Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated

This song and The KKK Took My Baby Away are my two top favorite Ramones saongs.

This song was released in 1978 on The Ramone’s album Road to Ruin. It has no chart history on Billboard but is one of their best-known songs. The Ramones were to the point, with no solos, no frills… just about the song.

I’ve heard them described as punk, bubblegum, rock, heavy rock and everything in between. I always thought they combined the elements of all of them.

When Joey Ramone wrote the lyrics for “I Wanna Be Sedated,” he was not joking. They were on tour in New Jersey in 1977 when the singer badly burned his face and chest with scalding water from a vaporizer he was using to soothe his throat.

He finished the show, then went to the hospital with second and third-degree burns. They pulled a bunch of shows while he recovered, and when they returned to the road in Europe he was still in constant pain. The song was scribbled down in London around Christmas, and the band cut it in 1978. Needless to say, it didn’t impact the charts, but today it’s one of their most-played songs on the radio. Joey Ramone said at one time it was his favorite Ramone track.

Joey Ramone: It’s a road song. I wrote it in 1977, through the 78. Well, Danny Fields was our first manager and he would work us to death. We would be on the road 360 days a year, and we went over to England, and we were there at Christmas time, and in Christmas time, London shuts down. There’s nothing to do, nowhere to go. Here we were in London for the first time in our lives, and me and Dee Dee Ramone were sharing a room in the hotel, and we were watching The Guns of Navarone. So there was nothing to do, I mean, here we are in London finally, and this is what we are doing, watching American movies in the hotel room.

I Wanna Be Sedated

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, nowhere to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, no where to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my brain
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, no where to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go loco
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my toes
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated
Nothing to do, no where to go o,
I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
Hurry hurry hurry, before I go loco
I can’t control my fingers, I can’t control my toes
Oh no oh oh oh oh

Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated
Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated
Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated
Ba ba baba, baba ba baba, I wanna be sedated

Chambers Brothers – Time Has Come Today

I’ve always liked this song. I will admit I never heard the song until 1988 on a great tv series called “Almost Grown” that starred Tim Daly… that of course was canceled midway through the first season. It’s a psychedelic rock/soul song. There are four versions…one in 1966 and two trippier versions in 1968..different in length only…and the album version…I prefer the album version (11:06). Any song that uses the word…I guess it’s a word…”psychedelicized” has got my support.

This song has worked extremely well in films and on television as a soundtrack of the sixties. It’s powerful and punchy and doesn’t let up.

It was released in 1968 and peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100 and #9 in Canada. After listening to it I want to wear tie-dye and protest something…anything. The Chambers Brothers were from Mississippi and started out as a gospel act. They wrote this song after relocating to Los Angeles, where they rented a two-story house.

It was written by two of the four Chambers brothers, Joe and Willie. Joe wrote most of the lyrics after sitting in on a class at UCLA with Timothy Leary and taking LSD. Willie put the music together and contributed the line, “My soul has been psychedelicized.”

Below is the “brilliance” of record executives…in this case Clive Davis. Davis tried to forbid them to record the song. The following is Willie Chambers telling the story (its a bit long but important):

“After we signed with Columbia Records, there was a big party with all the food and booze and all this stuff. All the important people were there and we got to meet all of the head hogs and Clive was there. He was there for a couple of hours and he says, ‘Well, I must be going, I have other appointments.’ He immediately leans back in the door, ‘Oh, by the way, that song ‘Time Has Come Today’ that you guys do, we won’t be doing that. We won’t do that kind of s–t on this label.’ 

That was it, and he walks away. I looked at my brothers, and we were looking at each other like, ‘What the heck?’ And our producer [David Rubinson], he was in tears now – he was crying. He says, ‘I’ve waited my whole life to record this song, now he’s going to tell us we can’t record it. Why?’

A couple of days went by and our producer came by and said, ‘I don’t give a s–t what he says, we’re going to record that song. When we get our recording date, you guys show up an hour early, we’re going to go in the studio, we’re going to turn on the tape, we’re going to play it live, we’re going to do it like a live performance. We’re going to record it and whatever we get we’re going to have to live with it. We can’t play back, we can’t overdub, we can’t splice, we can’t fix something if there’s a mistake, we’re just going to have to live with it.’ He says, ‘I’m probably going to lose my job, but that’s how important it is to me to record this song.’ 

