Ramones – Judy Is A Punk

The Ramones played the most basic form of rock but it never gets old. I’ve heard them described as punk, bubblegum, rock, hard rock, punk/pop/rock, and everything in between. They were greatly underappreciated in their time.

This song was released in 1976 on the Ramones’ debut album. In that year you had disco and slick pop going on everywhere…on the other hand, you had the Ramones. They bucked the trend of radio at the time. They developed a reputation in 1975 for playing rapid sets in and around New York City, often blasting through about 12 songs in 25 minutes. By the time they recorded this, they had honed their songs during many performances and included it on the album.

I first heard this album in the early 80s…and I liked the simplicity of their sound. There was a reason for that. The Ramones had a very sparse budget at the time… The entire album cost just $6,400 to make.

They were no-frills and to the point. No long solos or instrumental breaks. Just 2-minute blasts full of energy.

Like many Ramones songs…it is not your typical song story. This song tells a very vague story of two adventurous girls… Jackie and Judy. We know that Jackie is a punk and Judy is a runt, and they’ve decided to join the SLA – the Symbionese Liberation Army. The SLA was a fringe political group that was in the news for kidnaping the heiress Patty Hearst in 1974.

Lead singer Joey Ramone wrote the song and we think it was purely fictional.

The Ramones recorded a sequel song… “The Return Of Jackie And Judy” on their 1980 album End Of The Century.

Sequel Version

Judy Is A Punk

Jackie is a punk
Judy is a runt
They both went down to Berlin, joined the Ice Capades
And oh, I don’t know why
Oh, I don’t know why
Perhaps they’ll die

Jackie is a punk
Judy is a runt
They both went down to Frisco, joined the SLA
And oh, I don’t know why
Oh, I don’t know why
Perhaps they’ll die

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Ramones – Judy Is A Punk”

    1. Hah! Agree again, Dave. Same thoughts here. At the University book shop here at the time the music salesman, Anarchic Tony, from on high in his perch up on the mezzanine floor, would play Sheena’ whenever sweet pink haired unhinged safety-pinned real Punk Sheena walked through the door. And at glass-trembling full blast.
      Who knew a serious Punk could get pissed off enough to spit? True story. I guess with her attitude Sheena is now some hard-nosed unsmiling corporate lawyer…
      The Ramones did nothing but rock. Or did I miss their Pink Floyd style concept album?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is simple and catchy, with nothing not to like. I would never have guessed what it’s about, but at that time the SLA, or fear of it, was a big deal. Definitely good material for a punk song. I hadn’t heard of the Ramones yet when this came out, and would have loved to have this playing on the radio as opposed to what we were getting at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my first memories was of the SLA as far as news goes. Patty Hearst was all over the news. The Ramones are just so much fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never understood it fully. I might try a post on it so I will learn something.
        Oh…off topic but it was announced July 12 for The Beatles Get Back blu-ray release. This time they seem for sure.

        Like

  2. The Ramones did simple but nice kickass rock & roll. I do agree with Graham that listening to an entire album can be a bit of a challenge, even when it’s short, since the tunes sound very much alike. I kind of like their surf rock covers. It’s like the Beach Boys on steroids! 🙂

    Like

    1. I love that song…It’s my favorite by them but…I’ve never posted it because when I started I didn’t know what reaction I would get…but I’m going to post it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Off the top of my head, the KKK in the song is actually one of the Ramones, who stole someone’s girlfriend. But yeah, you have to be careful when bringing the Klan up!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I believe…it was the guitar player who stole Joey’s girlfriend… he was conservative and Joey was liberal…so he called him the KKK…I think that is the story but I could be wrong.
        Yea that is the reason I never posted anything.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Massive ‘Like’ for this one! Watching that video takes me right back to age 19 again! I distinctly recall discussing this new ‘punk’ music at my athletics club – some bought the media hype about it all being disgusting , anti social trash, but I loved it. The energy was immense. And then in 1977 (May 21st) I actually got to see them play a small University show in Glasgow. They co-headline with another wee, unknown band of the time, Talking Heads! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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