Today’s post is for celebrating the legacy of The Ramones, a band that managed to change the face of music in some small way by staying true to their vision.
This all started when I read with great sadness that Tommy Ramone (real name Tommy Erdelyi), the last founding member of band, passed away over the weekend. I only met him once at a Grammy event a few years ago, but he was a charming, soft spoken man if our brief conversation was any indication. Tommy played a major part in the success of the band, acting as their drummer for the first three albums and as one of their producers on several others, but also primarily responsible for their sound in the studio in the early days.
I hate to admit that I was never a big Ramones fan while they were at their peak. I shared a stage with them a few times and experienced their bandstand fury up close, which eventually led to a growing admiration for their singular journey through the music business, as they chose to stay the course of their vision at the expense of major commercial success.
Years later I was lucky to work on three Ramones DVDs (Have A Nice Day Vol. 1, Have A Nice Day Vol, 2, and Around The World) that definitely gave me a different appreciation of the band. Around The World was comprised mostly of behind the scenes footage shot by drummer Marky Ramone (Tommy’s successor) while the band was on tour, which gave an inside look at what the band was really like. So many artists have a different stage persona than their real lives (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but The Ramones were always just a garage band from Queens at heart, and that never changed during the course of the band’s existence.
For a glorified garage band, The Ramones made a major mark on the music world that we’re still feeling. “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” and “Rock n’ Roll High School” are songs that will survive for generations, which is more than 99% of so-called “hit” artists can say. There was a quiet genius in their music though, which is a good lesson for anyone getting into the music business today or any other day. Read more on Forbes.