Later on, Joe and I went to Columbia Records to have a pow-wow with Mr. Davis to have him explain to us just why he thought we shouldn’t record this song. We didn’t have an appointment with him, we just showed up. We were six-feet-four tall, angry black guys. So, we walk in to the receptionist and we say, ‘We need to speak to Mr. Davis.’

So, we kind of forced our way into his office and we said to him, ‘Why can’t we record this song?’ He says, ‘It’s not the kind of music that black guys produce or play.’

Clive says, ‘You’re four black guys, you’re going to be sending up that stream into the world, ‘Time Has Come Today.’ It’s too profound of a statement for four black guys to be saying to the world.’

That was his reason. He says, ‘We’ll get a white artist to record the song, it’s not your kind of music.’ My brother Joe says, ‘What do you mean it’s not our kind of music? We wrote this.’

So, after having that conversation with him, we were ready to do whatever the producer said. We were going to record it anyway.

When we got our moment, we went in the studio and did it in one take. ‘Time Has Come Today’ was done in one take. There was no listening back – we couldn’t listen back. When we came to the end of it, we had no idea where it was going to go. Once we ended it, we shut down the machines and then we left the studio and came back at the time we were supposed to. 

Clive Davis didn’t find out about it until it had been mixed, prepped and released. When he found out, he fired everybody he could. He fired our producer, I think he fired the guy that opened the door for us. He fired everybody that got involved with recording that song.”

The Ramones did a great cover of this song.

Time Has Come Today

Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can’t put it off another day
I don’t care what others say
They say we don’t listen anyway
Time has come today
(Hey)

Oh
The rules have changed today (Hey)
I have no place to stay (Hey)
I’m thinking about the subway (Hey)
My love has flown away (Hey)
My tears have come and gone (Hey)
Oh my Lord, I have to roam (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)

Now the time has come (Time)
There’s no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I’ve been loved and put aside (Time)
I’ve been crushed by the tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Time [x11]

Oh
Now the time has come (Time)
There’s no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I’ve been loved and put aside (Time)
I’ve been crushed by tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Time [x4]
Yeah

Ramones – The KKK Took My Baby Away

This and I Want To Be Sedated are my two favorite songs by the Ramones. I’ve been apprehensive about posting this one because of obvious reasons. UK #1s blog (Stuart) and I were talking a couple of weeks ago about how much we liked this song. It has a couple of really interesting stories that go with it as you might imagine.

There are two stories about how this song came to be. The most popular (but probably not true) is this one.  Johnny Ramone, the politically conservative member of the group, stole away liberal Joey Ramone’s girlfriend Linda Daniele, and Joey wrote this song about it. So Joey made the comparison of the KKK to Johnny in the song…not because Johnny was a racist but because of his conservative views and being a tad upset about the Linda thing. Johnny eventually married Linda, causing a huge strain on his relationship with Joey. 

More likely it’s this one. Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh, has said that the song was written before he knew about Johnny and Linda. Leigh said their parents disapproved of interracial relationships. Joey was dating a black woman at the time and one day Leigh noticed they weren’t together anymore. He asked Joey what happened to the girl and Joey responded by saying “the KKK took my baby away.” The KKK was Joey’s parents who broke them up.

I seriously doubt if Johnny would have played on a song with him being referred to as the KKK. That being said…the marriage did cause a huge strain on Joey and Johnny’s personal relationship. Even before this, they were extreme in their political beliefs so they didn’t have an easy relationship anyway.

Monte Melnick the band’s tour manager on Joey and Johnny after the marriage: “They came to an agreement where they kind of tolerated each other, It’s like a business. You’re working with someone you don’t particularly like, but you’re still working there because you like your job.”

