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WE’RE A HAPPY FAMILY: THE CRETINS OF THE RAMONES





Right out of the gate The Ramones had the best lyrics. Their first album contained songs of sniffing glue, chainsaw wielding maniacs, and tales of beating brats with baseball bats. It also ushered in the first of many colorful characters. This list celebrates the most beloved cretins in the vast Ramones universe.

JUDY IS A PUNK

Jackie and Judy are a lovable pair of punks with a thirst for adventure. For reasons unknown, they ran away to Berlin and joined the Ice Capades. The lyrics offer little in the way of elaboration. After the chorus confirms confusion, we are treated to the brilliant lines, “Second verse/Same as the first.”

New adventures await Jackie and Judie in the final verse. This time the duo finds themselves in Frisco as members of the SLA.

SLA? Well, the Symbionese Liberation Army of course! As members of the SLA, Jackie and Judy could partake in thrilling activities such as kidnapping and bank robbery. As far as motives, The Ramones are still perplexed. The logic of Jackie and Judy eludes us all.

SUZY IS A HEADBANGER

Suzy has an obsession with head banging. Is it the fault of her geek mother? Perhaps the energy of The Ramones conditioned her to behave in this manner. Either way, she captivates a certain punk rock singer with her endless headbanging. As he urges her to continue, we can’t help but develop our own affinity for Suzy.




PINHEAD

GABBA GABBA WE ACCEPT YOU, WE ACCEPT YOU, ONE OF US!
GABBA GABBA WE ACCEPT YOU, WE ACCEPT YOU, ONE OF US!

With this chant, The Ramones issued a call to the lost, displaced, and permanently weird. Everyone is welcome within the inclusive, eclectic Ramones family.

Sure, it’s easy to visualize the song being about the good old Pinhead. Somehow, that happy, bouncing idiot symbolizes us all.

Pinhead

SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER

We’ve gotten to know Judy the Punk, Suzy the Headbanger, and now we make the acquaintance of Sheena the Punk Rocker. Sheena is a true rebel. Immersed in a bland culture of generic discotheques, she ran away to New York City and never looked back. It’s the town that has it all. CBGB’s, punk rock and The Ramones!

 

CRETIN HOP

“Cretin Hop” is a first hand account of the insanity inside a Ramones concert. When the Judies, Suzies, and Sheenas of the world come together, things tend to get wild. This is a song for anyone that ever cut loose at a Ramones gig.




RAMONA

Ramona seemed like the coolest girl on Earth. Her black hair matched her black leather jacket. It’s little wonder that the Ramones gave in to her persistent attempts to hang out. Alas, things are often not what they seem. It turns out that Ramona was a “spy for the BBI” that made poor Joey Ramone cry.

Ramona

The Return of Jackie and Judy

Released in early 1980, End of the Century checks in on the exploits of Jackie and Judy. Jackie is still a punk and Judy is still a runt. Their thirst for adventure has not dulled one bit. They have been spotted drinking at the Mudd Club and taking in a Ramones show.

It seems their escapades have begun catching up with them. In the midst of becoming bookies, taking loans, and scalping tickets, they both got busted cutting class. Although Jackie and Judy must attend summer school, we all know they’ll still find a way to get some kicks.

HEIDI IS A HEADCASE

Heidi is the kind of girl that you fall in love with. The thing is, she’s a bit off her rocker. Heidi is crazy, but “a cool kind of crazy.” Prone to goofing around on escalators and snorting speed while playing her Rickenbacker, Heidi is a certified head case.




SPIDERMAN

By covering the Spiderman theme song, the band welcomed the web-spinning superhero into the wacky Ramones family. With radioactive blood that allows him to arrive “at the scene of the crime like a streak of light,” Spiderman seems like just another good-natured cretin.

RIFF RANDELL

Riff Randell is the ultimate Ramones fan. After skipping school to camp out for an upcoming Ramones show, Riff gets busted by her nemesis, Principal Togart, who confiscates her ticket. Guess Riff shouldn’t have pissed her off by blasting “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” through the school PA system.

As fate would have it, Riff wins new tickets through a radio contest. She makes it to the concert and has the time of her life.

Want more Ramones? Explore the punk rock doodles from Rocket to Russia.

http://greenandblackmusic.com/2016/05/01/rocket-to-russia-the-punk-rock-art-of-the-ramones/




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