Sunday, March 30, 2014

40 Year Itch: All the Kids Want Somethin' To Do

     On March 30, 1974 The Ramones played their first show. It happened at Performance Studios on East 23rd Street in Manhattan in front of about 30 people. Mostly friends.

     The set list reportedly consisted of ":I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement", "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You", "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue", "I Don't Wanna Be Learned/ I Don't Wanna Be Tamed", "I Don't Wanna Get Involved With You", "I Don't Like Nobody That Don't Like Me" and "Succubus".

Bob Gruen

   Even a few months later, when they were videotaped performing at CBGB, they didn't look like the kind of band that would change the world. They looked like four Forest Hills boys who decided the best way to fight off boredom was to form a rock band. A band that would be the very opposite of the side long suite performing progressive rocks bands that  ruled the day. It wasn't about musicianship. It was about volume and nothing more than a 1-2-3-4 between songs so nobody had time to talk. The audience had little choice but to watch the tall, goofy, needle-thin singer and a guitarist working his instrument so hard his hands were bleeding.

    From the very beginning "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" was part of the set list. In 2001, Dee Dee Ramone told Spin Magazine where the song came from:

   Glue wasn't exactly the Cadillac of drugs. It wasn't so much a drug as a substitution for drugs. We were all more into Carbona, which was a cleaning solution. I worked in a supermarket so it was easy to go down to the basement, sort cans, stamp prices and huff Carbona. One time, to freak out my friends, I filled an empty Carbona bottle with water and drank it down in front of them. We were always proud to play that song for people 'cause it felt nasty-like. We usually didn't have enough self-esteem to feel like real rock 'n' rollers, but that one made us feel special. 

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