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End of the Century: the Story of the Ramones By Andrew Stergiou
Sitting at the bar in CBGB’s with Danny Fields before the Ramones was first signed to Sire Records, Dee Dee Ramone came into the bar bearing a 10 inch kitchen knife. Dee Dee Ramone bass player for the Ramones was one crazy junkie musician but none the less he was a junkie nothing more and nothing less. Junkies generally are denigrated and romanticized in the supposed euphoric highs they escape reality. The most famous political junkie that comes to mind in the obese Hermann Göring (“Hitler's designated successor and commander of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force” Wikipedia).
In ancient times, Marcus Aurelius (emperor, philosopher) was said to be a heroin addict by Indopedia (http://www.indopedia.org/List_of_notable_heroin_addicts.html) but for the most part junkies are not the best in their political involvement. Though some of my historic favorites Benjamin Franklin and Ulysses S. Grant have been listed by Nationmaster.com as heroin opiate addicts other draw my contempt (Joseph McCarthy)
The Ramones according to the video (End of the Century: the Story of the Ramones) played to half empty audiences, that Johnny Ramone said was marked when Alan Vega of the band Suicide first saw them perform. Johnny stating “the first one who came up to us was Alan Vega” saying “we were waiting for this”, which Johnny said was when the Ramones got their “first fan”.
Before most of the events mentioned in this “documentary”, I had already worked for a very brief stint as a roadie for the band Suicide (Alan Vega and Marty Rev), and as a sideman with David Peel and the Lower East Side, to be privy to many of the events of in musikdom at CBGBs and the Lower East Side. I sat at the bar with Debbie Harry, hung out with Stephen Sprouse, Helen Wheels, Iggy Pop but:
Though the simplistic limited half baked amateurish abilities of the Ramones may have went against the general trends of bands of the day, in what often was declared a fresh breath of fresh air that was reminiscent of blues it was mainly the domain of white people.
The Ramones as indulgently they began learning to play their instruments, as they also pushed (and got shoved) out on the stage, like many pop musicians never really expanded beyond their punk roots in what is dominated by the misleading niche marketing of the music industry.
The “End of the Century the Story of the Ramones”
a compendium of retro visions distorted more than they clarified, comprised of old video film clips, immortalizing the Ramones as icons of the music industry in never challenging the controversial facts under the producers very own noses.
Getting great airplay on satellite TV channels such as Showtime, as it is presumed many other networks and channels, is nothing more than a hands off fan like indulgence of Ramones and the music industry.
Solely contrived from hindsight perspectives of fans of white punk music industry delusional trash, this documentary does a great disservice to fans and musicians by a patronizing indulgence of the Ramones. The perspectives presented were concocted from purely deluded marketing nonsense hype and distortion that would cause any good rock writers like Lester bangs to roll over in their graves.
It was formed of the standard stock and trade opinions of related names of notoriety that comprised the punk mythology fairyland of lies and distortions. Punk music icons such as Legs McNeil, Danny Fields, Seymour and Linda Stein, all had their say attempting to lend credibility to this amateur fan type production.
Generally the dialog lacked any real chronologic substance in the spectrum of events that extended over a period of years that were depicted as if it all were the present.
Watching this video collage one could not distinguish weither it took 20 seconds or twenty years to piss out on screen.
Since many of the on screen video interviews Dee De Ramone died June 5, 2002) , Joey Ramone died April 15, 2001), and Johnny Ramone died September 15, 2004), and only Tommy Ramones is still alive of the original band members.
One noticeable conflict of interest mentioned that was not elaborated on in any great detail was how could Linda S. Stein, could be co-manager of the Ramones
(after “her career as a teacher, left teaching to manage the Ramones with Danny Fields.”, when she also was “married to and advised Seymour Stein, president of Sire Records and vice president of Warner Bros. Records” (Wikipedia) as the record company which originally signed the Ramones to record.
The music industry and public should also ask how this affected other performers when Seymour Stein was instrumental in launching the careers of Madonna, Talking Heads and The Pretenders, as Danny Fields was also heavily involved with the MC5, and the Doors amongst others.
Linda Stein a fixture in clubs from Studio 54 to the Mudd Club and later a voice in gossip columns, by her quick wit and fanciful way with a four-letter word will probably excuse and down play her actions but we can all smell the stench of a fix.
In the 1990s, Linda Stein left band management and became a "real estate agent to the stars." She landed mega-million-dollar apartments for Madonna, Sting, Angelina Jolie, Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, Bruce Willis, Jann Wenner, Michael Douglas, Steven Spielberg and Elton John.
According to her friend, author Steven Gaines, Stein inspired two movie characters: the real estate agent (played by Sylvia Miles) who sells a high-rise apartment to Charlie Sheen's character in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, and a predatory record executive in the 1998 movie 54 who I presume she mirrored her role in the music industry.
A music industry that has long lost its innocence to become the domain of industry of the gutter and culture gone wrong.