Looks like the gang at Shout Factory is releasing a new “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics” edition of the 1979 Ramones cinematic masterpiece, Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, on DVD and Blu-ray. If you haven’t seen it, you can only imagine how awesome it is. If you need a little help with your imagination, we’ve got another clip below…the scene wherein P. J. Soles sings the title track to her all-girl gym class. Aw yeah. Actually, for a Roger Corman production, it’s rather tame!
Richard “Richie Ramone” Reinhardt, who played drums for the Ramones from 1983 to 1987, lost a suit for back royalties he said totaled nearly $1 million.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin said in a ruling Friday that a contract Reinhardt signed with the band clearly covered digital use of songs he wrote for the Ramones. The titles include “Smash You,””Somebody Put Something in My Drink,””Human Kind,””I’m Not Jesus,””I Know Better Now” and “(You) Can’t Say Something Nice.”
The judge noted that the contract defining phonograph records contained the words “now or hereafter known” when referring to forms of reproduction, making it clear that future technologies are covered by the agreement.
It pays to read the fine print, kids.
Third Annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash
Webster Hall, NYC, May 16, 2003
The Third Joey Ramone Annual Birthday Bash probably got as close to “the ass-kickingest party Joey would have wanted” (in the words of Rocket From the Crypt’s lead singer) as it’s possible to get with the new New York smoking ban. Despite that almost inconceivable limitation on rock and roll abandon, the crowd – a mixture of young punks and Goths and aging former punks and Goths – was in good spirits and packed Webster Hall, which was done up to look like the old Ritz that it was when the Ramones played it. Despite the good cause (all the proceeds went to lymphoma research, to aid sufferers from the disease that Joey died of in 2001), I was initially feeling very old and unexcited. A gray-haired Tommy Ramone sang “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” and he did a good job, but he looked about as old as I felt, and I wondered what a night of Ramones covers would feel like – just sad nostalgia?
Was Ratt as important as the Ramones?
For reasons too tedious to contemplate and therefore innumerate, I use MSN to connect to the Internet. As a result, when I long in I get to a horribly inane interface and the MSN homepage. Or maybe it is a “portal.” There is a multitude of clickable items and images, from news to weather to fashion to entertainment to. . . .
Today I happened to spot a line: “Ugliest Bands of All Time.” Which, I admit, is intriguing due to the oddity (but nowadays who can tell: who’d ever even been thinking about anthrax outside of a few metalheads or fans of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” before now?). So I clicked through and found the following list with no explanation:
· “We’re Not Going to Take It”—Twisted Sister
· “Run-Around”—Blues Traveler
· “Pet Sematary”—The Ramones
· “American Girl”—Tom Petty
· “Heaven Can Wait”—Iron Maiden
· “Search and Destroy”—The Stooges
· “No One Likes You”—Scorpions
· “My Best Friend’s Girl”—The Cars
· “Free Bird”—Lynyrd Skynyrd
· “Tearin’ Up My Heart”—’N Sync
What the hell is this all about? Is Tom Petty thought to be uglier when he sings that song? Is Iggy more attractive-post Stooges? Does the list maker have something against Germans? And why isn’t there a picture of Dee Snider’s mug if the whole thing is about profound unattractiveness?
One thing of note is that the list consists wholly of men. Which is not sexist in the way that you might think. I’d argue that with few exceptions, ugly women just don’t make it big in show biz. From Britney to Shania, from Madonna to Jessica, it is all about looks first and pipes second. Which is often audibly unfortunate and visually appropriate. Ugly men abound, which makes me think that there isn’t, perhaps, a whole lot of distance between TV newscasts and the music industry (e.g., can you image a female version of Willard Scott talking about the weather?).
The “Week in Review” section of the Sunday New York Times is not a straight-up chronicle of what happened during the preceding week; rather, it is a section where some of the key events of the week are essayed. So, for example, the April 22 edition examines the situations in the Middle East and in China; slavery in Sudan and the possible consequences of child care on the development of kids. This is generally serious stuff in the Newspaper of Record.
But there, just below the fold on page 3 of the section, is a photo of Joey Ramone. He died the previous Sunday, April 15. Age: 49. And with the shot is a piece by Jon Pareles, who examines what Joey , Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy did to punk in particular and music in general.
The last sentence of the piece is worth pondering:
“If the Ramones had been, at first glance, a joke, they turned out to be the joke the conquered the world.”
And a joke that got serious run in the Times. Back in ’76, it is hard to imagine such a thing happening. Play hard.