Joey Ramone - lead vocals; Johnny Ramone - guitar; Dee Dee Ramone - bass, backing vocals; Marky Ramone - drums
America's godfathers of punk, the Ramones, mounted the stage at the Oakland Auditorium in October of '79 for an hour-long set the year after releasing Road to Ruin, and two months after the release of Rock 'n' Roll High School, a film in which they starred. Throughout this year, as well, the band was in the studio with Phil Spector working on their January, 1980 release, End of the Century. This show is a punk lover's dream come true and the Ramones certainly don't disappoint, featuring the band's lineup of Joey Ramone (Jeff Hyman); Johnny Ramone (John Cummings); Dee Dee Ramone (Doug Colvin); and Marky Ramone (Marc Bell).
You gotta love this band: 19 songs in under an hour. All the gems are here, including "Blitzkreg Bop," "Rockaway Beach," "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker," and "Suzy Is A Headbanger," along with lightning fast covers of "Surfin' Bird" and "Do You Wanna Dance." With five years already under their belt, the Ramones were well seasoned punk musicians, as the same kind of energy and spirit they demonstrated in '74 and '75 at New York havens such as CBGBs and Max's Kansas City is also apparent at this show.
The band continued through into the early 1980s as punk's premier band. Their popularity dwindled as the techno movement took hold and MTV took over the music industry. They would remain together with Joey and Johnny Ramone and other members coming and going through 1996, despite the fact that Joe and John had longstanding differences and hardly spoke to each other during the last four years the band was together. Within three years, between 2001 and 2004, Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee Ramone would all be dead. Joey and Johnny died of cancer and Dee Dee died of a heroin overdose.
Today, the Ramones are considered the quintessential American punk band.