Sunday, April 05, 2009

Schlock Schlock Schlock Schlock, Rock 'n' Roll Thigh Drool

Schlock Schlock Schlock Schlock,

Rock ‘n’ Roll Thigh Drool


Up From The Depp Depp Depps And Letting Out Raw Moans

(This One’s 2 3 4! The Boys)

Don K. Barbecue

(The far-flung, no guitars to strum future. The last Ramones impersonator on Earth sits alone in his room. Bleak and 1 2 3 4-saken is he, mental from no rock ‘n’ roll radio since the end of the century. Weak, starving for food and affection. Suffering from no jingle jangle Byrd-dom, nothing for rolling to get stoned, no punk rock playing and shouting out raw moans…

And then, there’s a knock at the door!

He can’t get up, watches slumpedly seated as a slim, pretty hand, punkily bejeweled, slips through the space between doorchain and wall, slides a thin but huge cardboard box into the darkened room. As the door closes, its draft pushes a card from atop the box onto the table upon which rests our hero’s last old rock magazine. That there may be no more such mags to be found on Earth is something he refuses to think upon…it gets him too Trouser Depressed. He uses one hand to wearily prop up the other, picks up the card, forces his bad, bad brain to read:

“Hey, ho, let’s go! Yer too tough to die! Sheena layed her! Yer #1 fan!”

What the…? Can it be?He crawls across the littered floor, tears the box open, long unexperienced smells wafting deliciously to him. No, it isn’t possible! But, it is! Hands trembling, he extracts some of the boxly contents…ummmm, anchovies!...shovels them into his mouth. Ah, the food of the guitar great gods…pizza!

The future of rock ‘n’ roll IN the future is saved, once again having been dragged up to liberated life from the very depp depp depps!)

Flashback to 1976…ooh, the wing-tipped collars!

The long-haired country kid who was myself wayback when then, during America’s last free decade, listens to a new LP a friend has brought over. Stark black and white cover, simply titled “Ramones,” kids on it looking even younger than Aerosmith when I saw them in the dawn over the drive-in beginning of the ‘70’s, when they opened for Stevie Guitar Miller. Steve Tyler on stage looked, maybe, four feet tall, two feet of them being, I coulda sworn Mick Jagger’s lips, if that’s the kinda thing ya logo for.

Said myself to my best bud, looking at that first Ramones' cover, "Who ARE these guys?”

To which he replied, “Can’tcha READ? The RAMONES!”

Which hardly explained the unwooly wigged wonder before me. Oh sure, the rock press had been go-goin’ on for nearly two years about something called the Ramones. Still, I’d had to ask WHO they were that first glance, but The Who they were not, by the fright of any full Moon. And that sound! I still can’t believe my unsuspecting sound system didn’t turntable and run! It was one raunchily rotating rock revolution, for sure, rather like the first time my brother and I heard Are You Experienced. (“Izzat a guitar? “Nah, can’t be.” “Oh yeah, why not and sez who?”) Like that, but just as earth-shaking rumbling it was, an ear-blasting AND breaking industrial chainsaw assault. And yet, and yet, it WORKED! My foot began taking over my battered brain, going bad already, as said foot, against my control, kept kickin’ out the toejams. The danged LP ROCKED. Thus began my 30-plus years love for everyone’s fave’rit back alley band, the Forrest Hills gang who couldn’t shoot straight enough to find that friggin’ 4th chord. Many years later an Elmore Leonard character defined punk by calling it “3 chords and a scream.” Just 1976, and already the Ramones had defined punk, hammering it out and nailing it down. Here I am typing this, listening to the boys for the millionth time thinking “Did they ever learn to KEEP time?” and lovin’ ‘em still. Just as I still love the guy who showed me and played their first aural assault: best man at my wedding, who grinned, got the drive-in reference when I vowed “Our union is strong.” Best bud through many a stoopin’ drunker. Which brings me to the first of four best beat on the brat things about the Ramones. Or izzat the beat on the bratwurst?

