It was a show much like the 2,262 that came before it. Well, what
did ya expect, side three of Quadrophenia? There was
Joey, barely visible
beneath his now hopelessly anachronistic moptop except for a nose and
Granny glasses, spitting out the lyrics to each song in his patented nasal
whine with a shorthand that allows the audience to fill in the blanks. Johnny
in a muscle T-shirt with the legend, "Don't Fuck With Chuck!," his abbreviated
Chuck Berry rhythms churning into an unadulterated thrash, looking bored until
he jerks his head spasmodically, shaking his hair and forcing himself to up the
intensity level. C. Jay, the youngun', looking like a younger version of
original member Dee Dee Ramone, bass slung low, throwing himself into the
call-and-response while mouthing the classic Ramonesian haiku from "Commando":
"Fourth rule is.... eat kosher salami," totally immersed in a "Gabba Gabba Hey"
way of life. Drummer Marky (Bell) Ramone, surprisingly minimal, sporting what
appeared to be an outlandish wig, making him look like a rock & roll
version of Rip Taylor.
Yeah, it was the Ramones as I (mostly) remembered them, from
sitting in the front row at Max's Kansas City back in 1976 with about 40 other
initiates, choking back poppers and letting the band's amazing two-and-a-half
chords and a cloud of dust wall of noize wash over me like a warm shower. After
22 years, the Ramones, who played what they claim was their final show at the
Palace in Hollywood Tuesday night (Aug. 6), haven't changed very much, and in a
world where nothing's very certain, that qualifies as one of life's enduring
But all things must come to an end, and the uneasy alliance
between hippie flower-child Joey and gun-toting, white trash greaser Johnny
appears to finally be coming to an end. The band announced before a summer
jaunt on Lollapalooza that this would be it, and while it felt like the
longest good-bye since Magic Johnson--they played several farewell shows
in New York--this time it seems Da Bruddas really meant it.
Typically, for a band who
never managed to catch a commercial break, there was the predictable fuck-up...
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