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Monday, June 04, 2007

Punk Guitar Heroes - Johnny Ramone!

I think by now, everyone has seen the documentary on the Ramones - End of the Century. You know all about the love and tension between the band members. And you certainly have your favorite Ramone. What more can I tell you that you don't already know, or have gleaned for yourself?

However, I don't think you can deny that there was no line-up like the original with Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy. It was a magical musical arrangement...profound in its 1-2-3-4 simplicity.

Johnny Ramone is the king of the speed power chord downstroke. In this photo, taken on February 16, 1977 at the Whisky a Go Go, you can see just how fast he's playing because his hands are blurry. This stoic, stern task master with a Mosrite guitar was an unstoppable freight train.

While I had plenty of opportunities to hang out with Dee Dee and Joey Ramone through the mutual friendship we had with Stiv Bators, I never got to know Johnny at all, despite being his and Linda's neighbor in NYC's Chelsea for a couple of years in the 80s. Our back windows looked upon each other's and we both shopped at the bodega that was on the ground floor of my apartment building. Around the corner was the infamous Chelsea Hotel, which we could both see from our windows, and next door to the Chelsea, two shops that I'm sure Johnny spent lots of time in - a vintage guitar dealer and a comic book shop. This is the Johnny Ramone I'd like to remember.

Johnny 2

Other June 4-specific stuff I just wanted to share

Today is my friend Julia's birthday! She's the same age as punk rock!

In 1919, the U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed suffrage to women, and sends it to the U.S. states for ratification.

In 1989 - The Tiananmen Square protests were violently ended in Chinese capital city - Beijing with armed soldiers and tanks. Recommended short-cut to understanding this and meeting some brave Chinese students: Michael Apted's documentary, Moving the Mountain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow nice little article, very good!