Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Real Rockers the Ramones Were Roots When Roots Wasn't

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Real Rockers the Ramones Were Roots When Roots Wasn't

Article excerpt

The Ramones once asked the musical question "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio"?

If you're talking radio in 1976 - the year this scruffy, New Yawk punk band unleashed their eponymously-titled debut - the answer is a resounding "no". To truly understand the Ramones' mighty influence on the nascent punk underground, to truly grasp how revolutionary they were compared to what was actually being played on the radio, it helps to cast an eye back nearly two decades.

In 1976 - that Bicentennial year smack dab in the center of the polyester decade - a technohead named Tom Scholz was nearly singlehandedly inventing arena rock in his basement. Within the year, his band, Boston, would dominate the charts with the antiseptic rock hit "More Than a Feeling."

For those depressed by that sort of sound and searching for rock 'n' roll with a more raw, authoritative punch, there was nothing to do but cling to albums by the Velvet Underground, MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, the New York Dolls, and Patti Smith. If you've ever been confused by the appeal of KISS or L.A. trash-rockers the Runaways, just remember that much of the 70s were a time of slim pickings for a lot of angst-ridden proto-punks.

Wrapping two-minute pop nuggets in four-chord garage punk, the Ramones helped launch a legion of punk bands. Their debut album, along with the Sex Pistols' 1977 release "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols," reigns as one of the most influential punk documents of all time.

To a lot of young people, maybe the Ramones don't sound like such a big deal anymore. Maybe it's hard to hear that original, shocking rebellion in their four chords. But don't just think of the Ramones as a musty history lesson. Twenty years later, these elder statesmen are still the real deal. Pointfest 4

Where: Riverport Amphitheatre

When: Saturday

Doors open: 1:00 p.m.

Main Stage starts: 2 p.m.

Side Stage starts: 1 p.m.

How Much: Sold Out

More Info: 291-7600

Main Stage: Ramones, Better Than Ezra, They Might Be Giants, Big Audio Dynamite, The Urge, Everclear, Jewel, the Nixons, Matthew Sweet

Side Stage: Gren, New World Spirits, Blink, Dambuilders, Great Big Everything, Ben Folds Five, Dishwalla, Phunk Junkeez, Stir Pointfest 4: Quick highlights

They Might Be Giants - They might also be two exceptionally interesting normal-sized guys named John Flansburgh and John Linnell. …

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