October 19, 2010

Ramones Mania

Bomber jackets. What immediately comes to mind? The Ramones. Perhaps because my father owns every album, has every video they ever made, and still sleeps in his Ramones T-shirt. Or because when I wanted a new hair cut, I got long bangs, which my family proceeded to trademark the “Joey Ramone haircut.” The Ramones’ look is not only iconic in my household, but to almost anyone who owns a bomber jacket. Their look captivated the late 70s punk crowd, infiltrated the 80s hooligans and still repeats itself with skinny jeans, black and white striped shirts and of course the hair even with female audiences today. Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy may have been four Jewish boys from New York, but their legacy will remain on 53rd and 3rd for many devoted fans.

The Ramones struggled to achieve a certain level of recognition. Members were changing faster than their album tracks. They even worked with the notorious Phil Spector who the band gushed about his insane antics during some interviews later. The band struggled to stay vital in the 90s grunge era and called it quits in 1996. Joey never made it to the age of fifty. After his passing in 2001, Congress declared May 19th “Joey Ramone Day.” Dee Dee and Johnny were able to see The Ramones inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame before tragically joining with their brother Joey. The Ramones lived the rock and roll lifestyle of rebellion and drugs, yet when we remember them, it’s their music. My father has said that one of his greatest regrets is not seeing them perform. I hope there are other fans out there who don’t live with the same regret.

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