The National, a ponderous musical enterprise that some speak of rapturously and whose music I’ve never been able listen to for more than a minute or two before changing the dial, played recently at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. They covered the Ramones, local boys one and all, and led off with a dark story.
The Ramones demonstrate how to do it right.
Never heard of The National before. That is, indeed, some bad, bad shit. As much spirit as those lame corporate bands big companies put together with employees. If The National is considered good rock ‘n’ roll today, it’s dead alright. (But it isn’t – you’ve just gotta look in the right places.)
I don’t even like post- “Road To Ruin” Ramones.
The great joke about all Ramones songs is that without the power and speed they are Herman’s Hermits songs. The National can only aspire to Herman’s Hermits.
You could put together maybe one good album of post-Road To Ruin Ramones, but basically Steve is right.