In an overwhelmingly accurate tribute to Tommy Ramone, who died from bile duct cancer this past Friday in Queens at the age of 65, Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe pours his heart out about the Ramones.
“The last original Ramone, Tommy Ramone, has died, and with him the last of one of the main roots of all modern punk/hc/and metal as we know it today. The importance of the Ramones in the history of underground music cannot be overstated — before the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Black Flag and waaaaaaay before any speed/thrash metal band, the Ramones were blowing minds with LOUD, FAST, AGGRESSIVE music.
“Although to the calloused ears of modern youth who have grown up listening to crust punk/grind core/speed & thrash metal/and even some of the more aggressive music on commercial radio, the Ramones might sound like fast pop, at the time they started playing out in NYC at CBGB/Max’s Kansas City (1974) they were something that had never ever been seen or heard before.
“The first time my band played CBGB, I was completely emotionally overwhelmed — ‘Man, the FREAKING RAMONES started out here!’ I thought as I stood on stage — I almost started crying.
“Without that band, the tempo of underground music would have never reached the speed that it has today — there were a bunch of glam bands & hippies at that time, and (yeeeech) disco was big — the Ramones came along & blasted everyone straight out of the water. No Ramones = No Lamb of God, or any of the other music most fans of my band listen to.
“Metal existed, but it was not until punk rock kicked it right square in the ass with a combat boot that things got FAST and AGGRESSIVE.
“Tommy passed away from cancer yesterday in Queens, NYC, at the age of 6. Rest in peace, bro, and thank you for helping to create the music that changed and saved my life.”
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