September 17, 2004

Adios to Johnny Ramone.

I have a little hearing loss in my right ear as a permanent memorial to you. Here's the NYT obit. Blog readers may enjoy this political part:
Mr. Ramone was often at odds with the members of his band, over dress, politics and relationships. A staunch Republican, Mr. Ramone clashed with Joey over that singer's liberal causes, and when the band was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Mr. Ramone said, "God bless President Bush, and God bless America."
UPDATE: Let me add two things. First, an emailer called attention to this line of the NYT obit: "Mr. Ramone once described his guitar style as 'pure, white rock 'n' roll, with no blues influence.'" Elsewhere, the obit calls his style "fast, buzz-saw blasts of noise [that] laid the foundation for a school of rock guitar" and quotes him as saying "I wanted our sound to be as original as possible. I stopped listening to everything." I hadn't noticed that "pure, white" line when I first read the obit, and I have to admit that I can't help reading that and finding it racist or at least too racial to be an appropriate thing to want to say, even given the extra latitude given rock musicians. But the emailer notes that we commonly call music black, and I'm sure Eric Clapton's obituary will emphasize that he adopted a black style. So is there something wrong with calling a style "white"? I mean, other than as a put-down.

Second, I wanted to note that one of the long answers in today's NYT crossword puzzle is the name of The Ramones last album ("Adios Amigos"). The clue contains no reference to The Ramones, but I wonder if this was just a coincidence or a deliberate tribute to The Ramones.

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