1-2-3-4! The Ramones, an American rock band first formed in 1974, are widely regarded as the first Punk Rock group.Their influence on the Punk Rock movement was musical rather than political. While the Sex Pistols or The Clash's lyrics focused on sticking it to the man, The Ramones prefered to talk about common juvenile themes, like love, drugs, alienation and cheap horror movies. In contrast to the luxuriant symphonic rock that was dominant at the time, they wrote very simple, very fast songs. Their other schtick was to adopt pseudonyms; all the various members of the band went by "[First Name] Ramone" even though none of them were related, and (for that matter) none of them had that surname in real life. While their influence on rock music is widespread (one magazine ranked them the second-greatest band ever, behind only The Beatles), their records never sold well and they toiled on in relative obscurity for many years before finally giving up the ghost in 1996.In an all too bittersweet way, the band are now arguably far more famous and are given more credit now than when they ever were performing, and after three of the original members have died.
"Hey ho! Let's trope! Hey ho! Let's trope!":
Album Title Drop: In "Do You Remember Rock n' Roll Radio" for End of the Century.
"It's the end, the end of the 70s It's the end, the end of the century"
Cover Version: The entirety of Acid Eaters consists of this. Further, the band covered their 60's pop influences throughout their career. On their very first album, otherwise all original material, the boys included a cover of "Let's Dance" (Chris Montez), and their last album started with Tom Waits' "I Don't Want to Grow Up". Other notable covers included:
"California Sun" (The Rivieras)
"Do You Wanna Dance?" (Bobby Freeman)
"Needles and Pins" (The Searchers)
"Surfin' Bird" (Trashmen)
... and two of their most unusual covers, the theme for the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon, and Motorhead's tribute song to the Forest Hill Four themselves, "R.A.M.O.N.E.S."
Dead Artists Are Better: They kept touring and recording relentlessly, but never got much wealth or recognition for it... until they disbanded and three of four members had died.
Downer Ending: On so many levels. From all accounts, Joey and Johnny never did resolve their differences. The band never did achieve the big hits they were chasing for 20 years. The band were thoroughly dissatisfied with how their last show came off. Joey succumbed to lymphoma in 2001, Dee Dee died of a heroin overdose just over a year later, and Johnny died in 2004 from prostate cancer.
Heavy Meta: "Rock and Roll High School" and "Rock and Roll Radio"
It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Sometimes Joey enunciates words in rather nonstandard ways. For example, in "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement," he manages to say "basement" in one syllable: "bas'm." In "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," he pronounces "Massacre" with a long e sound.
"I Want" Song: Many songs contain the phrase "I Wanna" or "I Don't Wanna". A collection of them have been gathered and parodied here◊.
Examples in the titles include "I Wanna Be Sedated", "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue", "I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement", "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You", "I Don't Wanna Be Learned/I Don't Wanna Be Tamed", "Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy", "I Wanna Be Well" "I Wanna Live".
Partial Exceptions: "I Just Want To Have Something To Do", "I Wanted Everything", "I Don't Want You", "I Want You Around", "We Want The Airwaves".
Occasionally, as noted in the covers above, they would ask "Do YOU Wanna Dance?"
These also appear within the lyrics, for example, in "Pet Sematary":
I don't wanna be buried In a pet sematary I don't want to live my life again
Those Wacky Nazis: Johnny Ramone had something of a fascination for Nazism and Nazi imagery, so lyrics mentioning or discussing Nazism pop up from time to time. This is probably most famously seen in "Blitzkrieg Bop", arguably the band's Signature Song, but more explicitly in songs like "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World", which uses the lyrics "I'm a Nazi schatze, y'know I fight for the fatherland." The lyrics were originally going to repeatedly state "I'm a Nazi, baby" until the president of the record label told the band to change them.