The Ramones

November 1, 2004

I adore the Ramones, I miss Joey and Dee Dee, and I want Johnny and the rest of the gang to make all the money they deserve-but never really got-as the creators of punk rock. So do me a favor-even though I can't really recommend this DVD, buy it anyway. Of course, you don't owe me anything, so if you do need a little nudge to purchase this disc, skip all of the tour diary and hangin' out snippets and go right for the concert footage. You can even peek at some of the band's television performances on programs such as Space Ghost and The Uncle Floyd Show. Watching the Ramones blaze through their "hits" is always a cool activity for those who are into the classic dorky majesty of sullen NYC attitudes, leather jackets, jeans, and Mosrites. It's also kind of fun to count Johnny's downstrokes on each song. But Ramones Raw really stumbles with its "background" footage-mostly compiled from drummer Marky's '80s and '90s video archives. (And may I just add that it's pretty uncool for Marky to name his equipment sponsors in the liner notes? Sheesh.) There's a lot of silly, dull, and simply bad stuff on those reels, and you don't want to remember the Ramones as being just as tortuously boring when on the road as Sting or Phil Collins. Punk rockers were supposed to be hipper-or, at least, more bombed and profane-than that. I say, keep the myth alive-avert your eyes. Image Entertainment.

-Michael Molenda  

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