End Of The Road For The Ramones; Eddie Vedder Shows Up

It's over, baby. Photo by ATN.

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

wire-rimmed

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

comforts.

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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