Ramones: An American Band

Ramones: An American Band

by Jim Bessman
     
 

The authorized story of an American band who shaped the history of music for generations. Today's new music-makers are looking back at the bands that broke the ground, and the Ramones are it: the original high priests of punk, the stars of rock 'n roll high school, the royal avatars of rock, raunch, and rebellion. 60 photographs and illustrations.

Overview

The authorized story of an American band who shaped the history of music for generations. Today's new music-makers are looking back at the bands that broke the ground, and the Ramones are it: the original high priests of punk, the stars of rock 'n roll high school, the royal avatars of rock, raunch, and rebellion. 60 photographs and illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Before the Ramones, there was nothing” —A rock critic

“The Ramones were the only outside band that everyone looked up to.” —Chrissie Hynde

“They've remained true to their vision of rock'n' roll as fast, fun music.” —Kurt Loder

“They speak up for outcasts and disturbed individuals.” —Jon Pareles, the New York Times

“People say that your music is loud and destructive and lethal to mice, but I think you're the Beethovens of our time.” —from Rock 'n' Roll High School

“Virtually every current commercial guideline in rock is broken somewhere in the Ramones.” —Robert Hillburn

“We're not trying to compete with Bruce Springsteen.” —Tommy Ramone

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Music journalist Bessman's closeness to his subject--he is a good friend of the members of the Ramones--has both positive and negative effects on his authorized history of this seminal American band, famous for knowing only three chords and for playing everything as fast as possible. Bessman has great access to details such as the Ramones's mistrust of the Talking Heads--``a bunch of intellectuals''--with whom they toured Europe. But it also means that he sometimes misses the ironies and inconsistencies in their behavior, like the fact that members of a band whose lyrics include the infamous line ``Well I'm a Nazi, schatzi, you know, I fight for the fatherland'' claimed that their work had no political content. The ``four guys from Queens'' who formed the original group in 1974 seem to have been truly without pretensions, which makes Bessman's overheated interpretation of their achingly simple lyrics just silly. Bessman's theory is that the Ramones were always poised on the brink of stardom but missed out due to the mistakes of others, i.e., the release of one of their best-known songs, Rockaway Beach , during the winter and the poor distribution of their only film, Rock 'n' Roll High School. Photos. (May)
Library Journal
This journal of the ``Grateful Dead of punk rock'' is well paced, streamlined, and tautly built. It pulses home its main point with fierce precision: that the durable yet quirky band has earned a place in the annals of rock'n'roll history. The book chronicles the lives of the band members with a cold eye, depicting everything from the tragic flaws (drug addiction, personality disorders) to their dedication to their style of music: three-chord punk rock songs that so viscerally capture the teenage angst of suburban youth. The author argues that the Ramones symbolize the breakout from the stranglehold of disco music and the salvation from the self-congratulatory babbling of progressive rock (e.g., bands like Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and YES). The Ramones recaptured the essence of rock'n'roll, and their rewards included a feature film ( Rock'n'Roll High School , 1979). Inspiring and often hilarious, this book is appropriate for libraries with extensive music or rock history collections. --Mike Tierno, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312093693
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/28/1993
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
783,131
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

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