Friday, June 17, 2016

End Of The Century At The Rio, Dalston

End of the Century is a documentary about The Ramones; the London company Doc'n'Roll put on this screening. I went with Gina, and we met Richard Boon there too.
It's wonderful documentary- maybe ten minutes too long- but the best thing about it is each member talking about the others- and then being exactly as the others describe them.
The music too- don't forget that- there's some great live footage in which they charge through their songs at breakneck speed, arms thrashing, hair whizzing about around their heads. And the songs are perfectly short- abrupt! Sheena is a punk rocker!
Joey and Dee Dee are sweet, if erratic. Dee Dee quite obviously indulges his heroin addiction, but in these interviews he's witty, childish, squabbly and very funny in his observations about the others. Eventually, he dies of an overdose and is seamlessly replaced by another bass player who Johnny, the arsehole, treats tremendously badly (like everyone else: he stole geeky Joey's girlfriend and married her, which became an endless hurt). Joey, whose geekiness gradually disappeared over the years and who finally got fed up with Johnny telling him what to say in interviews all the time, and who started overtly supporting left wing causes as his confidence grew, dies of cancer aged 49. He was sure he was going to survive and wouldn't allow the doctors to put in a feeding tube in case it damaged his vocal cords. Aww, bless his nerdy soul!
Serious drummer chap, who became a producer when he got fed up with touring and didn't like being in the van; nasty right wong Johnny, whom nobody liked, and who didn't care anyway. Managers, roadies, the brother, the mum (Joeys's): none of them had a good word to say about him. There was footage of them playing CBGB's (which used to have sawdust and dog poo on the floor, it was such a dump) and lots more, and arguments between them on stage about what song to play, which were familiar and very funny. They bickered, the blasted and they never really got the credit they deserved apart from in the UK where the punks loved them- Johnny Rotten was scared to talk to them at first, but The Sex Pistols and The Clash got hauled into an upstairs window at The Roundhouse so they could talk to them before their first gig there. Squabbles, grudges, great songwriting, black leather jackets and pudding-bowl haircuts: bands, bands, babies all, even into adulthood!


Dave Greenfield said...

The Clash based themselves on The Ramones & My 1st Punk gig was at The Roundhouse 'The Stranglers'(supported by Johnny Rubbish)

Helen McCookerybook said...

The Ramones made it OK for my bad The Chefs to play songs that lasted a minute!

Helen McCookerybook said...

Band, I meant