#1: When The Ramones Are Playing, You Know Who Your Friends Are!

I go a lotta places, wear as many Ramones t-shirts. Strangers smile at the shirt, wave, laugh me a fun, been-there, keep doing THAT laugh. Kids old enough to be my grandkids give me a thumbs up steada “Wadda numbnuts.” In other words, without the shirt these people might just wish that thumb up to me was UP my butt. And ya know what? Many 1976 friends who DID engerm, that is, enjoy the Ramones back then are still around me, just for letting out midnight raw moans FOR the Ramones.

One of the guys who AIN’T around. Cat I knew in college. Dunno if his ears froze trying to avoid a draft during Uncle Sam’s deal, but boy could he mangle song titles. Johnny Rivers’ ode to Double Oh!s somehow, to his ears, became “Secret ASIAN Man.” Clarence Clamwater’s hit as sung by himself became “There’s a bathroom on the right!” To him, David Crosby sang of looking in his mirror and seeing a Polish star. And the Ramones? When I last saw the not-quite, butt-close-to-disco dude in the late ‘70’s and he heard the Ramones, he thought they were singin’, get this, “Rock Rock Rock Rock, Rock ‘n’ Roll THIGH DROOL.” Sad to say, don’t today know if the guy’s still alive, or been, like tomb many rock ‘n’ rollin’ friends and ex-friends, taken by, um, Deaf.

Reason #2: Chain, Chain, Chain, Chain of Ghouls!

For Shirley, Jackson, or witchever reasons, before the Ramones and punk, American rock ‘n’ roll just didn’t have all that much sin pittly…make that sympathy…for junk horror movies. Oh, it was there on the twist and shOUTer limits, even in rock’s oily-hair daze there were crawling up the charts eye-tems about flying saucer rock ‘n’ roll, or “Purple People Eater” soundin’ awful weird and Wooley. About the same time a guy named Hawkins would jump outta onstage coffins a-Screamin’.

The ‘60’s? Well, there were indead Elvi all those teen tragedy tunes we usedta call “Tell Laura I Drove Over Her.” Novelty terror tunes ya hear on collections of Elvira vinyl fell into the Monster-us ms. Mash, tomb bat. One ‘60’s band, Procol Harum, produced a body of horror work that could fill two CDs, at blood feast least and STILL there’d be more, eyes alive with maggots screaming. By the ‘70’s Alice Cooper sang about horror movies AND performed them to many a Kongcert ghouler who got his or her brain Dwight Fryed. Black Sabbath, whose first LP cover creature featured a green-faced female who looked like one of my mold girlfiends, took a Mario Bava flick’s title as their name. But, Black Sunday or not, the Sabbsters Steele didn’t unlive up to horror movie at the drive-in scents abilities, hacks axely. You know, drive-in “drivel” that spawned froth from the ‘50’s and “B”yond: early Roger Corman making little shop horrors that were truly Not Of This Earth before he learned to strike up at Poe’s; Hammers films w/ Chris Lee and Peter Cushing way before ya could buy their studio output on Eeeek!-Bray; David Cronenberg making his first RABID for fame; Tobe Hooper and his gamey cast drenched in Texas sweat toolin’ up a terror film to that made everyTHING else look as Dallas they scum.

And here came the Ramones w/ their #1 LP, never destined to BE #1… but who scared… singing about horror movies from their very beginning! They’d hoodoo “Chainsaw,” slay, like it was nude bodies buzz-mess! Or sing about pinheads ala FREAKS or SPIDER BABY all to Jack Hill and back. They’d also let loose with warnings not to go down in de basement, and WE KNEW from being at the drive-ins, ya don’t look in the danged basement, no slay, no howl. Ya do, ya find rotsa purple popsickle people who have just dripped over daid! Yeah, fright from the beginning the boys sang about mad, mad monster movies, bad, bad brains, lobotomies, all the THINGs make monster flicks at the drive-in craniyummy!

