RIP Tommy Ramone (Jan 29 1949 – July 11 2014)

Correct me if you must that he was born Erdélyi Tamás. Insist if you must that he and Johnny and Dee Dee and Joey weren’t really brothers.

I won’t start believing that now, because I never stopped believing that Rock & Roll High School was a true story. (I shouldn’t need to add that I Wanna Be Sedated is unquestionably a true story. Because it’s a true story about all of us.)

The true story about the Ramones is that they showed the Clash’s audience in America that they didn’t have to pretend to give a shit about the queen, and that they have plenty to be pissed off about right in their own red, white and blue backyard. The Ramones reminded the world that America had invented the bored-and-shat-upon lower-middle class, and that a select few of that downtrodden number are talented enough to rock about it, forcefully and eloquently, in three and a half minutes or less.

The other eternal truth about the Ramones is that they helped save rock and roll from itself. American rock was going down a dark road when the Ramones appeared, and although it’s probably stretching it to say they reversed that course themselves, it’s a lot less controversial to say that punk rock, every wicked bit of it, was a decisive factor in slowing that sucky saccharine slide that popular music was taking.

All of the Ramones, or at least the elder (eldest) brothers, are gone now. It’s self-evident that means the Ramones are gone now. If there’s a rock and roll heaven, then you know that their hell of a band needs to step aside, because the Ramones are about to go on.

About editor, facilitator, decider

Doesn't know much about culture, but knows when it's going to hell in a handbasket.
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