Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Ramones Perform "Blitzkrieg Bop"

In honor of the Ramones t-shirt I bought today; Steve Sailer on this band "who remain ridiculously influential all these decades later" — "Blitzkrieg Bop" and the 10,000 Hour Rule. Mr. Sailer:
    Guitarist Johnny Ramone came up with a sort of ideological explanation for the Ramones' linear, utterly unfunky style: the blues had dominated electric guitar music for so long that it was getting boring, so it was time for white people to come up with their own form of rock stripped of black influence.

    Strikingly, Johnny's ideology of stylistic racial separatism proved hugely influential and remains relatively dominant even today. It fit in well with black grievances over whites "stealing" their stylistic innovations.

    It was a pretty good idea in the 1970s, but here we are in 2013 and people are still wearing Ramones t-shirts.

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Blogger 導美娜 said...

I don't know if you're familiar with 102.1 The Edge (CFNY) but since you grew up in Buffalo I assume you have. Anyways, Allan Cross started a great show called The Ongoing History of New Music and there was a series on Punk. He suggested that The Ramones were actually trying to make, in their own way short, sharp, loud and fast pop songs. He drew a parallel, oddly enough, with The Beach Boys. So while new and white, it wasn't entirely new (at least according to Cross).

As an aside, how to explain the appeal of punk for Bad Brains?

May 19, 2014 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

Hi JJ,

Yep, I remember CFNY, and the weirdness of CIUT, which would play the latest hit by Madonna followed by industrial bands like Zoviet France.

Allen Cross's interpretation is right on. The affinities are clearly there.

We have a local station here, WRUR, with a program called "Whole Lotta Shakin'," which plays an ec;lectic mix of pure rock 'n' roll, in which you can here the clear link between '50s rock, '60s surf-rock, '70s punk, and '80s punk-pop. The program's description:

"Since 1984, 'Playing music inspired by the rock 'n' roll explosion of 1955-1966: From the original artists in the mid-50's through today's rock 'n' rollers that carry on the tradition! Greasy R&B, Rockabilly, Instrumental, Surf, Twist, British Invasion, Garage Rock, Novelty, Glam, Pub Rock, a bit of 'late 1970's & Punk/New Wave for good measure, and all the artists who have sparked the rock 'n' roll revivals starting in the 1980's and still going strong today, with an emphasis on music created right here in Rockin' Rochester!"

But yes, how to explain the Bad Brains? I can only offer the explanation from the film The Song of Bernadette (1943):

"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible."

May 21, 2014 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Procopius said...

Blues in America, Prog in Britain. For artists like the Sex Pistols and others across the pond, the rebellion was against the "Royal Family of Rock" Pink Floyd, and others of that sort (Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, etc...), maybe the "whitest" rock music ever made

May 31, 2014 at 9:16 AM  

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