Underground Garage And Sucky Ramones

When Howard Stern’s on vacation (seems about a third of the time between four-day weekends and two-week vacations every couple months), I’ll listen to Little Steven’s Underground Garage on my XM in the car. It could be way better for sure, but it’s as good as radio gets these days, by leaps and bounds.


1) Way too much Joan Jett
2) Garage is the main course (of course – and that’s OK), but when it’s not garage the leaning is more toward Americana than the hard rock I’d prefer. Some hard rock gets played, but not nearly enough.
3) Seems The Ramones I hear is always of the later “suck” variety.

For me, The Ramones are 80 percent the first three albums – all masterpieces, whichever one I’m listening to is the best. The fourth, Road To Ruin, is pretty damn good. The Phil Spector album has its moments. After that, it’s shit city.

I hear this song on Underground Garage more than any other Ramones and it’s horrible. Where’s Johnny’s guitar? The hard edge is completely gone in a wash of poppy, keyboardy drivel. If The Ramones were this from the beginning, I wouldn’t even like them.

6 thoughts on “Underground Garage And Sucky Ramones

  1. Agree on the Ramones. I can’t blame them for anything they did trying to make it; they sold shit when they were great, but I don’t have to listen to it. I feel the same way about Iggy Pop, who has sucked for several decades.

    The UG is my default on XM too. I’m not as happy with it as Steve, because 1) too much mediocre-at-best new stuff, and 2) way too much Springsteen and (!) Southside Johnny. I’m not really complaining. I also listen to:
    70 Bluesville
    49 Soul Town
    27 Deep Tracks
    5-6-7 the 50’s-70’s channels.

    • Big holiday lovefest between you and I, Gene. I agree on Iggy. Last good album was “Raw Power.” I’ve tried several critically-praised selections over the years and never liked any of them. Even the 2016 one with king Queen Josh Homme was a big disappointment. The Washington Post has it as a top 10 of 2016 today (more on that later), but I think the guy’s just trying to pick a cool rock album amidst the sea of rap and pop.

      I am speaking to Iggy Stooge, not Iggy Bowie of “The Idiot” and “Lust For Life” which were an entirely different thing. Although I will say I bought both of those in 2016 and don’t find them particularly compelling.

  2. Because neither is compelling. I waited months for The Idiot to come out. I was friends with the guys at the record store, and one in particular was just as antsy as me. It was delayed more than once. Then we heard it and were both like what is this teutonic disco dirge crap?

    Thing is, not only did I love Raw Power but I saw The Stooges after it came out and they played all new songs and they were great. I REALLY wanted to hear them on an album. Some survived in live versions like this one. All I can say is I never saw anything like it and if you play this loud you can get a good piece of that feeling.

    • 1) Wow. Lucky you.

      2) This would fit just fine on “Raw Power” and that’s just peachy.

      3) Seems most folks favor “Funhouse” and some even rag on James Williamson a little. I think he took The Stooges to another level. His guitar sound on “Raw Power” is the best guitar sound ever.

      4) Anything Iggy from the past 10 years is badly wounded by the fact that Iggy’s voice is shotter than shot at this point. All he can do now is croak like a frog. Critics usually mention this favorably for some reason.

      5) Haven’t seen “Gimme Danger” the movie yet (have any of you?), since it didn’t play at any theater close to me. It now has a shell on Amazon Prime, but nothing’s in that shell yet. It should be ready to watch soon and I really can’t wait. Would’ve traveled far to a theater but couldn’t find anyone to go along.

  3. Well, the Stooges weren’t the most consistent band. The first album sounds dated, especially the guitar. Funhouse is a great album and they very conveniently put LA Blues at the end where it can be skipped unless you’re feeling murderous or suicidal, so I can see people rating it higher than Raw Power. But I don’t, because of Williamson’s playng and songwriting. The complaints about Bowie’s mix are pretty ridiculous except that the drums are a little low. It had to be hard to mix what with all the guitar tracks, but I do love my dense guitars.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.