Sunday, September 09, 2007

When Ramones Collide (with Avril Lavigne)

The Ramones and Avril Lavigne recut together on a video mashup - "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "Girlfriend". I love it; it shows how precisely and finely the Ramones had mastered pop music. I think you could recut dozens of hits from 1957 to 2007 into Ramones songs and get the same timeless, happy teen vibe.

I first saw the Ramones in London in 1977 and was struck by the way the East Coasters could generate a West Coast cars'n'girls - oh-baby-won't-you-take-a-chance-so-let's-dance - surfer ambience at exactly the same time they were singing about male hustlers on 53rd and 3rd. Absolute genius. (I was also struck by quite how much they hated the London audience's habit of spitting ('gobbing') at bands they liked.)

From the comments on YouTube, I get the impression that not many others feel the way I do. It appears that in the YouTube world, the Ramones were grim "punk rock" stars who need to be fiercely defended against the clinging taint of pop. How well I remember those arguments. And how little I care about them.

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