Hooboy, and I don’t even wanna stink abutt telling ya how it all worked, how IT CAME together that this country kid, who already had lobed at first fright every movie monster ever, ahem, made, suddenly and scumpletely went all gabba gabba hayseed.

The Ramones, though, weren’t messy scarey Lees alone in their monsterous method of melodie. Other punks came along loving junk horror ghouled stuff like instantly….Blondie w/ their giant ants from space, the Debster’s wit all formic acid…Byrne and his psicko killer gone fey-fey-fatal…the bloody red splendor of The Cramps pummeling your bad, bad brain as if w/ one huge psickobillyclub. The Ramones and many American punks of the time LOVED THIS SHIT cuz they knew it wasn’t shit, knew that what many disco devotees thought was shit would outlast stuff that was Travolting steada redblood reekvolting. Up tomb grue, fear reader, what most deserves to “B” cast into the world’s worst Olivia Elton John.

And besides, if ya didn’t get it that the Ramones live import was called “It’s Alive,” what gore, I mean, more did a music-buyer need, calling it “It’s A Clive”? And why bother to hexplain scumthing to someone who obviously has a bat case of spastic Colin?

Witch leads us tomb: #3: The Roger Corman/Ramones “I Can Do THAT!” Facturd!

Roger Corman, “king of the ‘B’s,” duke of the drive-ins since the ‘50’s, made a lil movie in 1979 with the Ramones called ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL, that forever cemented the group’s cartoon image. It’s also the movie every punk and horror fan has to put on their movie list of THINGs to, uh, exploding mouse see.

Folks witch scare, uh, who care can look at a Corman flick, from the very beginning of his career before American-International Pictures wasn’t even called such yet, to this very day with the latest DEATH RACE, and marvel at the man’s frightening frugality. Certain Corman fans can’t believe that when his animated 70’s flick DIRTY DUCK also went out as CHEAP, it didn’t finally wind up as the perfect marquee title: ROGER CORMAN'S CHEAP. And I mean that lovingly and by no means crying fowl.

Point is, people can watch Corman and find his work in any, and I do mean ANY, movie genre and “B” inspired to try movie-making themselves. People have by the ka-thousands. I believe it was Joe Dante said back in the ‘70’s if everybody who ever worked for Corman fell off the planet, there’d be no one left to MAKE movies anymore. Names of film folks that started with R.C. would fill a phone book, let alone the people who WORK!ed their way into film simply on seeing his stuff inspurtation. The Ramones link? Just as Corman begat tons of TITANIC film makers, the Ramones are the grungefodders where it comes to inspiring the punk generation, never mind those who’d say degeneration. Just as the Velvets musta sold a whole hundred LPs during their existence, but encouraged tons of musicians WITH courage, the Ramones were so deviantly and defiantly simple compared to the overblown and bloated competition they were Corman style brilliance on the no-budget. Kids in garages across the land(s) heard the Ramones, loved it, laughed themselves up offa their down in dad’s debasement couches and yelled the old, as with Corman, “Heck, I can do THAT!” As on, “ I’ve heard better sound on my mom’s turntable from Sears & Roebuck.” Never mind that after that their relationship with Mom probably got kinda five and tense.

I don’t ever wanna haveta count how many of such went on to pick up their guitars and flay, Ramonesly, like using a dimestore icepick lobotomy to freeze a jolly ghouled fellow.

Simplicity in rock is like the oldie butt goodie blonde-unblonde joke: bed her if she’s true to her roots! Like I said, the Ramones reekmain amazingly colossal, man, for the effect on the 70’s’-foot-and-beyond kinda blonde glistening, I mean, listening pubic. Uh, publick. People who ape-preciate the sky-finer THINGs in life…Creatures from the Black Leather Lagoon and Mutant Monster Beach Party-Oners from the pet sem across the road kill…they all LOVE the Ramones. Such folks are the type who at midnight don’t want from a Meryl movie even if she’d be friggin Stripped, or Tom, either, unless he’s still young and full’a Hanks of hair and it’s dark and he knows you’re alone. There’s this long line from the Cormans at the drive-in raised kids, to the kids who to this day find the Ramones for the first slime and begin to form their own happy family of he’s and hers. And spooking of hers, such youngsters would gruely understand what my fear mold mudder usedta say: “Never date a woman who drives a hearse.” The reason being, she’ll drive ya to stink!

