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Home » blog » The Ramones: “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “The KKK Took My Baby Away”
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The Ramones: “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “The KKK Took My Baby Away”

The Ramones came from Forest Hills, which is in Queens, New York. Forest Hills also produced Simon and Garfunkel. That’s probably the only thing the two groups had in common.

The beginning of the Ramones bio at allmusic sums it up nicely:

The Ramones are the first punk rock band. Other bands, such as the Stooges and the New York Dolls, came before them and set the stage and aesthetic for punk, and bands that immediately followed, such as the Sex Pistols, made the latent violence of the music more explicit, but The Ramones crystallized the musical ideals of the genre. By cutting rock & roll down to its bare essentials — four chords; a simple, catchy melody; and irresistibly inane lyrics — and speeding up the tempo considerably, The Ramones created something that was rooted in early ’60s, pre-Beatles rock & roll and pop but sounded revolutionary.

There are, of course, a tremendous number of sites dedicated to the band. The Ramones Museum is in Berlin and Wikipedia has the discography. Two members of The Ramones — Joey and Johnny Ramone — died of cancer, while Dee Dee died of a heroin overdose.

Here are Rockaway Beach and Blizkrieg Bop.

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.