Agony Shorthand

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Seems like you can't even go a month without one of the RAMONES dying off. Today it's Johnny, arguably the most talented and the "heart and soul" of The Ramones, and certainly a guy who wrote the template for loud-ass buzzsaw guitar playing (James Williamson notwithstanding) starting way back in 1974. He succumbed to prostate cancer. From the New York Times obituary:

"By stripping rock guitar of its ornamentation and playing almost every note in a violent, accelerated downstroke, Mr. Ramone helped create the sound of punk. His style — fast, repetitive and aggressive, though always tuneful — influenced, directly or indirectly, almost every punk guitarist since, from the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and contemporary players like Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Tom Delonge of Blink-182...."

That's right, he influenced all the greats, up to and including Tom Delonge from Blink-182. There are some lessons to be learned here. Tommy, Marky, Clemmy -- time to start eating right (boneless, skinless chicken breasts) and working out (that includes the delts and quads). Fellas, don't forget the yearly prostate cancer screen starting at age 35. And ladies, don't make fun of us when we come home whining about the test. Best wishes to Mr. Ramone's family & friends.