The early days of the pioneers of punk
The Ramones were in many respects the first proper punk group in the world. In order to create a strong bond between each other, and a sense of togetherness the members of the group all changed their last name to Ramone, though they were not related at all. All the original members met each other in New York City. It was in the Forest Hills part of Queens that the group got together during 1974. The group had a myriad of different musical influences, though the New York Dolls and The Stooges would have the strongest influence in giving the Ramones their punk sound.
In 1974 the group consisted of Joey Ramone on lead vocals, there was lead guitarist Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone on bass guitar, and finally there was drummer Tommy Ramone. With a few line up alterations along the way the Ramones continued until they completed their final tour in 1996. In those 22 years the group would have a major on music particularly in the US and in Britain. The main problem for them was that they never made a great deal of money from any of their records or tours.
A global musical influence but no global record sales
The Ramones often get mentioned as an important musical influences by other artists, and groups, yet they were never a commercial success. Being in a list of most influential acts is not as rewarding as all of their albums been certified platinum would have been. Acts like the Sex Pistols and The Damned for example were inspired by the Ramones but made money than they did.
Albums by the Ramones never did too well in the Billboard Top 100 (66 was the highest any of their first four LPs reached), though the band always sold out in Britain and Canada. After three albums and the follow up tours, Tommy Ramone left the group to replaced by the drummer Marky Ramone. Tommy kept his links with the others by producing their records.
The Ramones did work with legendary record producer Phil Spector on their 1980 opus End of the Century, and it was their best selling record. They even got a Top 10 single in Britain with their cover version of Baby I Love You (as originally performed by the Ronettes).
Changing their sound, retiring, and then dying
The Ramones changed their line up again during 1983, they felt the time was right to dismiss Marky Ramone as he was often too drunk to play the drums. His replacement was Richie Ramone, who would go on to write many of the group’s songs before they decided to retire. His songs included Somebody Put something in My Drink, I Know Better, and (You) Can’t Say Anything Nice. These were staples of their live set right up to the end. Richie left in 1987 after falling out with the band over money. He was replaced by the sober again Marky Ramone.
With the band’s last few albums selling as badly as all of their earlier LP’s they decided to call quits at the end of their 1996 farewell tour. They were possibly the most influential punk band yet they never found success.
Between 2001 and 2014 all four original members of the band passed away.
The Beginning of popular Punk Rock Festivals in the US
Punk rock festivals emerged in the late 60s and early 70s in the US. They were driven by the increased preference in this kind of music across the U.S. as well as Europe. The first popular punk Rock music festival was staged in Northern California. The love for this festival was so great that another was held the very next weekend and so a mammoth crowd attend both. The culture of rock festivals spread like wildfire across the nation and have to date, become part of the culture in America. Some of the popular punk music festivals in the USA include:
This one was started in Chicago in 2005 and has since been a hit because of its low ticket prices. Initially, it used to be held in a number of venues across the town but later it evolved to be one big venue with several bands performing. Riot Fest is marketed as a 3-day event which includes several performances as well as fun and games for the family at the carnival. Chicago remains the preferred venue for Riot Fest since it is the birthplace of this festival. Because of the current trend in fusion between rock and hip hop, riot fest also features popular hip hop performances.
The venue for this festival is Gainesville Florida. It has been an annual event here since May 2002, but the date has since changed to October, around the same weekend as Halloween and the Florida Vs Georgia football game. Many people flock Gainesville for the festival as well as the game, booking entire hotels and practically taking over the town. For 3 days, Punk Rock bands will perform although some other genres may also be among the performances, like Indie rock, metal and the like. This festival could be the biggest festival in Gainesville.
It was first held in 2006 to mark the 10th anniversary of Insubordination Records. It is now an annual event held in Baltimore , Maryland around the end of June. The main performers are Punk rock groups like: Dog Party, Beatnik Termites, The Borderlines, City Mouse, The Copyrights, dead Mechanical and many more. Like most festivals, this is a 3-day weekend festival starting on Friday and going on till Sunday.
Drop Dead Festival
This is the biggest DIY festival that runs for a number of days not just in the U.S, but even in Europe featuring hundreds of performances. The main event takes place in New York ut a number of small prevent parties will also take place in other places. The festival started in August 2003 and has since kept on growing and evolving. Every year seems to see something new added as well as new venues popping up around the world. Drop dead festival is where you can see all forms of punk rock.
There are other popular rock festivals in America that attract equal attention but a number of them have so many genres of music as well like the SXSW festival which is also a film festival and conference held in Austin Texas.