I don’t wanna walk around with you

ramones_stuff.jpg Finally there was something interesting on Dutch tv: a (shortened) version of a documentary about punk icons the Ramones.
End of the Century: The Ramones Story is also available on DVD. Fascinating to see how the band members could not stand each other, but kept on touring for over 20 years.

“The first night I watched it,” Johnny Ramone says, “I thought, ‘Whoa, this is dark.’ It actually disturbed my sleep. If someone asked, ‘Did you guys get along?’ I’d say no. But seeing a whole movie dedicated to our not getting along? It’s like we were a bunch of nuts!”

There were power struggles within the band, radically opposing political views, conflicts around girlfriends, the usual hassle about drugs and alcohol and the obsessive-compulsive disorder of singer Joey (who nevertheless appears to be the most sympathetic member). The documentary shows their first formative years, their rise to fame in CBGB’s, playing in London as an example to British punk bands, the failed attempt of producer Phil Spector to turn them into a supergroup, the difficult period of the 80’s, through to the deaths of Joey and Dee Dee Ramone and their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2002.

I had their music often on my walkman when I was in (rock ‘n roll) highschool. This documentary made me play their cd “All the stuff (and more)” again, which contains their first two classic records. 33 songs in 70 minutes. Various tunes still sound raw and energetic, like ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, ‘Gimme gimme shock treatment’ and ‘Commando’, while others sounds surprisingly poppy and mellow. The Ramones certainly had a sense for simple but highly effective melodies, which keep on starting over again in your head. One-two-three-four!

By the way, did you know there was a Ramones Musical?