Sunday, June 9, 2013

Video Of The (Past) Week: The Donnas

People who hold punk rock in too high an esteem often forget that The Ramones were mostly about putting the fun back in rock'n'roll, and that most of their songs were about parties, teenage rebellion and self-medication for a reason: most of them disagreed about everything in real life, Johnny and Joey the most politically. And yet, their songs - consisting mostly of a beginning that went ''1-2-3-4'!', used three chords and ended two and a half minutes later - got them to the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, where they were inducted by none other than Eddie Vedder in... a 15-minute monologue.

The high school spirit of The Ramones so far has shined through brightly the most on The Donnas, who as a tribute opted to all have their rock personas share the same first name. Starting in 1993, they developed a rabid following, probably as much for their looks than their music, yet it worked. It got them signed to Lookout! Records (home of the first three Green Day albums), then to Atlantic (the house that Led Zeppelin built).

And it was a steady climb all the way to 2005, where sales of their less-Ramones, more-Kiss-inspired album Bitchin' stagnated compared to the previous one, their best-selling Spend The Night. This song is the catchiest, and perhaps poppiest one in their catalog, from Spend The Night:

Now all in their mid-30s, and not having released new material since 2007 (though they were reported to be working on a new record in 2012), I don't know if they'll keep their adolescent high school energy or just try to make a good rock record, but things will have changed on the back end for sure, as drummer Donna C. (Torry Castellano) officially left the band in 2009 due to shoulder problems including tendonitis. Then again, the Ramones went through 5 drummers and made it out alright, and so have Pearl Jam.

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