ramones - The I-94 Bar

BARFLY TOP TENS: Mine Host, The Barman

Rossy and BarmanThe Celebrity Roadie informs The Barman that he can't go out in public like that. As usual, he's ignored. Kyleigh Pitcher photo.

This is a Top Ten of two parts. First, live gigs, and second, albums. You know. Second part, different from the first.The rule of not reviewing my own gigs goes right out the door from the get-go. Got an issue with that? See you in the carpark...

Chris Masuak and the Sydney City Wave Riders:
This was a sensational run of shows- a mini-tour in and around Sydney because that’s all that time allowed - by Klondike and his crack band of Tony Bambach (bass) and Stuart Wilson (drums). Great players, top blokes. Armed with a killer setlist drawing on most of Chris’s back catalogue, the guys fired from the get go. Many of the versions surpassed the originals with Maz playing two guitar parts, as few people can. The shows blew away much of the skullduggery and malakarey involved with certain ghosts from the recent past.

HITS at Marrickville Bowlo
You can’t keep playing the same old songs or you’ll get staid and there’s no sign of HITS doing that just yet. Members are now scattered the length of the East Coast so it can’t be easy getting together…or maybe that’s a blessing in disguise because it keeps things fresh. They continue to be THE Aussie band to follow.

Chewing Out Your Rhythm On My Bubble Gum - Juliette Seizure & The Tremor-Dolls (Off The Hip)

tremor dollsHey Ho, Let’s Go! The original members of the Ramones are dead but their sound lives on in thousands of bands all over the world. It’s said that their greatest gift to music was when the Ramones played in your town because at least one band started after they left. I’m pretty sure that Juliette Seizure & The Tremor-Dolls are way too young to have seen The Ramones live, but they sure have listened to their records.

“Chewing Out Your Rhythm On My Bubble Gum” is full of classic Ramones driven riffs, aided by the smokey vocals of Shannon Cannon, Lauren and Zoe. It rocks and rolls, swaggers and pops with wonderful playing and well-crafted songs that just have you grooving from the first track until the last. It’s a winner, this album.

CJ Ramone tours Oz

cj-logoIf you have to ask which band he played with you’re in the wrong place. We're talking about xx-bassist for the greatest rock roll band in the history of the world, CJ Ramone, who will undertake his first solo band Australian tour in February to support a new record.

The extensive run by the ex-Ramones bassist takes in the ACT and all states except WA.

Guess who's coming to town again?

marky ramone blitzkriegPacking a set-list of "all Ramones, nothing but Ramones", long-time drummer for the Bruddas, Marky Ramone, is bringing his show to Australia and New Zealand in November. 

One of three surviving Ramones (excluding Elvis Ramone, who only lasted two shows, and including CJ and Richie), Marky handled skins duties for the classic punk outfit between 1978-83 and '87-96.

An original denizen of the NYC punk scene centered on Max’s Kansas City (Marky also played with Wayne County and Richard Hell’s Voidoids), he flies the flag for his old band live and as a digital radio host.

Leave Home Deluxe Edition – Ramones (Rhino)

Ramones LeaveHome DeluxeEditionContest the claim if you like, but there isn’t a better Ramones album than “Leave Home”, their second long-player.

Yes, the debut was retrospectively ground-breaking and a beacon for rock and roll’s shift back-to-basics, but “Leave Home” surely should have been the point where “punk” (at least as America knew it) crossed the line, converting from Cult Curiosity to Mainstream Soundtrack.

High-tensile guitars, off-colour humour, melodies and energy live large within its groove. Bubblegum, doo-wop, pop and rock bundled into the perfect musical package, married to an image of teen rebellion, leather jackets and shades. What the fuck is there not to love?

Marky Ramone tells: Why I didn't punch Bono

marky ramone 2017 


Ex-Ramones and Voidoids drummer, author and sc-fi fan Marky Ramone starts his first Australian tour in almost a decade this week. Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg reprises the back catalogue of the Ramones with Marky driving the backbeat behind a crew of hand-picked punk rock players.

