The Ramones

Infamously known as the band who defined punk music, The Ramones formed in 1974. Coming from Queens, New York, the group found their break at CBGB. Spanning over the next 22 years, The Ramones played all over the world and had major influence on the punk scene— both in the U.S. and the U.K.

Of the original band members, Joey Ramone was the lead singer, Dee Dee Ramone played bass, Johnny Ramone played lead guitar, and Tommy Ramone was the drummer. Although they all have the same last name, none of the band members were related.

The group formally disbanded by 1996

Here is a video of The Ramones playing “Blitzkrieg Bop” at CBGB’s on June 10th, 1977


Television (the band)

Television, First Avenue NYC 1977

With a sound that incorporated extensive guitar riffs and a slower pace, Television emerged onto the NYC punk scene in late 1973. Formerly known as The Neon Boys, the band featured Tom Verlaine on vocals and lead guitar, Richard Lloyd on rhythm guitar, Billy Vecca on drums, and Richard Hell on bass.

With fluid leads and angular rhythms, Television was not like most punk bands—whose sound was more aggressive and fast. Television paved the way for many post-punk, guitar-based bands that surfaced within the decade and have influenced modern-day bands like The Black Keys and The Strokes.

Here is a youtube video of Television‘s first hit, “Marquee Moon” from their 1977 debut album, Marquee Moon.

Iggy and The Stooges

By 1967 James Osterberg, Dave Alexander, Ron and Scott Asheton had little idea of how iconic their band would become in the world of punk music. Hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Stooges moved their act out of the garage and onto a bigger stage. At the time, their sound was entirely different– with the use of blenders, vacuum hoses and contact drums– this band gave audiences something they had never heard before.

Lead singer James Osterberg, or better known as Iggy Pop, had an infectious stage presence– often dressing up in outrageous outfits, like nightgowns or tin foil. Iggy Pop used to pour peanut butter on himself and step on broken guitar pieces during sets. Legend has it that he invented the stage dive. After signing with Elektra Records, The Stooges released their first album in 1969, with their hit ‘I Wanna be Your Dog.’

Here is the Youtube video of ‘I Wanna be Your Dog’

A Punk Landmark: CBGB

Where the punk scene broke out in NYC

indexBy the early seventies, as punk and underground rock crashed New York City’s music scene, a local bar opened for business. CBGB— which stood for Country, Bluegrass, & Blues— was founded in 1973 by a man named Hilly Kristal. With intent to run a place where people could enjoy live music and good company, Kristal’s bar soon turned into a hot spot for musical lovers abound.  While many bands shuffled through the doors of CBGB, several found success and lived out their musical careers onstage. Punks took up residency, as they watched groups like The Ramones, Blondie, & Talking Heads perform time and again. Continue reading “A Punk Landmark: CBGB”