In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« More Kids | Main | Where's Ian? »

August 11, 2006

Lex on the Ramones

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Lexington Green might -- might -- be an even bigger Ramones fan than Brian is. Punk junkies won't want to miss Lex's brilliant ruminations on what made the boys so great.



posted by Michael at August 11, 2006


Lex is resting now. He needs to regain his strength after spending 72 hours straight surfing YouTube. He sacrifices his vital essence so that we (who are not worthy) may enjoy the fruits of the best of the 16-year-old girl bands, in a manner of speaking.

When the Messiah comes the Ramones will descend from heaven and put on a show just for Lex.

Posted by: Jonathan on August 11, 2006 11:39 PM

Let's not get batty. Just how batty can we get? Take a look here.

Johnny Ramone is at #16, while below him you have:

39 Brian May of Queen [Ed: Bombast rock.]
45 Frank Zappa [Ed: Avante Garde rock.]
58 Dickey Betts [Ed: Southern rock.]
70 Eddie Van Halen [Ed: Pseudo-classical rock.]
82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd [Ed: LSD rock.]

Each one of those guys (and most of the others) is many, many thousands of times the guitarist that Johnny is. So why is he so high? Because he's influential, of course. He invented "Punk Rock". Which is...

Which music with overdriven amplifiers. It's still stinking up garages all over the country. I mean, why do we always give people extra points for influencing an artform straight into the toilet?

All of the people I listed above were innovators in their forms. So, why does 2- and 3-chord punk rock rate higher than them?

Posted by: onetwothree on August 11, 2006 11:55 PM

Hey onetwothree, identify this quote: "What's with the fourth chord, Lou?" And anyway, it's "onetwothreefour." Try to keep up.

Put the Ramones in context: Yes, the Silver Convention, the Bee Gees... Oh wait, did we forget that this was supposed to be rock and roll? At the time, it seemed that only the Ramones remembered. Guitar-bass-drums, the 101 Strings get the day off, no synthesizers, backbeat & barred E, E min, A, A min, A7 (whoa, arty!) chords – it was like a bucket of ice water dumped over your head while you were sleeping off a Budweiser overdose.

Zappa is another deal entirely. Remember him, Ozzie, & Joey Ramone versus Tipper Gore? Frank had respect for Johnny Ramone; do you think he might have known something?

Besides, that whole list is stupid. JJ Cale isn't even on it. Steve Cropper, who basically invented soul guitar, comes in at 36, while Keith Richards, who has to read it off index cards, is at 10. Ron Asheton of the Stooges at 29? I cringe when they break for a guitar solo. I want to scream at him "Jesus, don't touch that wah-wah pedal! I'm serious, dude! And keep it short, will you?"

I don't know what you're smoking, but I'm kind of annoyed you're not sharing it.

Posted by: Mitch on August 12, 2006 12:46 AM

OneTwoThree, you should do what I do, and never, ever, ever read Rolling Stone, an utterly worthless publication.

Then you won't be upset when they rate things in a different order than you would. You won't know!

Posted by: Lexington Green on August 12, 2006 12:55 AM

Johnny Ramone was almost solely responsible for an genre of music. That warrants a high rating in these types of lists. Also, technical proficiency, which the other guitarists you mentioned have in spades over Ramone, does not categorically trump creativity.

Posted by: the patriarch on August 12, 2006 10:18 AM

Reading all this stuff about The Ramones and watching the videos has made me wonder all over again why I never really liked them even though I liked so many of their contemporaries in the NY rock scene: Television, Patti Smith, New York Dolls, Talking Heads, etc, etc. Sure, there was a lot of corporate rock around in the mid-70s, but there was a lot of good stuff too. A goodly number of artists who started out in the 60s were still doing good work: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Lou Reed and others. In the midst of all this The Ramones never really stood out for me. I sorta liked the first album--it sounded like nothing I'd heard before. But to me they never seemed to get past that. It just seemed to me that if you'd heard one Ramones song you'd heard them all. They had a good sound, but there was nowhere to go with it and my appreciation of it burned out pretty quickly.

Posted by: Michael P on August 12, 2006 4:16 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?