Top Ten Dumbest
of All Time
Hey huh WTF? The dumbass Ramones suck suck suck.
Why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame takes as gospel now the idea that the Ramones are worthy originators of punk rock I'll never know. Wait, I do know. The older rockers, craving street credibility, glommed onto whatever was said to be the punk rock while still safe and stupid enough for middle-America. Basically, since The Ramones were totally non-threatening punk, they are celebrated whereas the actual threatening core of punk is overlooked because it is actually challenging. Thus, Richard Hell and The Voidoids get ignored in the mainstream; meanwhile the safe choice is offered up as a sacrifice so that dinosaur rock can try and stay relevant.)
People always talk up the The Ramones' energy. They conceed they were dumb, poor players, and fairly unoriginal but they had a lot of that "youthful punk rock energy"! Big whoop. Every kid has youthful energy, its a product of youth. That doesn't mean they should all clumsily pick up instruments and insult their audience while shouting some of the dumbest words to ever be celebrated in the history of music (and that includes The Shaggs!) The idea that a "bowl haircut and black motercycle jacket" are "almost too perfect"? For who? Henry Winkler? In all my experiences on this planet, the only people who I EVER saw actually sincerely wear a leather jacket were always maladepts who thought it might give them a stronger cooler image to make up for their sad little internal sense of inferiority. (Well, the exception is people who actually ride a motorcycle).
I really don't give a shit what a musician looks like, OK? I listen to music, not look at it. Their aesthetic might be expressed in their image as well as their sound but it is their sound which is ultimately important for any artist.Yet somehow the Ramones dumb retro look is supposed to be "perfect" rather than just a dead-giveaway that they were dumb wannabees who couldn't think of any original idea and so had to raid a doo-wop greaser's closet from 1957? That's a joke, right?
RS: "The Ramones had their act so together that they would change it only in increments for two decades." So, the fact that they celebrated their arrested development and then languished in their own cess is supposedly a strength? The fact that they started with a fifth grade mentality and never went anywhere interesting or matured is a good thing?
I do understand that they started with a sense of humor. It was a joke, and it was probably even worth a sensible chuckle at first. That they stiffened into boring little eterna- teens, is that supposed to still be funny when it calcifies? So much pop music really is geared towards children and those with an under-developed mentality that they have been convinced never growing up really is a life strategy that can take you places! "I stopped seeing them and largely stopped listening to them after their first two albums." --Raymond Pettibone
RS: "When they first started, they played what they knew how to play, which wasn't much, and worked it to their advantage."
I'm not sure how that was considered to be "worked to their advantage" except by those who needed someone worse than them to idolize ("If those idiots can do it, I surely can do it better" is quite the inspiration). What you mean to say is, "their crappy music was laughed at by dumbasses as a cynical joke but taken for serious by those even more witless who actually identified with their satiric image of youth rebellion."
Listen, I try to "work to my advantage" the fact that I never learned how to perform heart surgery too, but for some reason no one wants to lay on my table! I don't get it, I'm working it to my advantage. I cut through all that technical expertise and just flail away with my knife like the inspiration that I am. Ha ha, only punk rock would consider ineptitude a value. Like I said, I understand that argument and there were in fact a lot of punk rockers who DID learn to play better over their careers pr who did have a degree of charm, who did make relevant good and important music even when simple or unschooled, and had something to say from the start. The Ramones are not high on that list. Bad Brains, Agent Orange, Dead Kennedys, The Flesheaters, X, etc etc might be. Not The Ramones. "The Ramones were not the most likeable people." -Everett True, Hey Ho Let's Go.
RS: "Their rotational three chords and headlong lunge kept them skidding through the simpleton catchphrases of their singalongs." Ha ha, even a review supposedly talking them up has to call them "simpletons" so why don't they take that to its logical conclusion and state that simpletons making simple music that sucks doesn't deserve shit for accolades? Why not note that in fact there were and are a million better more deserving musicians out there to talk up instead? Why not just let them collect their award as if to say, "Aww, they're harmless grinning idiots, why can't you leave them alone out of pity?" Well, it is because the industry and its money are now tied up in perpetuating the Ramones were great myth, that's why. "The Ramones were my first exposure to punk rock via HBO." - Pat Graham
See, the algos (Next Big Sound etc) and the hype machine before them tell the public that The Ramones are already popular with a certain segment of the most plebian and often immature music consumer as well as some older diehards. Today, this is based on thenumber not quality of their mentions in digital media as well as previous accolades. So the rest of the press and culture, eager to please and ride the train of commercial validation the algos reinforce, go ahead and toe the line ( Then it self-reinforces once it becomes something the algo thinks is true (and thus more articles are written, consumer impressions increase, industry hacks ride the train). This groupthink kind of marketplace has been well documented and took place before digital media by way of industry-favorable print publications and other networks of dissemination. Studies have shown that when consumers are told something is already successful then it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle (especially when done right from a marketing standpoint by professionals). There is no other explanation.
The Ramones were "just joking" over their thirty year career, the same joke over and over? That joke isn't funny anymore. I mean, is that it? Sorry, I've heard that attempt at justifiying their stupidity before and it doesn't wash. Like I said, its "kinda funny" chuckle chuckle look how dumb they are for about a second. And then it just stays stupid after that, and then it becomes stoopid. Listen, fellas, it isn't satire when the stupidity being "mocked" by acting stupid is not an act but just real stoopid. From the beginning, the joke was that hey were just stupid stupid; it was the fans that thought celebrating it was a kind of FU to the music industry. How old were they when they died again? Did they wear the clothes of a teenager in their casket just as they did throughout their entire stunted lives?
Let's just knock back a few of the other weaker implied arguments for why according to Rolling Stone the Ramones are supposed to be a hallowed American musican institution at this point.
1. They INSPIRED people who couldn't play to try and play; such music circumvented the commercial structures of the time and opened the door to a raw creative period which saw a more genuine music culture emerge.
So..that was the MC5 which did that. And Richard Hell. Or The Runaways, or plenty of others. Well, OK, apparently if you lived in New York close to Wooster Street in 1977 then perhaps you saw The Ramones as liberating simple back to basics rock and roll unlike, say, Rush, and they just blew your teenage mind or something. Sure, I'll be charitble and note that a lot of other musicians liked their energy and back to basics kind of aesthetic back then. I'll spot them that. But let's get real. There were a LOT of other bands which did the same thing BETTER. Again, that makes them a one hit wonder not a GOAT.