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Customer Review

86 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time...., September 16, 2004
This review is from: Rocket to Russia (Audio CD)
In a small town in Pennsylvania was a little Mom and Pop record store. About 1978 or so, that Palmyra record store began to get a lot of "promo only" albums, the majority of which were by artists in the underground punk scene. Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Dead Boys, Saints and a whole bunch of others. At a buck a pop, I was feeding my curiosity on a regular basis, going into the store literally every couple of days to see if any new albums had appeared.

One of those trips had two fresh items in the front of the bin... "Rocket To Russia" and "Road To Ruin" by The Ramones. I grabbed them both and went over to my friend Chuck's. He had been playing guitar for a year or so, and I'd been writing for as long as I could remember. We went into his basement and put "Rocket To Russia" on the turntable. As soon as "Rockaway Beach" was over, our world had changed. Chuck had his guitar in his hands before the end of side one, because we knew that we could do this, too. By the end of the week, we'd recruited a bassist and a drummer and formed a band.

Two songs. That was all it took to literally make our lives change course. "Rocket To Russia" is literally that powerful an album, and remains a watershed moment in punk rock. You get the seminal "Cretin Hop," "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" "Teenage Lobotomy" and what may be one of the most important Top 100 singles of the decade, "Rockaway Beach." You discover that all sorts of classics could be hammered into rock, as "Do You Wanna Dance" blasted surf music into smithereens.

So I write this, all but blubbering into my computer screen. Johnny's gone now, along with Joey and Dee Dee. Three quarters of the "brothers" that not only kicked complacent music in the kiester, but rallied four high school guys in 1978 to get on stage and make a glorious racket with three minute ditties we wrote ourselves. "Rocket To Russia" reconfigured my world. Turned up to 10, it still makes my head bob. Anyone who ever cared about rock and roll should have this album.

Sad to say, my world reconfigured again today. RIP, Johnny.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 9, 2007 11:00:36 AM PST
Mr. D says:
No s-it brother. This album and Iggy's did it for us teenagers in Detroit also. Now firmly in middle age, I wonder if the glory was worth it? The fun was not bobby-sox, innocent fun. For us it was booze-soaked, drug-fueled, women-obsessed and beautifully sloppy. Are we paying for our sins now? They're all dead now, way too young. And the rest of us deal with divorces, rehabs, inability to adjust to aging. Was it worth it?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 3:45:12 PM PDT
VisionThing says:
It was. You know what they say, if you don't live for something...

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 1:13:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2009 1:14:23 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2009 7:21:25 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 21, 2009 7:24:50 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 9:58:30 AM PST
STILL obssessing over this stuff in such a juvenile manner??

your an idiot to write this! It's not about "obsessing" over the music. It is music that was " A life changing" experience for some. It was never to "simply pass the time away". I think you were too stupid to get it, and really understand it's importance. Punk was never really an image or a fashion, it was an alternative way to think about how to live in this world, and how to think about it. It is a way of life. Shallow and superficial is relative, and it seems your mundane life is just that!

Posted on Apr 10, 2010 12:26:25 PM PDT
Cody Lester says:
When you have musicians from all various genres attributing so much to the Ramones, then you must have some shattering to do! They had some silly songs, yes. But these guys carried such a unique charisma about them, the likes of which I don't think we've seen in quite some time.

Posted on May 27, 2010 7:43:56 PM PDT
Brian Seese says:
Tim, That's awesome man.

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 11:52:34 AM PDT
B. Lewis says:
that's really beautiful man--these are the stories that explain why I still love punk so much.
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