Yep, gotta love the post-20th Century and that there’ll always be Ramones-styled and spunky punks like those the boys in the band, way back in ’76, began to seriously sperm. Uh, spam. Dammit, spawn! Put on the latest artsy fartsy or big budget Whoreyhood picture for THESE people, you clear the house cheap as Corman, or at least the Ramones’ tailors, cuz you don’t even need to splurge for the Price of an Usher.

And as long as we’re getting pop corny, reason #4: Things That Won’t Leave? Let The Ramones Send Them On Vacate Shun!

I’m trapped, like our hapless hero in the far-flung, no guitars in the future, in my own house. Guests…who invited THESE guys?...are starting to give me the midnight friggin’ Monas. Starting to gargle-ly quarrel over what to watch, to hear. Factions divide, multi-puke. Some older gal yells for CS&N, no doubt wanting to feel Young. Anudder gal, sinking fast, wants Celine to help her along in winding and Dion down. One guy wants Olivia Elton John, but he’s obviously crocodile-crocked. Or, to “B” more Poe-cise, how can I settle this clammering crown and get 1976 back to the love of my life whose union is strong, the gal I met when the Ramones were a’bornin’ and a’burnin’, the gal I met selling shrimp rolls at a drive-in playing…what?...Donna The Dead? Hell, I don’t Tarantino….

What I do when this happens, what you, dear Schlock ‘n’ roller, should do, should this sad situation ever happen to YOU, and trust me, it never fails: YOU PUT ON THE RAMONES! The Ramones can clear midnight houses with the beast of “M.” Suddenly there’s nothing left but friends from the good old daze, when disco sucked and the answer was punk, stupid! Try it. You’ll be amazed how the joint has cleared, how now your joint is filled with only the guys and gals who care AND scare around you and vicey versey. And if you, too, are as lucky as my own elf, they’ll be your people that last. People with those Ramones/Corman types of qualities I mentioned, because your union with them is strong unto death, sport!

(The old century has ended, a next one begun with the new millenium. Been sitting typing this, watching DEATH RACE 2000 with the sound off while playing the R&R HIGH SCHOOL soundtrack, thinking on how that Corman produced and semi-directed futuristic car crash and burner just missed by a few years how we as a nation would be going on about our “enemies the French.” Curse, that took having a President whose bad, bad brain was French fried. Hope you’ve enjoyed my reliving those 30 years long gone since the Ramones first assailed in like a hurricane, when I was like a Young rocker getting blown away. Hope ya feel as swell as I do, having thought upon all those kids Who are alright. Gladcha enjoy tha new kids keep hearing the Ramones and pick up their guitars unafraid. Whoa! Man, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL still sounds and looks and sounds great, even without benefit of a giant outdoor silver screen a’Screaming Don at me. Ah, bliss. What the…? What’s that noise? Could there be from the past the rise of some Ramones/Corman past some killer Spector?

No, wait, I’m NOT hearing things. It’s the voice of my daughter, yelling, “Hey, Dad dude! Long as you’re playing the Ramones, crank it UP up there!”

She is, you see, down in the basement, smashing protons.

Ah yes, today is four-chordless fine. The far-flung future is saved. I feel suddenly as if it’s not Ms. Togarish to say it shall be the end of MANY a century before the drive-in sensibilities of the Ramones and Roger Corman will ever, ever have completely Woronov! And if some disco-lovin’ drunk in YOUR future a Paul-ingly disagrees, you can Bartel him so.)

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