Ramones

The Ramones have passed! Long live the Ramones!

There’s plenty to feast on as the criminally-neglected Ramones probably have so much interesting footage of their tours to release that this might be simply another in the long line of Ramones’ “home movies.” Because that’s all Ramones Around the World is. It’s a lot different than the recently released We’re Outta Here video, that documents the last show in Hollywood, though. See, Marky Ramone, who produced the video, shot most of the footage himself during rehearsals or album signings or simply trying to get from the hotel to the venue without having, say, the entire Chilean Ramones Army rip them to pieces in a show of fanlove. I think the idea is to experience what it’s like to be a Ramone, rather than to see the Ramones. Looks pretty easy, provided you can stand the non-stop touring and dealing with crazy fans.

If you’re a big fan of the Ramones (if you’re not I’ll kick your ass!) and have experienced at least two live shows of theirs, you’ll know that not much changes. They change sets every ten years, and since their time as a band spanned about twenty-two years, well…

Anyway, the video starts with the Theme to the Good the Bad and The Ugly and “Durango 95,” and ends with “Pinhead.” What’s in-between is what separates one show from another. I supposed the “surprise” tracks for this “show” are “I Wanna Be Well” and “53rd & 3rd,” simply because, well, sometimes you don’t hear those songs from show to show. There’s some great scenes of crowd insanity, like the February 1996 show at NYC’s Coney Island Hig, which is about the size of an elementary school bathroom. Too packed… There’s also a scary shot of a fan jumping from twenty-five feet into the crowd at the old Ritz, also in New York. The performance footage includes shots from Chile, San Francisco, Japan, London, and, of course, New York City. Marky took “Pet Sematary” and “I Wanna Be Well” from a Tuesday, November 10, 1992, show at Roseland in NYC — dude, I still have my ticket stub! If you look closely you can see me right up front. If you do, let me know…

There’s some interesting rehearsal scenes, particularly Lars (Rancid) working on “53rd & 3rd”) during the last tour (1996). Lemmy shows up here and there, as does Debby Harry — she was opening for them and says “… being the opening band sucks!” It’s a cute touch, I think. The incidental banter from Johnny about no one speaking English in the various European locations where it looks like the band’s motorcade either breaks down or is in some kind of an accident is good mostly as a kind of sobering-up. I imagine breaking down in a country where you can’t communicate is rather unpleasant.

Ramones Around the World is more of a gift to the thousands of slobbering Ramones fans out there (like myself). Thanks, Marky! Rhino Records, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025; http://www.rhino.com

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