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The Ramones and Me

I didn’t run with a crowd that liked the Ramones. I didn’t run with much of a crowd at all. During that period of my life, I was on my own emotionally, completing my schooling, being very functional in my choices. Not so for my music. Inside those idiosyncratic choices there lived the Ramones.

I heard it and I loved it. “I Want to Be Sedated.” “The KKK Took My Baby Away.” “Blitzkrieg Bop.” I realize punk is supposed to be nihilistic, but I thought it was the most upbeat music ever. One of the songs would come on at a party, and I’d start hopping up and down, singing along. Those with me would say, “You know this song?”

The Ramones were part of a mishmash of groups I liked that included the Boomtown Rats, The Clash, Adam and the Ants, the Police, Squeeze, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello. Some of these bands—and those in them—became quite well-known. They weren’t at the time.

Now the last member of the Ramones has passed. Cancer took most of the group. Every once in a while I hear a song by the other bands—”London Calling” had a great resurgence during the Olympics. But the Ramones never pierce my current life. So while the occasion is sad, I appreciate the opportunity to go on-line (none of my albums from that time survived) and hit play. Elated, I shout: Hey, Ho, Let’s Go!

here’s to creative synthesis . . .

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