Linda Daniele: “So when it came time for Joey and me to break up, we understood. It was time to move on. Johnny was in love with me, I had been falling in love with Johnny. Joey knew that. For the first couple of years, I didn’t speak to Joey and then of all a sudden, this guy was doing a Ramones book. And out of the blue Joey called me. From that moment on, me and Joey always stayed in touch. I know people go, ‘Oh, you broke his heart.’ But Joey got another girlfriend right away after I left!”

The song was on their 1981 album Pleasant Dreams. The album peaked at #58 in the Billboard Album Charts.

Here are the Drive-By Truckers with a cover

The KKK Took My Baby Away

She went away for the holidays
Said she’s going to L.A.
But she never got there
She never got there
She never got there, they say

The KKK took my baby away
They took her away
Away from me
The KKK took my baby away
They took her away
Away from me

Now I don’t know
Where my baby can be
They took her from me
They took her from me
I don’t know
Where my baby can be
They took her from me
They took her from me

Ring me, ring me ring me
Up the President
And find out
Where my baby went
Ring me, ring me, ring me
Up the FBI
And find out if
My baby’s alive
Yeah, yeah, yeah

She went away for the holidays

The KKK took my baby away

They took my girl
They took my baby away

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

Ramones – Cretin Hop

In 1977 you had disco nearing it’s peak and slick pop going on everywhere…and you also had the Ramones. They bucked the trend of radio at the time. When they were recording the album they first heard the Sex Pistols album.

Rocket to Russia was the album this song was on. They had a bigger budget on this album. Johnny Ramone had just heard the Sex Pistols album and wasn’t happy. He said: “These guys ripped us off and I want to sound better than this.” They recorded most of the album in one take so the rest of the money went toward production.

The album peaked at #49 in the Billboard 100, #36 in Canada, and #60 in the UK in 1977.

Joey Ramone: “‘Cretin Hop’ came from when we were in St. Paul, Minnesota. We went some place to eat and there were just all these cretins all over the place. And there was a Cretin Avenue, where we drove into the city.” 

From Songfacts

The Ramones bucked the trends of the ’70s with simplistic rock songs, often about freaks and deviants. It didn’t make them rich, but it appealed to core group of fans that fell in with this culture. This being the disco era, songs like “Cretin Hop” were completely at odds with what was getting airplay. The Ramones were later rewarded for their skewed view and stewardship of their genre when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Cretin Hop

There’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin’
You gotta keep it beatin’ for all the hoppin’ cretins

Cretin, cretin
I’m gonna go for a whirl with my cretin girl
My feet won’t stop doin’ the Cretin Hop
Cretin, cretin

One-two-three-four, cretins want to hop some more
Four-five-six-seven, all good cretins go to heaven

There’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin’
You gotta keep it beatin’ for all the hoppin’ cretins

Cretin, cretin
I’m gonna go for a whirl with my cretin girl
My feet won’t stop doin’ the Cretin Hop
Cretin, cretin

One-two-three-four, cretins want to hop some more
Four-five-six-seven, all good cretins go to heaven

Ramones – Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue

This song was released in 1976 on the Ramones debut album. I first heard this album in the early 80’s…and was struck by the economical way they produced their songs. Rapid fire songs one after the other…

I would NOT recommend what the Ramones are stating here. Bass player Dee Dee Ramone wrote this song, which is about sniffing glue, a cheap and easy way to… well to kill some brain cells. This is a pastime of bored teenagers with very bad judgment.

Running just 1:34, no one will accuse the Ramones of ripping off Bob Dylan. The song consists of these lyrics repeated, rinsed and washed.

Now I wanna sniff some glue
Now I wanna have somethin’ to do
All the kids wanna sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do

The Ramones didn’t really want folks to sniff glue. Tommy Ramone said: “I have a feeling Dee Dee was talking about his childhood, how he actually thought it was some kind of release when he was a kid. I thought of it as a parody. He might have been a little more serious.”

Johnny Ramone: “We couldn’t write about love or cars, so we sang about this stuff, like glue sniffing. We thought it was funny. We thought we could get away with anything.” 

This is one of the tracks on the Ramones debut album. On their follow-up, they included a song called “Carbona Not Glue,” which is about graduating to cleaning solvent for a cheap high.

Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue

Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do

1-2-3-4 Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do
One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight

Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do
Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do

Ramones – Pet Sematary

The Ramones always seem to brighten my day. No pretentious songs or long drawn out solos. They get to the point and fast. This song is a little different their previous songs and it was one of their biggest hits.

Dee Dee Ramone and producer Daniel Rey wrote this song for the 1989 Stephen King movie Pet Sematary.  Another Ramones song, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, also appears in the film.

Stephen King was a big Ramones fan and even mentioned them in the book.

The music video for Pet Sematary was filmed at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in New York village…it was filmed in 1989. The video features cameos by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie.

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard Modern Rock Charts in 1989. The  song was on the album Brain Drain.

Marky Ramone: “Stephen King is a big Ramones fan. … He’s a great guy, very tall, very intense-looking. His eyes are very intense, you can see he read a lot … and we hit it off. He asked us to do a song for the movie soundtrack. … He gave Dee Dee the book to read; he read the book and wrote the song in 40 minutes. I’m forever grateful I met the guy. He wrote a nice quote in the book about me. So thank you, Stephen.”

This is a link for more info on the song and video.

https://tidal.com/magazine/article/pet-sematary-an-oral-history/1-54455

Pet Sematary

Under the arc of a weather stain boards
Ancient goblins, and warlords
Come out the ground, not making a sound
The smell of death is all around
And the night when the cold wind blows
No one cares, nobody knows

I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery
I don’t want to live my life again
I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery
I don’t want to live my life again

Follow Victor to the sacred place
This ain’t a dream, I can’t escape
Molars and fangs, the clicking of bones
Spirits moaning among the tombstones
And the night, when the moon is bright
Someone cries, something ain’t right

I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery
I don’t want to live my life again
I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery
I don’t want to live my life again

The moon is full, the air is still
All of the sudden I feel a chain
Victor is grinning, flesh is rotting away
Skeletons dance, I curse this day
And the night when the wolves cry out
Listen close and you can hear me shout

I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery
I don’t want to live my life again
I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery
I don’t want to live my life again, oh, no, oh, no
I don’t want to live my life, not again, oh, no, oh, oh
I don’t want to live my life, not again, oh, no, no, no
I don’t want to live my life, not again, oh, no, no, no

Ramones – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

This song was the title song for the movie The Ramones made in 1980. I got a VHS copy of this movie in the early 80s and loved it.

The Ramones first recorded this song with producer Ed Stasium, who produced their previous album Road to Ruin. The band started working with Phil Spector soon after, and Spector remixed this song for the film. This is the version that was released as a single and included on the film’s soundtrack.

This song has a fifties sound to it and it does sound commercial for the Ramones but it never made it into the Billboard 100 but it did manage to get to #67 in the UK in 1979. It was not the hit they were hoping to have.

The song clocked in at a little over 2 minutes…true Ramones fashion. This is one band I regret never getting to see live.

From Songfacts

The Ramones wrote this song for the movie Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, which is about a student who leads a rock rebellion against the school administration. In the film, the student, Riff Randell (played by P. J. Soles), writes the song in her songwriting class (somehow this school she found so stifling offered a songwriting class and a means for her to work up a professional demo) and plays it to her classmates during gym class.

Determined to get the song to her favorite band, the Ramones, she is thwarted by the principal and stages a protest in retaliation, taking over the school with her fellow students. In the final scene, she leads the students out of the school in apparent surrender, but then introduces the Ramones, who have joined them to perform the song. While they play, Riff hits the plunger and blows up the building as the horrified teachers look on.

The film is campy in the tradition of Animal House, and it captured the punk attitude of rebellion with a heaping of humor. It was released independently, so it was never big at the box office, but Rock ‘N’ Roll High School earned an excellent review from the influential movie critics Siskel & Ebert, and quickly gained a cult following.

Rock ‘N’ Roll High School director Allan Arkush was a big Ramones fan, and pushed to make them the band in the movie. When he met with the band’s manager, Danny Fields, Arkush pitched him the story of the band playing while the school blows up. Fields was sold.

Much of the Ramones brand of punk rock was influenced by early rock and roll.

