ALERT: movie-rental tip.

I was watching the Spurs/Lakers game a couple nights ago and during a commercial I clicked over to Ramones: End of the Century. I ended up watching the whole film, switched back to the game in the fourth quarter in time to watch the Satanic Lakers beat the Slightly-Less-Satanic Spurs in a big comeback. But that’s another story.

End of the Century is basically one big airing of dirty laundry. It tells the story of some truly fucked-up people who made important music. I was never a big Ramones fan, but their tale is fascinating. These dudes are so unflinchingly honest (in their streetwise New York accents) that you can’t turn away. The concert footage, some of it very crude, is OK, but it’s the interview stuff that carries the film.

Hate coursed through the Ramones inner circle. One tidbit: Johnny Ramone (who’s an arch-conservative, controlling asshole and doesn’t mind admitting it) stole Joey Ramone’s girlfriend (and later married her). Joey never gave an inch toward forgiving Johnny — then again Johnny never made any effort toward a reconciliation. Johnny admits that he “was depressed the whole week” when Joey died of cancer in 2001, but wonders why, musing that it might be a character weakness. Pretty ruthless shit.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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