The folks over at Wolfgang’s Vault just put up a ’78 Ramones gig that is so damned great – and very much what their live shows were like: practically no breaks, DeeDee’s “1-2-3-4!” about the only ‘between songs’ chatter, and adrendaline, speed, and power chords. The Palladium, where this show was taped, is now sadly gone; the last band I saw there was Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
Damn. It makes my old, tired self exhausted just listening, but I can remember pogo-ing for the entire time they played at some shows I was at. My fondest memory – kind of my own ‘coming of age’ ritual, since I didn’t have a Sweet 16 – was going to see a Ramones show at Hofstra University: a bunch of us loaded into someone’s van. The energy was great, positive, aggro: when some Nazi punks showed up, the entire audience (& the Ramones) shamed them out of the room. But my coming of age ‘ritual’ was more specific than that: at some point during the show, I thought I was sweating obscenely because I’d rubbed my hands down my thighs and they were damp. So I went into the bathroom to splash some water on my face and neck and arms, but once I hit the bathroom area – which was better lit – I saw that my hands were actually bloody, not sweaty. I went into a stall and my thighs were streaked with blood, and finally I found a huge gash/hole that’d apparently been made by someone’s spike or safety pin or something. I wasn’t bleeding profusely by any means, but I hadn’t noticed and in all the jumping around had managed to get it all over me.
Ah, good times.
Do check out this show if you did or didn’t get to see the Ramones live. If you can only take a song or two, then I’d recommend the first two, “Rockaway Beach” / “Lobotomy” since that’ll give you the general idea, but they’re really on for the “Surfin’ Bird” / “Cretin Hop” bit of the show.