Night Music: The Ramones, Medley at Arturo Vega’s

The date is in 1975. The band formed the previous year. The sound is crap. The video is noisy, which is bad. But it’s great nonetheless. Even though it isn’t entirely pleasurable. But who comes here for pleasure?

Arturo Vega was the band’s supporting artist, who created the iconic and immortal Ramones crest.

Others know more than me about this clip, but to me it seems amazing that they had it all together already. This was the sound they pitched for the rest of their lives, there at the beginning, almost whole.

5 thoughts on “Night Music: The Ramones, Medley at Arturo Vega’s

  1. I know I’ve told this story many times but maybe not here. One night towards the end of the summer of 1975 I was hanging around outside CBGB, talking to some people and probably doing something illegal. The door opens and out comes Dee Dee, who wavers a little and falls right into my lap. He looks up at me and says, “My girlfriend says the Ramones will never make it…Can you take me home?” I said “Where do you live?” He replied “over there,” gesturing vaguely. Arturo’s loft was only a block or two away and that’s where we went. He could almost walk so it wasn’t that hard although we went up two or three flights of stairs. At the loft were Arturo, Joey (Jeff) and Johnny. Dee Dee immediately passed out but Arturo offered me a beer and we sat and talked for about an hour, listening to music (I remember hearing Dr. Feelgood) and talking about the scene such as it was. They agreed that The Heartbreakers were a great band and it was there that I was first informed that “they’re all junkies, that’s what broke up the Dolls.” I also talked baseball with Johnny, who was very excited because that was the year the Yankees started getting good again after the Horace Clark Years. Johnny was relieved that I was not a Met fan (“I hate the fucking Mets”), and was amused that I was a Cardinal fan. I kinda became a Yankee fan right around then, as my AL team anyway. I’m happy to say that they all remembered me afterwards, and that a few months later when I went to see them I asked Jeff “got any news songs tonight?” he said they had a new one called Blitzkrieg Bop.

  2. Nice!

    Johnny used to live across from me when I lived on 22nd Street. I would often go into the old Jewish grocery on 7th Avenue and find him talking to the owners about the Yankees or Knicks. Sometimes I would join in, the 80s were dark days for the Yanks, but I don’t think we ever talked music.

  3. Best I can offer is that I hung out with the Ramones backstage after their first show in Allentown, 6/24/79. “Hung out” is a loose term as I was an 18-year-old kid who looked 13 and me and a couple buddies mostly pestered them about “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School” details.

    This video is excellent – I’ve never seen it before.

    The Ramones were much more calculated than most would probably guess, except they were aiming for cartoonish pop stardom and created an alternative music movement by accident.

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