Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Was a Teenage Ramone: A True-ish Story

Part Two: "Pinheads"

"Punk rock love is riding on her motorcycle early in the cold morning and you're holding on tight and steam is rising off of the river and you're thinking how she is maybe even better than the Ramones."

Aaron Cometbus

I sat close to her on the bleachers, half-watching a dress rehearsal of Grease.
"Does this play have any plot at all?" she whispered.
"We need a Ramones musical, y'know like Rock n' Roll High School but with big dance numbers."
She squeezed my arm with cool, slender fingers, "Let's call it, Glue!"
From somewhere, I heard a director shout "No! No! No!"
I feigned interest in watching as the actor playing Kenickie leaned in for his dressing-down. "We're doing "Pinhead" for the air-band - the fast version from It's Alive."
"Who's this we?" she slackened her grip.
"Um, D.K. and - uh-"
"D.K.'s gonna take off his shirt n' slacks and wear leather?"
"Whatever, he and Dan-O will do the guitar stuff but I'm Joey."
"You know Tharp would be a perfect drummer - she looks the part."
Tharp, though not unattractive, did bear passing resemblance to Tommy Ramone. "I can't say that. What if I told you that you looked like a Ramone?"
"Do you think that?"
"Huzebewah?" I stumbled.
She hopped down on to the gym floor with a smack. "Ask her, not me."

I did. She agreed. In fact they all signed on, until a few days before the Big Show when creative differences kicked in.

I was sitting with D.K., dressed in his usual finery, eating these grease-soaked cookies that the cafeteria specialized in when he said."I just don't feel like doing it, that's all." But wiping up crumbs into his hand, he looked away from me, which I took as a sign of irresolution. I waged a spirited, overly wordy defence and gradually the weight of my foolhardiness wore him down ever-so-slightly. Then my rival, the moussed-up Burger Palace Boy, preened on by, his head held up high and stuck up his ass simultaneously.
D.K. sneered, "I mean unless that poodle-boy's doing a Ramones song..."
I spoke almost truthfully, "Yeah! I hear they're gonna air-band, "I Wanna Be Sedated."
"I'm in - but you have to get me a cool guitar."

In the art room, while having her outline traced on a huge length of white paper, Tharp looked up at me and said, "I wanna be Joey."
I hadn't come this far to be stationed at the back, where she'd never even spot me, "I set it all up plus I've already got the jacket."
"Well, I don't even have the shades like that drummer dude wears."
"I'll get you a pair."
As the guy tracing her outline, came to to a finish at the tip of her head, she sighed, "Yeah, I'll probably do it then."

Dan-O never actually tried to weasel out but it did take me four days to make him stop giggling nervously at everything and actually ask his older brother to lend us his real band's drum kit and guitars (including, a slick red and black Ibanez Roadstar). In haste, I rounded up my frontline (minus my aviator shades-less drummer) for our sole practice for the Big Show - now only twenty-three hours away.

Next: "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement"

Since we're talkin' live Ramones and pinheads, here's March of the Pinheads, a viciously good show from 1979. It's two years after It's Alive and so we get more rocked-up takes on songs from Road to Ruin and even End of the Century. Also, the sound quality is decent, once cranked up really high.

Download March of the Pinheads

Nathan from Nothin' Sez Somethin' added these songs to our Ramones Appreciate Month

De Heideroosjes - Ode to the Ramones
Grover Kent - Running Out of Ramones
The Bittersweets - I'm Gonna Miss the Ramones
Body Jar - The Song Ramones the Same

and just be a great man he added this album:

Rockabilly Tribute to The Ramones


  1. I hope there is a Part 3 to this story, am loving it! This Ramone girl sounds captivating...


    That is a band I think you might like, and I think kinda fits your blog. It is their new ep leak, I included the cover and everything. You should check it out and post, if you think your readers will like it, I like the stuff you put on your blog and I love this, so I assume others will!
    Their name is Darling's Cabinet of Sundry Horror, and its kind of like gothic folk/protopunk for fans of the birtday party and the violent femmes, and maybe even marilyn manson or Tom waits

  3. Congratulations for your blog.
    Visit my new blogs (indie, lo-fi, post-rock, psychedelic, twee, shoegaze, krautrock) and tell me what you think about it. Regards.

  4. El

    Thanks for your good work over at cassettes and chocolate and for being a world-class commenter!

  5. Blair + Carvati

    Good luck with your endeavors guys.

  6. Aw thank you Jeffen, I always enjoy reading your work!


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