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Hey Ho Lets Go

rockettorussiaIn 1977 I was in the 7th grade and at some point I read an article about a band called The Ramones. It was probably while reading one of my Dad’s copies of Playboy, I actually discovered a lot of music because of the magazine. The write up made me curious and so next time I was at the mall I stopped into a record store called Galaxy Of Sound and bought ROCKET TO RUSSIA.

I was almost 14 and had been buying my own music for a little while. I had a broad taste in what I enjoyed. When I put on The Ramones it was unlike anything I had heard before. I noticed twinges of surf music hidden in it, some fifties rock and roll, but mostly what I noticed was that it was LOUD and FAST.  I figured, this is it.  I’ve heard about kids playing music their parents will hate and I’ve found mine.

Of course I was wrong.  My Mom really enjoyed the Ramones. And while my Dad wasn’t busting down my door to borrow it he never asked me to turn it off. But listening to them still made me feel like a rebel, like I was saying to the radio and people around me that I didn’t need them to accept what they played for me. I realized for what may have been the first time that I didn’t care what other people thought of what I liked. This was a bit life changing.

In high school I discovered other people who liked the Ramones. Most of these same people like me followed the bands that followed. The influence the Ramones had on music was huge.  But the influence they had on me was huge too.  They made me feel awesome about myself with out writing sappy syrupy lyrics and trying to hold my hand. These guys were jumping onto a speeding train and yelling “Come with us”.

And I did.

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I got to see them live in concert twice . I’ve seen a LOT of live music and to this day the Ramones live was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The last of the original members has passed away and it had been years since they recorded anything but at least to me the Ramones are still very much alive. They are in the music I listen to, theirs and that of other bands. They are in my out look on the world.

They have altered my DNA.

Gabba Gabba Hey