FFWDing to the Best Part: “I Wanna Be Sedated,” The Ramones (1978)

I won’t say much about this song.  It’s iconic. It’s grittily raw and yet perfectly polished. It’s the cornerstone of punk music, and the reason blink-182 exists. It was nearly ruined by Jordan Catalano — damn, the power of that guy! — but survived.

It’s also one of those “Holy HELL, this is truly terrible. Being on the road, playing for adoring fans, banging groupies, making fistfuls of dollars, living the rock and roll fantasy — get me out of this place” tales. There are many in this genre, and few elicit sympathy from the masses.  Of course, God love him, then you have Willie Nelson, who can’t wait to get on the road again.

Of course, Joey, Dee Dee, et al. may not have had the same rocking life of excess as, say, Bon “Wanted Dead or Alive” Jovi.

Best part? 0:55 – 1:10.  Isn’t it obvious? The manic, maddening riff.  It’s as simple as the same note repeated 64 times in a row — and an slightly off-rhythm 65th time, for good measure — which then resolves, climactically, into a key change.  And then, frenetically, they are back at it. The wheelchairs, the airports, the shows.    

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3 thoughts on “FFWDing to the Best Part: “I Wanna Be Sedated,” The Ramones (1978)

  1. It’s also a great example of how American punk was tuneful party music, more akin to early Beach Boys and the Kingsmen than to the politically charged British punk of The Sex Pistols, Boomtown Rats, The Clash, and XTC. Thus American punk begat Green Day and The Offspring, while British punk begat U2 and Sting. Party vs hearty, at least in their respective heydays.

  2. Pingback: FFWDing to the Best Part: “Lovefool,” The Cardigans (1996) | Neurotic City

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