HEY HO, LET’S GO!
Author: Bruce Jenkins Date Posted:3 September 2021
A new Ramones album for RSD 2021 and it’s a live one, but it isn’t that live concert recorded on the last day of 1977 in London, this one was in Sydney Australia in July 1980 for radio station Triple J’s Live At The Wireless series, a limited edition of 13,000 no less so get in quick, as quick as the Ramones charging through an amphetamine set of songs that cover some of the same ground as It’s Alive but expand the set list with some ripper additions such as “Rock ’n’ Roll High School”—who doesn’t love that song, just released at the time of this recording as Joey tells the audience—and “Do You Remember Rock ’n’ Roll Radio” both from End Of The Century, the LP produced by Phil Spector though who cares ‘cos this is live rock and roll, and production sucks when you have the band thrashing out “Teenage Lobotomy” [Rocket To Russia] and “I Wanna Be Sedated” [Road To Ruin] and where almost nothing goes longer than two minutes; a breathless, heart-racing fist pumping concert you can crank up in your own home singing “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” [Leave Home] at the top of your voice, then “I Just Want To Have Something To Do” [Road To Ruin] well don’t we bloody all after this containment and phew that’s the end of side one, ten songs in under twenty minutes oh I forgot to mention it all blasted off with “Blitzkrieg Bop” [Ramones] but you knew that, flip the record over quick as you catch your breath.
Rhino records and Sire have done well with this previously unreleased show with it’s darkroom red-light cover and photo-strip action images, so on we go with another thirteen songs running together like a stream of punk Jack Kerouac consciousness, nothing unlucky about 13; it’s more of the same with Ramones Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky (the new Tommy) giving it some serious thrash as “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” [Rocket To Russia] kicks off part two—it all streaks by so quickly you can only surf the energy which includes the wonderful and always surprising cover of “Surfin’ Bird” [Rocket To Russia] and a ninety second version of “Cretin Hop” [Rocket To Russia] that is beaten to the tape by a one minute “Judy Is A Punk” [Ramones] ha! gold medal for brevity, leaving you with a sweat dripping, body popping, heads down, accelerator flat, ecstatic rock fireworks performance you could trash your living room to but you won’t because at the end as “Pinhead” [Leave Home] crashes and burns you collapse onto the carpet pouring the remains of a can of beer over your own head for relief and that special smell that only comes from the best live gigs.
© Bruce Jenkins 2021