Ramones

We're Outta Here! [Video]

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It's hard to argue with the opinion that the Ramones were the first punk band, or as punk would later be defined: three chords, some decent lyrics, and a beat that could only be played two ways (fast and faster). The Ramones' songs were not only a reaction to the bombastic (and boring) 20-minute numbers by the arena rock bands of the day, but a throwback to the irresistible pop of the Beach Boys and Phil Spector's girl groups. The We're Outta Here video documents the Ramones' farewell show and features archival footage (including their first, pre-Sire TV appearance and a guest spot on Sha Na Na), home movies (highlighted by a real life "Hard Day's Night" moment in Buenos Aires when the band's van is chased and then surrounded by crazed fans), and interviews with famous admirers (Richard Hell, Jim Jarmusch, and others) as well as the now ex-, but forever Ramones. The accompanying CD is a live album of the 2,263rd Ramones concert -- their last. Hampered only by Joey Ramone's poor vocal performance (which isn't as noticeably weak in the video mix), the band is tight and rips through the songs that continue to inspire young punks everywhere, including "Blitzkrieg Bop," "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Pinhead," and "Beat on the Brat." Dee Dee Ramone makes an appearance with his old mates on "Love Kills," Lemmy plugs in for his tribute "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.," and Eddie Vedder helps the Ramones pack it in with the closing cover of the Dave Clark Five's "Any Way You Want It." Even after 20-plus years in the Ramones, Johnny Ramone remembers what it was like to have that spark, that desire, that dream to be up on stage playing rock & roll: "It's something you always dream of doing. You always thought of it as a dream. You never really thought you could really do it." The Ramones are proof that you can, and they did.

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