When Spector produced the Ramones End of the Century album, he had them record a new version, employing his “wall of sound” technique. While the original begins with eight seconds of drums, this rendition opens with the sounds of students mulling about at school, a class bell, and a sustained guitar note played by Johnny Ramone.

This guitar note became the stuff of legend when tales were told of Specter making Johnny play it over and over for eight hours. When Johnny walked out, Spector ordered him back in, and Johnny retorted, “What you going to do, shoot me?” (this exchange is captured on tape).

Spector is often said to have brandished a gun either at this point or at another point in the session, but Marky Ramone tells us that this is overblown – Spector carried a gun but never threatened them with it.

The album took about six months to make, which was an eternity by Ramones standards, although most of that time was Spector working without the band. The album was a modest success, going to #44 US and outselling previous Ramones efforts, but it left the band divided – Joey and Marky loved it, but Dee Dee and Johnny felt traumatized by the experience.

If the Ramones were ever going to score a hit single, this would have been it. The song was the title track to a movie, and the renown hitmaker Phil Spector had his hands on it. It was not to be: the song didn’t crack the American charts and the Ramones never did have a commercial breakthrough.

A video was made for this song using the 1980 End of the Century release. The video is based on the movie, with most of the band in detention and Marky dressed like a woman, playing the role of the principal in the film, Miss Togar. When MTV launched in 1981, it got some spins, but the Ramones never became video stars.

The version sung in the movie by P.J. Soles was also included on the soundtrack album.

According to Joey Ramone, the movie was going to be called Disco High School, since disco was big at the time. Director Allan Arkush managed to make it a rock movie starring the Ramones.

Joey says that when they blew up the high school at the end, they were really destroying the school and the explosions were frightening. The band was under strict instructions not to turn around until cameras stopped rolling. When they did, they saw the school up in flames.

Imploding the set did more than just create a great visual: it made it impossible to do re-shoots, ensuring that it couldn’t be reverted to Disco High.

The End Of The Century album cover was shot by Mick Rock, whose famous clients include David Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. He was warned before the shoot that the Ramones did not like photographers, but the session went well and resulted in one of the more memorable images of the band, with them wearing colorful T-shirts and no leather.

“It only took about an hour,” Rock told Songfacts. “They came, I did some Polaroids. They didn’t really comment much, but at least they liked them enough for one to appear on the album cover.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school

Well I don’t care about history
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
‘Cause that’s not where I wanna be
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
I just wanna have some kicks
I just wanna get some chicks
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school

Well, the girls out there knock me out, you know
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Cruisin’ around in my GTO
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
I hate the teachers and the principal
Don’t wanna be taught to be no fool
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school

Fun fun, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Fun fun, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Fun fun, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Fun fun, oh baby
Fun fun, oh baby
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school

I don’t care about history
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
‘Cause that’s not where I wanna be
Rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
I just wanna have some kicks
I just wanna get some chicks
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school

Fun fun, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Fun fun, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Fun fun, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Fun fun, oh baby
Fun fun, oh baby
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school
Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock ‘n’ roll high school

Ramones – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend

I could post a Ramone song every day and be happy. This song was on the Ramone’s first album, the self-titled Ramones album in 1976. Tommy Ramone the drummer wrote this song.

Tommy Ramone:  “I wrote ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ because we had all these other songs with ‘I Don’t Wanna’ – ‘I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You,’ ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement.’ The only other positive song we had was ‘Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.’
One thing we all had in common was we were frustrated. We escaped from our anger with humor. A lot of that came from Dee Dee’s sensibility, this Dada sensibility that got squeezed into ‘I Don’t Wanna.'”

The song was released as a single but didn’t chart.

From Songfacts

There were some unusual instruments used on this song, including 12-string guitars, tubular bells and a glockenspiel. Studio musicians were brought in to play them. 

A track from the first Ramones album, this was their second single, following “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Like “I Remember You,” it’s a love song, just a very straightforward one.

Per Gessle of Roxette recorded this for the 2001 Ramones tribute album The Song Ramones the Same. Released as a single in his native Sweden, the song made #44.

I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend

Hey, little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Sweet little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Do you love me babe?
What do you say?
Do you love me babe?
What can I say?
Because I want to be your boyfriend

Hey, little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Sweet little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Uuu uuu uuu uuu-au
Because I want to be your boyfriend

Hey, little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Sweet little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Do you love me babe?
What do you say?
Do you love me babe?
What can I say?
Because I want to be your boyfriend

Hey, little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Sweet little girl I want to be your boyfriend
Hey, little girl I want to be your boyfriend

Ramones – Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio? ——— Songs that reference The Beatles

Will you remember Jerry Lee, John Lennon, T. Rex and old Moulty?
It’s the end, the end of the seventies, It’s the end, the end of the century

Phil Spector produced the End of the Century album. This track was fitting, as Spector worked on a lot of the music that influenced The Ramones. Spector changed their sound to a more radio-friendly pop/rock record.

The voice that opens this song with the words, “Come on, let’s rock and roll with the Ramones” is Sean Donahue, a disc jockey who worked at radio stations in San Francisco (KSAN) and San Jose (KOME, KSJP).

The album peaked at #44 in the Billboard 100 in 1980. Different band members had problems with Spector. The Ramones worked fast live and in the studio but Spector was methodical about his work.

Dee Dee Ramone on Phil Spector:

He levelled his gun at my heart and then motioned for me and the rest of the band to get back in the piano room … He only holstered his pistol when he felt secure that his bodyguards could take over. Then he sat down at his black concert piano and made us listen to him play and sing “Baby, I Love You” until well after 4:30 in the morning.

Marky Ramone denied this…

From Songfacts

This song is a tribute to the music of the ’50s and ’60 that influenced The Ramones. Here’s a breakdown of the lyrical references:

“Hullabaloo” – A UK TV show featuring music and dancing that aired 1965-1966.

“Upbeat” – The Upbeat Show, which was a Cleveland TV show (also with music and dancing) that aired 1964-1971.

“Shindig” – The first prime time Rock music show, many top acts performed on the program. It aired 1964-1966.

“Ed Sullivan” – Host of The Ed Sullivan Show, a popular variety show that lasted more than 20 years. Many famous musicians appeared on the show, including The Beatles, The Doors and The Rolling Stones.

“Murray The K” – Murray “The K” Kaufman, a legendary disc jockey who helped promote rock n’ roll in the States on his radio show and through concerts he helped organize. He championed The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.

“Alan Freed” – Another very influential disc jockey, Freed is credited with coining the term “Rock And Roll.”

“Jerry Lee” – Jerry Lee Lewis was a rock originator known for his electrifying performances.

“John Lennon” – Most punk bands wouldn’t claim Lennon and The Beatles as an influence, but The Ramones were a nuanced group that shared an appreciation of his work.

“T. Rex” – Glam Rock originators known for their outrageous costumes and stage presence.

“Ol’ Moulty” – Victor Moulton, who was the drummer in a group called The Barbarians.

 Under Spector’s control, he took The Ramones in a new direction, giving the songs on the album a pop sheen and radio-friendly sound. There is a prominent saxophone on the track, which was played by Steve Douglas, who was a member of Spector’s “Wrecking Crew” and played on many of his famous productions.

Spector developed a reputation as being a bit of a maniac, which in part can be attributed to statements Dee Dee Ramone made about working with him. Dee Dee claimed the Spector pulled a gun on him at one point, and was a tyrant in the studio. Spector did some work with Yoko Ono the following year, but became very reclusive until the ’00s, when he produced an album for the English band Starsailor that was released in 2003. In February 2003, Spector was accused of shooting and killing a nightclub hostess at his home.

The closing lyrics, “It’s the end of the ’70s, it’s the end of the century” imply that the musical century was essentially over. The line provided the album title.

In our interview with drummer Marky Ramone, he said that one the band put down their tracks, Phil Spector threw the works (horns, strings, percussion) at the songs on End of the Century, especially this one. “It’s mountainous the way that song is,” he said. “He had a lot of great studio musicians playing on that album just to create a wall of sound, which he was known for. That song took a while. There’s a lot of parts in it.”

