The Ramones were loud and fast – Everyone knows that, even the poor, blind saps who never loved the band. But the Ramones were many things, and gloriously so, from the moment of their inception in Forest Hills, New York, in 1974, until their final concert, 2,263, in Los Angeles on August 6, 1996.
They were prolific – releasing 21 studio and live albums between 1976 and 1996 – and professional, typically cutting all of the basic tracks for one of those studio LPs in a matter of days. They were stubborn, a marvel of bulldog determination and cast-iron pride in a business greased by negotiation and compromise. And they were fun, rock n’ roll’s most reliable Great Night Out for nearly a quarter of a century. Which seems like a weird thing to say about a bunch of guys for whom a show, in 1974 or ’75, could be six songs in a quarter of an hour.[…]
The Ramones’ place in rock ‘n’ roll history was already assured by 1978 with their first three albums: ‘Ramones’, ‘Leave Home’, and ‘Rocket To Russia’, all made in the span of 18 months, between February 1976 and the fall of ’77. When it was time to make records, Tommy says, “Our art was complete.” The art was the combined product of four strangely aligned personalities – all living within shouting distance of each other in the conservative, middle class enclave of Forest Hills, where their mutual needs as fledgling musicians and bored delinquents far the mess of differences and civil wars that could never quite bust them apart. Once a Ramone, always a Ramone.
Original Band members: