The Ramones: Punking the Left


The Ramones were the original kickass punk band. Hard driving guitars, pounding drums, and simple, cerebral, and unpredictable lyrics belted out by an unlikely renegade front man made The Ramones the iconoclasts of the rock world. From their mockery of Beatles hair cuts, their wearing anti-fashion clothes, and their cut up satirical songs, they were a band that violently refused to fit in.

In many ways, The Ramones parodied the right to make fun of the left. Their fascist references were meant to ridicule the conformity of thought on the left, just as their play off of basic rock performed at ridiculous speeds and their unwarranted and unauthorized deviations from the radio formula were faux-innovations that both parodied mainstream rock n’ roll and showed how it could be reformed.

I had a chance to discuss The Ramones and punk rock’s impact on the contemporary music scene with awesome guitarist and conservative song writer Gary Eaton of kingsizemaybe and The Army You Have (Retracto and Occupy). Here are his thoughts, boiled down.

RO: So Gary, what do you think was the main driving idea behind punk music?

Gary Eaton: Songs were written to get a rise out of the hippies really. The hippies were such pussies. Punk bands would use their music as a sledgehammer to pummel the hippies.

RO: How did the punk rockers go about achieving that?

Gary Eaton: They wrote 2 minute songs because radio friendly bands like Rush and Styxx were taking over rock. They wanted to take it back to 3 chords and a cloud of dust.

RO: And what impact did punk rock have on you when it broke out on the scene?

Gary Eaton: For me it was a revelation. I fucking hate Rush and all those bands.

I couldn’t concur more. And to show how The Ramones tormented the left through self-parody, I’ve linked up the songs I think does the job best. We need more Ramones nowadays, and less stiffs in suits lecturing the youth “The bums lost!”




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