Too Tough To Die: The Legacy of the Ramones

The-Ramones-wallpaper1As you may have heard, this past weekend the world lost the last original member of punk pioneers, The Ramones. Tommy Ramone’s death could inspire a lot of things, (like an investigation into how Ozzy Osbourne and Keith Richards are still kicking and he’s not,) but it inspired us here at B-Sides to look back at his band’s legacy. A legacy that is constantly credited with not only popularizing punk rock, but basically inventing it.

The Ramones started playing in the mid 70’s, a time full of bands who’s live shows featured long songs, full of meandering impromptu jam sessions, and stuffed with overlong, extravagant solo’s. Though plenty of people were clearly eating it up, there was a new scene starting to come together, full of fans hungry for something a little moreā€¦ let’s say, “concise.” The Ramones were happy to oblige, storming stages with songs that rarely approached the three minute mark. While their influence took decades to be seen commercially, it only took months to be felt artistically.

Punk’s initial arrival to worldwide audiences surely felt The Ramones’ presence, but it’s still lingering heavily today in all genres of rock. The Ramones fast paced, three chord progressions are a clear influence on some of the biggest names in pop-punk, like Green Day, and Blink-182. Green Day even played the bands 2002 induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Plenty of other bands have made their fondness of the Ramones clear; Metallica, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rob Zombie, U2, The Offspring, and other incredibly successful bands were featured on the 2003 tribute album, “We’re a Happy Family: A Tribute to Ramones.New Found Glory actually put out an entire album of Ramone covers, after playing a cover set at the 2011Bamboozle Fest, with none other than the Marky Ramone on drums.

The Ramones songs may have been nice and short, but their impact on music will be hanging around for years to come.

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1 Response

  1. Tommy was my dearest and oldest friend.
    We grew up together in Forest Hills Queens New York.
    I went to Stephen A Halsey Jr High and Forest Hills High school with him.
    He got me to pick up the bass guitar and enter into the crazy world of rock music.
    We played in several bands together (Triad & Butch) here in NYC over the late 60's and early 70's. We built and managed Performance Studios in NYC, a recording/rehearsal studio the Ramones started in. I worked with him when he was in the Ramones and well after he left. He had an advanced musical foresight, well ahead of the times in forming and being part of the Ramones. He was a great musician on the guitar, then the drums, later on the mandolin, banjo, fiddle and many more instruments. His musical expanse bridged from Punk to Indie Bluegrass.
    I mourn the passing of the last of the original Ramones, my friend and a true musical visionary.

    Monte A. Melnick
    "On The Road with the Ramones"

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