

I said earlier that some promoters probably think that they're gonna get X number of people whether they spend money and promote or not. It's possible that CJ feels the same.

I'll close out with a (perhaps pointless) story. I was introduced to Daniel Rey at a Martinets' show at the Lakeside Lounge. He seems like a really nice guy. Very forgiving too, lol. I was introduced to him by a mutual friend and the friend kiddingly made fun of the Martinets and hearing that I continued with the joke and just blasted the band.

The thing was that I must've said it with a straight face and appeared serious because after Daniel left my friend said, "do you know who that is?" Oops! But Daniel didn't even bat an eyelash even when I called the Martinets "horrible" and a bunch of other things that were worse.

Maybe I should have apologized but I figured it wasn't important enough to make a big deal out of it. And later I was taking photos right in front of the stage the entire set (and there at most like 40 people in the place) so I think he understood I was just dicking with him.

Sorry for the lengthy, meandering comments -- I just had my first cuppa of coffee!


Anonymous said...

PS: you don't have to read all that, let alone reply!


Lindsay Hutton said...

Hey Russell,

Thanks. Yeah - I understand your points but when all of that is said and done, this is something that is being done for love. The twisted politics and bullshit is rendered redundant. My opinion of Daniel is that he is more deserving of canonisation than that fucking so-called drummer of theirs. Brant Bjork is fifteen times the percussionist.

The music can't be killed. That's the important thing in all this. And Joey's memory. John and Dee Dee too but mainly for Joe because he was The Ramones for me. Especially laterly.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all that. Punk is a labor of love. Hard to deny it when nobody I know is making money off it. lol

My spiel about attendence was in reply to Martin & Murray mentioning it. Like I (think I) said, if CJ was concerned about attendence he could've easily promoted it. I don't have to say how -- he knows how to do it much better than I do.

I don't spend time thinking about the Ramones drama one way or the other. I don't even give a f*** about the drummer a couple people here is making fun of. My only thought about that is that I can't see myself seeing Michele Graves onstage. I don't care who he's playing with.

The only time I ever get annoyed with the drama is when some fanboy starts yelling and screaming about Ramones Inc or Linda Ramone or something lame like that.

Maybe I'm in the minority here but I would rather have Daniel Rey or Tommy Ramone produce Joey's CD. Just my tastes.


Lindsay Hutton said...

The attendance was better than I anticipated in Glasgow. I don't think it was well promoted but there was still a decent amount of people there.

I wouldn't support Marky's ventures and I don't rate him as a drummer. This is my own personal opinion. The Misfits are something that I know little or nothing about. It was all a bit Ian Astbury for my liking if you get my drift. Pantomime rock.

Again, my own opinion is that the upcoming Joey record should have been completed by Daniel. I think that would make it truer to Joe's vision, if there was one. That said, I just want to hear the songs. danny says that he sounds great and that's good enough for me.

Spikeytop said...

I went to the London show and thought there was nearer a couple of hundred people there.
Whatever the scores on the door it was a blinding night with a bit of moshing and surfing and excellent tunes very well played.
The band looked like they enjoyed it and thats good enough for me.
From a selfish point of view it was comfortable and I had a great view so well happy.