IN CELEBRATION OF THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RAMONES’ EPONYMOUS DEBUT ALBUM, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE FOURTH INSTALLMENT OF RAMONES WEEK BY NICHOLAS ROMBES, AUTHOR OF THE 33 1/3 ON RAMONES.
The 1979 interview in White Noise featured photographs by the great Detroit-based photographer Sue Rynski, whose images captured the Detroit/Ann Arbor punk scene as it began to flower and blossom in 1977. White Noise was a Detroit fanzine that covered the local scene and punk/new wave bands that made it into town, and was closer in spirit and humor to Punk or Sluggo! (out of Austin, Texas) than New York Rocker. The interview questions were appropriately stupid. As were the answers. The opposite of the lengthy, introspective interviews in Rolling Stone. Detroit—and great swaths of the Rust Belt in the 1970s—was a good place for Ramones; it understood their beauty-in-ruins vision, their absurd humor, their desire to get the job done as quickly and cleanly as possible.
In their “best” and “worst” films of 1978 (Eraserhead, 1977, is listed as worst, but it probably didn’t make its way to Detroit until 1978) Blue Collar, directed by Paul Schrader, is listed as one of the best, and this line from the review encapsulates the national mood of the time: “It leaves you disillusioned, just like real life.”