The Ramones

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"Hey, ho! Let's go!"


1-2-3-4! The Ramones, an American rock band first formed in 1974, are widely regarded as the first Punk Rock group.

Their influence on the Punk Rock movement was musical rather than political. While Sex Pistols or The Clash's lyrics focused on sticking it to the man, The Ramones prefered to talk about common juvenile themes, like love, drugs, alienation and cheap horror movies. In contrast to the luxuriant symphonic rock that was dominant at the time, they wrote very simple, very fast songs. Their other schtick was to adopt pseudonyms; all the various members of the band went by "[First Name] Ramone" even though none of them were related, and (for that matter) none of them had that surname in real life. While their influence on rock music is widespread (one magazine ranked them the second-greatest band ever, behind only The Beatles), their records never sold well and they toiled on in relative obscurity for many years before finally giving up the ghost in 1996.

In an all too bittersweet way, the band are now arguably far more famous and are given more credit now than when they ever were performing, and after 3 of the original members have died.

The Ramones provides examples of the following tropes:

"Beat on the brat, beat on the brat, beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah!"

  • Big Applesauce: Played a major role in forming the New York punk scene.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Unlike other NYC Bands, They were not from Manhattan but Forest Hills, Queens.
  • Control Freak: Johnny Ramone.
  • Cover Version: The entirety of Acid Eaters consists of this. Also, "Do You Wanna Dance?" (Bobby Freeman), "Surfin' Bird" (Trashmen), "California Sun" (The Rivieras), "Needles and Pins" (The Searchers)... and two of their greatest hits, the theme for the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon, and Tom Waits' "I Don't Want to Grow Up".
  • Dead Artists Are Better
  • Downer Ending: On so many levels. From all accounts, Joey and Johnny never did resolve their differences. The band never did achieve the big hits they were chasing for 20 years. The band were thoroughly dissatisfied with how their last show came off. Joey succumbed to lymphoma in 2001, Deedee died of a heroin overdose just over a year later, and Johnny died in 2004 from prostate cancer.
  • Filk Song: "Pet Sematary"
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Joey is Phlegmatic, Johnny is Choleric, Dee Dee is Melancholic and Marky is Sanguine.
  • Grief Song: "The KKK Took My Baby Away"
  • Heavy Meta: "Rock and Roll High School" and "Rock and Roll Radio"
  • "I Want" Song: Many songs contain the phrase "I Wanna" or "I Don't Wanna."
    • "I Wanna Be Sedated," "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement," "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You," "I Don't Wanna Be Learned/I Don't Wanna Be Tamed," "Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy," "I Wanna Be Well," "I Wanna Live."
    • Partial Exceptions: "I Just Want To Have Something To Do," "I Wanted Everything," "I Don't Want You," "I Want You Around," "We Want The Airwaves"
  • Music of Note
  • No-Hit Wonder: Despite being cult legends, their highest selling album peaked at #44.
  • One of Us: their Spider-Man Theme cover cements their geek status.
  • Pop Punk
  • Power Ballad: "Poison Heart".
  • Protest Song: "My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)", an anti-Ronald Reagan song that Republican Johnny Ramone hated.
  • Punk Rock: One of the bands that defined its ethos.
  • Refrain From Assuming: "Blitzkrieg Bop" is not "Hey Ho Let's Go".
  • Shout-Out: John Cusack's character Jake Anderson is wearing a Ramones T-shirt in a scene from Must Love Dogs.
    • And one Teenage Bottlerocket song has the singer giving a girl his Ramones sweatshirt.
  • Signature Song: "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "I Wanna Be Sedated."
  • Single-Stanza Song: They were quite partial to this one. Examples include "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "Listen To My Heart," "It's A Long Way Back."
  • Spelling Song: Motorhead wrote one about the band, "R-A-M-O-N-E-S". The band later did a Cover Version themselves.
  • Stage Names: Taken by all of the group's members. None of them are related.
  • Subdued Section: "Blitzkrieg Bop" of course.
  • Take That: To a lot of Album-Oriented, Progressive, baroque, guitar-solo filled music that dominated most of The Seventies.
  • Teenage Death Songs: "7-11," "53rd & 3rd."
  • The Big Guy: At 6'6", Joey towered over every other member and most other musicians.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Almost every song.
    • To be honest, it was more like two chords...
    • Which could be attributed to Johnny Ramone's hatred of guitar solos. They were originally started because they "had gotten bored with everything else" and described '70 rock as overextended jams.
  • Today X, Tomorrow the World!: "Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World."
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Typically the songs make some general sense, but sometimes there's some... odd insertions (like the whole "Do you like bananas?" bit on "This Ain't Havana").
    • Could be a reference to "Havana Affair" from their first album.

PT-boat on the way to Havana
I used to make a living, man
Pickin' the banana