you were never lovelier (william a. seiter, 1942)
the highway is alive tonight

music friday: ramones 1980

We only saw The Ramones twice, and they came close together, first in late 1979 and then at the Warfield on this date in 1980. Bruce Handy, then a student writing for the Stanford Daily, wrote about that show: "The Ramones came on and everyone started jumping and this one prepubescent punkette pogoed the top of her skull into my date's nose. wiped it up with my shirt. It was wonderful.... The Ramones play with an intensity that few bands can match: the audience could not have taken much more than it got."

End of the Century had been released on February 4, and it was the first disappointing album the band had released, after their ridiculous first four albums (Christgau ratings: A A A A) and the live It's Alive (Xgau only gave it an A-, but I'd disagree). Phil Spector did the production on End of the Century, and I can't say he added anything useful. It was their highest-charting album, so what do I know. I can vouch for the fact that in 1979 and 1980, they were still awesome live.

I had a broken foot ... a few days later I'd go to my first Opening Day, our seats were nosebleeds, and I remember it being very hard to walk up those stairs. The Ramones show was easier to handle ... despite what Handy wrote, when I hung out on the edge of the pit, people were pretty careful not to crush my cast. The 1979 show was more memorable because it was in a tiny club so we got real close (in my wife's case, REAL close), but the Warfield show was great, too. The opening act was No Sisters, about whom I remember nothing.

Here they are, about a month and a half before we saw them: