Marky Ramone brings his new band--and his old spirit--to Monterey.
Thursday, August 30, 2001
When Mick Jagger was about to turn 50 years old, the world wondered what would become of the roll ''n'' roll icon. Could a middle-aged man really rock? Was 50 the age of retirement for rock stars? There was no precedent to lead the way and whatever Jagger did would lay the ground rules for generations to come.
That was eight years ago and Jagger is still going strong, with no plans for retirement in sight. Thank heavens he made that choice or we''d be without current performances of David Bowie, Jefferson Airplane, and the remaining Beatles. On the flip side it has also paved the way for the current glut of oldies acts on the road. You know, the ones where each member of a formerly great entity takes to the road purporting to be the definitive version of the act. At one time there were three different versions of Foghat touring at the same time. Which brings me to the point: Marky Ramone, former member of the Ramones, and his band The Intruders will be playing tomorrow night at The Blue Fin''s Fifth Anniversary Party.
In addition to his band, Marky brings a rich musical pedigree to the show.
The Ramones are considered to be the first punk rock band. Yes, the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls came before them but the Ramones trimmed the sound to its base--uncomplicated yet catchy four-chord melody lines played to an extremely accelerated beat and featuring inane lyrics. While the band went through a string of six drummers, Marky Ramone (born Marc Bell in 1956), is considered the definitive one. He appeared on 12 Ramones recordings, beginning with 1978''s Road To Ruin and ending with We''re Outta Here in 1997. At 22 years old, Marky replaced Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone who had quit to concentrate on the Ramones'' record production. Marky wasn''t the original drummer but he''s the one who played on all the hits: "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Rock ''n'' Roll High School," "KKK Took My Baby Away," and "Pet Semetary" to name but a few.
Two months after the Ramones'' last official show, Lollapalooza 1996, Marky Ramone and The Intruders played their first public performance. In 1997, they released their self-titled debut album on Thirsty Ears Records, a Warner Brothers subsidiary. Two years of extensive touring with the likes of Henry Rollins, Foo Fighters and Bush culminated in their second album, The Answer To Your Problems? in 1999. This album was produced by Rancid''s Lars Fredericksen and features a guest appearance by Joan Jett. In describing the Intruders, Marky told Fritz Hahn, a columnist for the University of Maryland''s student newspaper, "It''s all original, but it''s got the rhythm that I play with the Ramones, and it''s got more guitar leads and a lot angrier voice, so it''s pretty fast and energetic and melodic. There''s melody to it--that was important to me...The guys in my band are younger. The energy is there, and they keep up with me and my kind of playing."
Tomorrow''s appearance by Marky Ramone is presented as a freebie by Blue Fin Billiards to celebrate their fifth anniversary, with Santa Cruz rockabilly group The Chop Tops opening the show. In addition to the music, Blue Fin is giving away trips to the Bahamas, Jamaica, Aruba, Mexico and New Orleans--one for each year they''ve been open. There''ll be special liquor promotions by Jose Cuervo, Jaegermeister (yes, the girls will be there) and Cabana Boy Rum, as well as a free midnight buffet.