Wednesday, February 20, 2013
It was 1980 and Keith was playing End Of Century on his turntable. It was my first introduction to the band, but I rushed out and bought Rocket to Russia and End of the Century.
I was new to Portland, thus new to any alternative music outside the mainstream FM radio stations I listened to in Ellensburg, Washington. To say I was gobsmacked would be to put it mildly. I had not heard anything quite like it before.

The Ramones made me realize the primal nature of Rock N Roll. That the bloated establishment rock I heard on the radio wasn’t the only way. They taught me that rock should be sleek, primitive and raw. They were making rock n roll records that spit in the face of the glossy rock of the day.

Other artists would connect to me in a much more emotional way, but the Ramones were so much more visceral. Three chords and raging rhythm wrapped in a perfect less than three minute song. It made me happy. It still does.
To this day, when I listen to the Ramones, I am instantly 16 again, singing "The KKK Took My Baby Away" while walking around the streets of Portland at 3:00 AM.

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