Thank you, The Ramones.
Been trying to think about what to say about Tommy Ramone’s passing all day, and I still don’t have anything really clever or more insightful than anything my friends have posted, so I’ll just add this:
I’ve seen a fair amount of ‘Guess Punk’s dead NOW! chortle chortle’ updates posted. I can only say ‘Bollocks!’ to that. Lydon’s alive. Iggy’s alive, Ditto Rollins, MacKaye, Lydia Lunch. Black Flag are gigging. Subway Sect are still playing, so are The U.K. Subs. It’s still going on. I see people crassly and ignorantly try to paint Iggy and Lydon as sell outs when they did ads, ignoring that those ads were done so albums and gigs could be funded because their own labels let them down. Little thoughts from people who realise, deep down, that they’ve become someone their heroes would despise.
But even if we woke tomorrow to find all of those people were gone as well, it wouldn’t matter. Punk isn’t three chords, some lefty slogans and a mohican. It’s an idea, it’s a state of mind. As long as those concepts exist in the world, as long as some kid hears The Clash or Bad Brains and wakes up to the world around and says ‘Fuck. This. Shit.’, it isn’t over. It’s a virus that infected other mediums, other genres of music, kids who we’d cynically think would be posting pictures of Bieber or Taylor Swift are quoting The Ramones today.
It’s a damn shame that’s it for Da Brudders, but people die, and we can mourn their passing. Ideas don’t, and sometimes I think what we’re here for is to pass on this concepts as best we can. Let’s not turn Punk into one more cultural museum for stocky old men to weep teary eyed over, looking defeated in their pint of mild, one more fossil for Vive Le Rock & Mojo to write about in ‘In MY day’ style articles, but keep it going. Past us If we have one job, it’s that we have to make things better for the next generation.
Thank you very much, The Ramones.
‘I just want something to believe in’ The Ramones