The Ramones: a rite of passage

[image-1]The Ramones ought to be part of the rite of passage of any youngster with a voracious appetite for music.  In my eyes, you can't make the leap to other, more sophisticated, intricate pieces of music until you've experienced it at its most primal, rudimentary and FUN.

I guess the ratio isn't so bad ... there have been PLENTY of wide-eyed kids who have come in over the years to whom I've presented a copy of Rocket To Russia with great pride and hope. Almost like a pilot giving a young passenger his own set of wings on a plane.

And for the rest, there's still time. The "Road To Ruin" is still paved and awaiting each and everyone...


By Vinyl Fever's Gabe Echazabal

A young music lover whose taste I respect and admire told me something shocking the other day. The kid is in his late teens and listens to some pretty cool stuff — vintage

Bowie, freaked-out Zappa and some other worthwhile contemporary artists as well. I see myself in this person ... when I was 18. I couldn't get enough music. I read about it, listened to it, tried to play it ... You get the idea.

We were talking music in the aisles of Vinyl Fever and he asked me for some suggestions. Everything came to a screeching halt when, totally unprovoked, he told me he did NOT want anything by the Ramones. My jaw was still mid-drop when he twisted the knife in my soul a little deeper. "All their music sounds the same!" he announced. I don't know if I was more shocked, saddened or confused. I mean, I just assumed, based on his level of music knowledge, that he'd already been converted to the clan from Queens. I felt like he was cheating himself out of a vital part of his adolescence by denouncing the "bruddahs" who fueled the passion and fire for music for so many teenage boys (and lots of girls too) for so long. It was as if he were telling me that he hated candy, cartoons and videogames, too.

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