With all the madness that’s occupied us this week, I never had the chance to acknowledge the passing of Joey Ramone, the Godfather of Punk, who died on April 15, 2001, twelve years ago this past Monday. To think that we lost both Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer in less than two years, both at about age 50 … man, that was a rough stretch.
But there’s a lesson there, too, because these guys weren’t afraid of anything. They stood in the teeth of the storm and fucking wailed. Joe Strummer said:
Anger can be power
D’you know that you can use it …
And god knows, they used it. Not destructively, like a lot of punk acts, but as a force for change. They spoke for the disaffected outsiders, the unpopular kids, teenagers who felt like they had no where to turn and nobody who understood them. Joey and Joe understood them, and they gave them a voice.
But mostly they just kicked ass.
We could use a little bit of that punk spirit these days.
Anyway, speaking of Joey and Joe, here’s the Mescaleros covering “Blitzkrieg Bop”:
They’re forming in a straight line
They’re going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds …
Yeah, they were. But you guys made it a little better.