Pete Howlett of Adelaide band The Pro-Tools was given the chance to pitch him 10 questions. Here's the result.  

Our shout! Why The Fleshtones and Peter Zaremba still drink for free after all these years...

Fleshtones photo cred JacopoBenessi
Meet Keith Streng, Ken Fox, Peter Zaremba and Bill Milhizer.  Jacopo Benessi photo. 

Here’s another plea for justice and a call for long overdue respect. Add another name to the list of bands whose “failure” (such a harsh word when applied without context) to break into the mainstream is not just unfathomable but criminal. Ladies and gentlemen, I speak of The Fleshtones, stars of stage and screen and bearers of a vibrant new record, “The Band Drinks For Free”, on Yep Roc.

The Official Biography lists it as Album Number 21 (including live releases) and says the band is in its 40th year,  but let’s dispense with the figures and deal only in facts. The first one is: If you’re not listening to The Fleshtones, you’re a loser.  The second is: It’s never too late to shed your loser status.

The Fleshtones emerged from a basement in New York City’s Queens borough and onto a stage at CBGB in 1976. Largely written out of histories of the Lower East Side scene despite being fixtures at places like CBs, Max’s Kansas City, The Pyramid, Danceteria and Club 57, they went through a trailer-load of trials and tribulations (labels going broke, line-ups in flux, drugs and drink) to “almost make it” in spectacular style.

Punk Avenue: Inside the New York City Underground 1972-1982 by Phil Marcade (Three Rooms Press)

punk avenuePhillippe Marcade was briefly drummer and then frontman for long-running New York City band The Senders, and a close confidant of many on the CBGB and Max’s Kansas City scenes.

Born in France, for the most illegally living in NYC, he rode the rock and roll roller coaster as hard as anyone in Lower Manhattan. 

“Punk Avenue” - the title is a play-on-words reference to the Park Avenue location of Max’s - is a fantastic read. There are no dead spots; Marcade tells his story colourfully, underlined by droll, self-deprecating humour. 

Punk trailblazer Marty Thau dies

Legendary New York punk rock forefather, label head and manager, Marty Thau, has passed away, sources close to the ex-New York Dolls manager say. He was aged 75.

Ramones By Nicholas Rombes (Bloomsbury, 33 1/3 series)

Why is it relevant to review a book initially released in 2005? Because (1.) the subject matter seems as relevant now as it ever did, and (2.) it’s still in print.

You can’t expect anything usual from the 33 1/3 series, that’s clear. All that matters is: Does it work? Does it help us, does it add to the LP in question..?

Given the huge influence that this first "Ramones" LP had on modern rock’n’roll music, it is with woeful heart that I report that Rombes is another academic. in 2005 he was Associate Professor of English at the University of Detroit Mercy. (No, me either).

It was a worried frown that I found I disagreed heartily with the first two sentences, which hung out Rombes’ slate above his wares; "Ramones is either the last great modern record, or the first great postmodern one. Fully aware of its status as pop culture, it nonetheless has unironic aspirations toward art." I winced.

Surely not another academic with no clues as to actual context ..?

Richie to fly Ramones flag in Australia

The legend of the Ramones lives on in Australia this May, when Richie Ramone hits Australian shores.

Richie is bringing that blistering backbeat to venues in Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, playing the tracks he wrote and recorded with Da Bruddas as well as new material that rocks like leather jackets, ripped knee jeans and battered Converse sneakers.

White Mice are Exploding - again

white mice

Here’s one you might not have expected: Adelaide’s hard ‘n’ heavy Exploding White Mice are reforming for shows, in conjunction with the Adelaide Film Festival.

The Mice were a staple in the ‘80s and ‘90s with their landmark “Nest of Vipers” EP (1983) and a string of albums with a variety of line-ups. They were renowned as one of the best Radio Birdman-Ramones influenced outfits in Australia and took a distinctly poppy turn in their later days.