Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Now I wanna ... listen to some Ramones

"The smartest dumb band you ever heard": that's the verdict of Richard "Handsome Dick" Manitoba of The Dictators on The Ramones. Pauline Murray of Penetration also nails the New York quartet: "a dirty, east coast version of the Beach Boys".

Manitoba and Murray are just two of the punk luminaries and close associates of the band - including members of The Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Stranglers, Talking Heads, Suicide, Buzzcocks and Blondie - invited by the Guardian's Paul Lester to reflect on a band whose solid-gold classic self-titled debut album has just turned forty years old. It's all there: the sound, the look, the style, the chaos, the tour tales...

I remember hearing The Ramones for the very first time and thinking that all other music was completely redundant - when something so simple can be so effective and so much damn fun, why bother with anything else? Despite the myriad atrocities that my football club Newcastle Utd have inflicted upon their long-suffering supporters over the years, it's the source of some pride and pleasure that for home games the team continues to run out to 'Blitzkrieg Bop'.

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