-scale=1.0,maximum-scale=1.0" : "width=1100"' name='viewport'/> Plum Street Chili: Rock'n'fucking'roll's Greatest Rhythm Guitarist - Bede's Beat

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rock'n'fucking'roll's Greatest Rhythm Guitarist - Bede's Beat

John William Cummings, better known as "Johnny Ramone," was born on October 8, 1948. The original members of The Ramones each took the surname Ramone to display their solidarity, unity and equality. The name was suggested by Dee Dee, who had heard that it was the surname that Paul McCartney used when he checked into hotels.


In a Guitar Player interview, collected in The Guitar Player Book, Johnny stated: "I guess that before me, people played downstrokes for brief periods in a song, rather than the whole song through. It was just a timing mechanism for me."

On the topic of The Ramones' songbook, Johnny often said that every Ramones song has everything a "regular" pop song has, only it's played really fast without any solos, so they simply end up being short.

On September 15, 2004, Johnny died of prostate cancer. He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Joey Ramone, who developed lymphoma, predeceased Johnny in 2001, Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroin OD in 2002. DeeDee's gravestone isn't far from Johnny's. The last of the original Ramones, Tommy, died, also of cancer, in 2014.

The best way to appreciate Jonny's artistry is to listen to the Ramones live. The "solos" that appear on Ramones records were actually overdubbed by either Ed Stasium, Walter Lure or Tommy Ramone. This is the oldest known footage of The Ramones performing at CBGBs on September 15, 1974:


Here is what was once extremely rare footage of The Ramones practicing a set, filmed at "the Fifth Ramone", Autoro Vega's NYC studio on February 3rd, 1975.


The most famous of The Ramones' live recordings is "It's Alive!" -- a full concert recorded on New Year's Eve 1977 at the Rainbow Theatre in London. The Ramones recorded four full concerts during their 1977 tour of the UK. The band's priority was to provide their fans with an accurate portrayal of their concerts, at which they played every song they'd recorded very very fast. To achieve this, they wanted to use a single, complete concert. Sire Records wanted to hedge its bets and cull the best performances from each concert and edit them together to form a "complete show". After 10 rows of seats were thrown at the stage after The Ramones left the stage for the last time at their New Year's Eve performance, and the London and UK musical press proclaimed it one of the best performances ever held at The Rainbow, Sire decided to use the entire New Year's Eve concert for a double-LP release. A little less than half-an-hour's worth of the New Years' Eve performance which was released on LP was also filmed;


October 8 is also the birthday of Tucker, who has done so very very much to keep we wanderers in the wilderness intact and in contact -- you may have noticed a few of us squatting all over Plum Street. Happy Birthday, Tucker!

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