Wednesday, April 25, 2007
How Punk Rock is Done
Stiv Bators lords over the empty and trashed stage at the end of a show with the Disconnected band with special guest, Dee Dee Ramone. Another special guest is Dead Boy, Jimmy Zero.
If this isn’t the triumvirate of punk rock royalty, I don’t know what is…A Ramone and two Dead Boys…. the best punk rock lyricists, too. Yes, for all of his exquisite poetry, beautiful pouty lips and wide eyes… Richard Hell may have been the crown prince of punk poetry alongside Tom Verlaine and the Bowery’s godmother, Patti Smith…but, they were in another league altogether. Dee Dee Ramone was the best bad-boy punk rock songwriter bar none. A wise-ass and clever as hell, he still had a terrific turn of phrase, and so did Stiv. You didn’t listen to the Dead Boys or the Ramones for their subtlety.
And there was nothing subtle about this once-in-a-lifetime show. This is how punk rock was supposed to be. Unhinged and unpredictable, with stage diving and stage trashing before the night was over.
Notice the crowd. Sure, there’s a punk girl right up front…but most of the people are not what one thinks of when they think of punks. They’re relatively normal suburban kids coming in for a good time. So were the Dead Boys. And for what its worth, the Ramones too. Sure the Ramones were from New York City… but they were from Queens – bridge and tunnel territory… the boroughs. Of course, if you’re looking for where its at in NYC right now, I’ll tell you…. It IS in the boroughs. Brooklyn. Williamsburg specifically, with some good rock n roll action in my old stomping grounds - Park Slope, and that stretch of Atlantic Avenue that traverses Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill and leads to Red Hook. The 718 has never been hotter. A good thing, since the downtown scene that the Ramones and Dead Boys and Richard Hell and Television and Patti Smith all made famous is gone gone.
Punk rock is alive and well in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This is outside the Pass Out Record Shop on Grand Ave.