Commute Music Week of 2/21/14: “Blitzkrieg Bop”

It would take much more than a once a week blog post to document the impact the Ramones had on my musical life.   The world changed for me in 1977

I was 15, when I first encountered the Ramones.   My musical tastes at that point were mainly leftovers from the 60s era–Beatles, the Who, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and some Motown/Stax.  I wasn’t really that into disco.   We had heard rumors of the “punk” movement from across the river in NY (I grew up in NJ) and across the pond in London.   But my little suburban music was still very insular and somewhat safe.

I saw a full page ad for Rocket To Russia in Rolling Stone magazine and for reasons I still can’t comprehend, bought the album blind.   I vividly recall the first time I let the needle drop on that piece of vinyl.  It was profound.  Here was amazing raw sound that was accessible, subversive and yes, fun as hell   I remember calling up my best friend Lynn and playing the music over the phone to her.

Within a week, we dragged out Lynn’s drums and my guitar and started learning Ramones’ songs.   That was the other appeal; from a teenage perspective, this was music that we could play.   You didn’t have to be Jimmy Page or Jon Bonham to play punk.   And musically, I felt like my generation finally had a voice that was its own, and not borrowed from an earlier time.

Within a week, I had bought the first Ramones album.  “Blitzkrieg Bop” is the opening song.   And while its been co-opted and used for countless movies and commercials,  its still one of my favorite all time tunes.   And my kids still get a kick out of impressing their friends by saying..”Hey mom, tell them about the time you climbed out of the mosh pit at a Ramones show and grabbed Johnny Ramones legs”…

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2 thoughts on “Commute Music Week of 2/21/14: “Blitzkrieg Bop”

  1. That’s what I love about music, you never know who it will touch and how.

  2. Such a great song. I dread to think how many times I’d danced to this at indie clubs.

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