Marky adds that the story about Spector pulling a gun in the studio is overblown. He says that while Spector did carry a gun and would sometimes take it off to work, he never threatened anyone with it.

The Ramones made a music video for this song that was directed by Mark Robinson, who also did their clip for “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School.” It was one of the few videos available to MTV when the network launched in 1981, but they gave it very little airplay. MTV tried to program a rock format at the time, and were desperate for videos by American bands in that genre. The Ramones fit the bill, but their videos didn’t have the production value to match what was coming out of Europe.

The intro is meant to elicit the sound of a DJ enthusiastically talking up the song at a radio station.

Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?

(This is Rock ‘n’ roll radio, come on, let’s rock ‘n’ roll with the Ramones)

Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go

Do you remember Hullabaloo
Upbeat, Shindig and Ed Sullivan, too?
Do you remember rock ‘n’ roll radio?
Do you remember rock ‘n’ roll radio?

Do you remember Murray the K
Alan Freed, and High Energy?
It’s the end, the end of the seventies
It’s the end, the end of the century

Do you remember lying in bed
With the covers pulled up over your head
Radio playin’ so no one can see?
We need change, and we need it fast
Before rock’s just part of the past
‘Cause lately, it all sounds the same to me
Whoah-whoah, oh

Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go

Will you remember Jerry Lee
John Lennon, T. Rex and old Moulty?
It’s the end, the end of the seventies
It’s the end, the end of the century

Do you remember lying in bed
With the covers pulled up over your head
Radio playin’ so no one can see?
We need change, and we need it fast
Before Rock’s just part of the past
‘Cause lately, it all sounds the same to me
Whoah-whoah, oh

Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go
Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go

(This is rock ‘N’ roll radio, stay tuned for more rock ‘n’ roll)

Ramones – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker

I so love the Ramones. They cut through the BS and got down to business. No solos no lengthy anything…just songs that rock and leaving you wanting more. This song peaked at #81 in the Billboard 100 and #22 in the UK in 1977.

Joey Ramone: “‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’ first came out as a single. I played it for (Sire Records President) Seymour Stein. He flipped out and said ‘We gotta record that song now.’ It was like back in the ’50s; you’d rush into the studio because you thought you had a hit, then put it right out. To me ‘Sheena’ was the first surf/punk rock/teenage rebellion song. I combined Sheena, Queen of the Jungle with the primalness of punk rock. Then Sheena is brought into the modern day: ‘But she just couldn’t stay/she had to break away/well New York City really has it all.’ It was funny because all the girls in New York seemed to change their name to Sheena after that. Everybody was a Sheena.”

From Songfacts

This was the first punk song to hit the pop charts. The name “Sheena” came from Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, who was kind of a female Tarzan character. It was a popular comic book and TV series in the ’40s and ’50s.

This runs 2:45, which is fairly long for a Ramones song.

Tommy Ramone helped produce this track. He his credited on the album under his real name, Tommy Erdelyi.

While this was the first punk rock song to hit the Hot 100, it was not the first song on the chart with the word “Punk” in the title: Barry Mann made #78 in 1976 with “The Princess And The Punk,” a song that about mismatched lovers that was certainly not a punk rocker.

The Polish band Armia (translation: The Army) covered this, with most of the lyrics translated to Polish. It appears on two of their albums: Antiarmia and the concert album Soul Side Story.

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go
They’re ready to go now they got their surfboards
And they’re going to the discotheque Au Go Go
But she just couldn’t stay she had to break away
Well New York City really has is all oh yeah, oh yeah

Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker now
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker now
Well she’s a punk punk, a punk rocker
Punk punk a punk rocker 
Punk punk a punk rocker 
Punk punk a punk rocker

Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go
They’re ready to go now they got their surfboards
And they’re going to the discotheque Au Go Go
But she just couldn’t stay she had to break away
Well New York City really has is all oh yeah, oh yeah

Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker now
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker now
Well she’s a punk punk, a punk rocker
Punk punk a punk rocker 
Punk punk a punk rocker 
Punk punk a punk rocker

Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker now
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker now
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker 
Sheena is a punk rocker now