“Schoolboy Blues” is the infamous song the Rolling Stones recorded to get out of their contract with Decca Records, when they were told they owed Decca one more single before their contract was up. Again, be careful what you wish for or what you demand. Decca, of course, were horrified by the results and never released this officially.
Objectively speaking, this isn’t quite so bad. Musically speaking, it sounds like a rawer version of “Sister Morphine,” only with the subject matter being male prostitution instead of heroin. This is the Ramones’ “53rd and 3rd” six years earlier … only a LOT more explicit. So explicit in fact, that I will say this is … ahem … not safe for work. OK, you’ve been told the tale. Either listen or don’t listen.
P.J. Soles is an actress who had many prominent roles in classic films of the late 1970s / early 1980s such as “Carrie,” “Halloween,” “Stripes,” “Private Benjamin,” and her greatest role … Riff Randell in “Rock n’ Roll High School.” Her career kind of faded in the mid-1980s, though she does pop up in things every now and then. From the extremely cool and heavy 2004 album “Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?”
The band that was first known as the Irish Ramones delivers a gem from their classic self-titled debut album. This may not be as well-known as “Teenage Kicks” or “Jimmy Jimmy,” but it was always one of my favorites. And it accomplishes all that it needs to in just under 2 minutes.
Battling it out are Tom Waits and the Ramones, doing separate versions of Waits’ “I Don’t Want to Grow Up.” First up is Waits’ folk-from-hell original single from his classic 1992 album “Bone Machine.” After that, you can watch the Ramones do their own take, which achieved greater commercial success in 1996 (from their last studio album “Adios Amigos”). I don’t know folks … they’re both pretty great.
One of my favorite psychedelic hard-rock soul songs from the 1960s, here’s the Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today.” One of the most brilliant uses of rock music in film was when Hal Ashby used this song to underscore a long and intense scene in his 1978 Vietnam drama “Coming Home,” the one where Bruce Dern confronts Jon Voight over Voight’s affair with Dern’s wife, played by Jane Fonda.
As a bonus, I’ve also included the Ramones’ kick-ass punk-metal cover from 1983’s “Subterranean Jungle”:
OK, I’ve been a little depressing tonight with my media selections, so I’m ending on a happier note. In this case, it’s the Ramones’ “Chasing the Night” from their kick-ass 1984 album “Too Tough to Die.”
“Chasing the Night” was always my favorite “I”m going out tonight to have a great f–king time” song and this is a great live performance from the UK’s “Old Grey Whistle Test” TV program. Good night, folks!
This is nearly a half hour of footage from one of the greatest rock shows of all time. This was the show that was recorded for the Ramones’ classic live album “It’s Alive.” Considering that album is 28 songs in roughly 58 minutes, you’re getting quite a bargain. What are you waiting for?
From the 1983 album “Subterranean Jungle,” this is the Ramones directly addressing the hardcore turn punk rock had gone by the early 1980s. As record companies abandoned punk for more radio- and video-friendly New Wave, some bands got rawer and more aggressive. The Ramones saw the ante being upped and did their own version of hardcore … fast, nasty, and intense with a tsunami of guitar noise that will drown you within the first 30 seconds.
Ironically, “Psycho Therapy” was produced by 1960s bubblegum rock legend Ritchie Cordell (who wrote the bubblegum classics “Mony Mony,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’,” and “Indian Giver”).
The accompanying video was banned by MTV for graphic violence. In other words, not safe for work.
“Crummy Stuff” sums up my sentiments these days about all kinds of “crummy stuff.” At age 43, there’s too many great movies I haven’t seen yet, too much great music I haven’t heard yet, too much great food I haven’t tried yet, good friends I haven’t talked to in a long time, terrific people I haven’t allowed myself to get to know better, and wonderful places I haven’t been to yet.
Seriously, why settle for McDonald’s, Katherine Heigl movies, or a–holes when the sublime is literally at your fingertips, two miles, a half-gallon of gas, a phone call, or email away? Enough with that “crummy stuff” already! Time to bring on the stuff that makes life worth living.
From 1992’s “Mondo Bizarro,” comes one of the finest Ramones songs ever recorded. “Poison Heart” is a wonderfully mature song, both lyrically and musically. As much as I love the 1-2-3-4, three-chord, “30 songs in less than 60 minutes” style the Ramones are most famous for, they really excelled at longer, slower, more thoughtful material.
Written by Dee Dee Ramone after he left the band, the rights to this song were allegedly sold to the Ramones after they helped bail him out of jail. Dee Dee was a terrific (and underrated) songwriter. I’m sorry his own personal demons got the better of him. He had a lot of talent and had a lot more to give.