Monday, May 29, 2023

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1183: GABBA GABBA HEY! A Celebration Of THE RAMONES

My book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones was published earlier this month. To promote it, I did a local TV talk show appearance, a live music book release party, an in-store appearance at Parthenon Books in Syracuse, and an in-store at a Barnes & Noble. All have been great fun, and the events even moved a few books. A real cool time!

Late next month, I'm heading to New York City for a Thursday, June 29th in-store at Generation Records, 210 Thompson Street at 6:30 pm. Generation Records is about a ten-minute walk from the former site of CBGB's--this calls for a pilgrimage! I hope some of my New York area friends can join me at Generation for this particular shindig. 

(And if you have a pulpit or soapbox you'd like me to annex for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Gabba Gabba Hey!, I do, in fact, wanna walk around with you. Contact me.)

Here on This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, we've been featuring the Ramones on each of our weekly shows throughout April and May. That culminates now with GABBA GABBA HEY! A Celebration of the Ramones, a three-hour collection of music by the Ramones themselves, whether together as a group, as solos, or in other rockin' pop incarnations (like Marky Ramone's first group Dust, Johnny Ramone covering King Elvis I with Lemmy, Danny B. Harvey, and Slim Jim Phantom, or Joey teaming up with his brother Mickey Leigh as Sibling Rivalrly), plus the Ramones collaborating with other artists, acts that inspired the Ramones, other acts covering the Ramones, and songs about the Ramones. I hope this all serves as a humble, heartfelt, and effective tribute to this great rock 'n' roll group that has meant so, so much to me.

Hey-ho, let's go. Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio? One-two-three-FAH! Chewin' out a rhythm on my bubblegum. Come on, let's go. New York City really has it all. 

I don't want to grow up. Once again: the Ramones weren't gonna do it. We don't have to do it either.

This is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on another Sunday night in Syracuse this week. 

Take it, C.J.! Dee Dee would approve.

This show is available as a podcast.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, on the web at, and via the TuneIn Radio and Radio Garden apps as Westcott Radio.

Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

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TIRnRR # 1183: 5/28/2023: GABBA GABBA HEY! A Celebration of THE RAMONES

THE RAMONES: Blitzkrieg Bop (Radioactive, Greatest Hits Live!)
JOHNNY RAMONE: We wanted to be a bubblegum group (Rare Bird Books, Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones)
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Saturday Night (Arista, The Definitive Collection)
KISS: Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? (Columbia, VA: We're A Happy Family)
LEMMY, JOHNNY RAMONE, DANNY B. HARVEY & SLIM JIM PHANTOM: Good Rockin' Tonight (Rock-A-Billy, VA: Stray Cats Ball--No Dogs Allowed)
JOEY RAMONE: What Did I Do To Deserve You? (BMG, ...Ya Know?)
HAYLEY & THE CRUSHERS: Suzie Is A Headbanger (Rum Bar, Fun Sized)
THE BEATLES: I Saw Her Standing There (Capitol, Meet The Beatles!)
THE RAMONES [WITH PETE TOWNSHEND]: Substitute (Radioactive, Acid Eaters)
THE PRETENDERS: Something To Believe In (Columbia, VA: We're A Happy Family)
JOEY RAMONE: A reworked version of "Rockaway Beach" (Rare Bird Books, Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramone)
GENERAL JOHNSON & JOEY RAMONE: Rockaway Beach (Rhino, VA: Godchildren Of Soul)
DEE DEE RAMONE: Come On Now (Conspiracy Music, Greatest & Latest)
THE RULERS: I Want My Ramones Records Back (Kool Kat Musik, VA: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4)
THE RAMONES [WITH DEBBIE HARRY]: Go Lil Camaro Go (Sire, Brain Drain)
DEBORAH HARRY [WITH JOEY RAMONE]: Standing In My Way (n/a, DEBORAH HARRY: Debravation [Producer's Cut])
C.J. RAMONE: Postcard From Heaven (Fat Wreck Chords, The Holy Spell...)
LISA MARIE PRESLEY: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (Capitol, Now What)
DUST: All In All (Legacy, Hard Attack/Dust)
HUNTINGTONS: I Wanna Be A Ramone (Tooth & Nail, Plastic Surgery)
THE PALEY BROTHERS & RAMONES: Come On Let's Go (Big Beat, VA: Come On Let's Go!)
DAVE FRISINA: Rock 'n' Roll High School radio spot
THE FLASHCUBES: I Just Want To Have Something To Do (Northside, Forever)
JOHNNY RAMONE: The torture of making Rock 'n' Roll High School (Rare Bird Books, Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramone)
P. J. SOLES: Rock 'n' Roll High School (Sire, VA: Rock 'n' Roll High School OST)
C.J. RAMONE: Last Chance To Dance (Fat Wreck Chords, Last Chance To Dance)
HOLLY & JOEY: I Got You Babe (Virgin, single)
THE RAMONES: Poison Heart (Radioactive, Mondo Bizarro)
THE MYSTICS: Doreen Is Never Boring (Ambient Sound, Crazy For You)
U2: The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) (Island, Songs Of Innocence)
LUGLESS BOOTH: I Blame His Brother (Futureman, VA: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 1)
SIBLING RIVALRY: See My Way (Alternative Tentacles, In A Family Way)
RONNIE SPECTOR: She Talks To Rainbows (Kill Rock Stars, She Talks To Rainbows)
PURRBOX: Starstruck (LoveFest, PurrBox)
MIRIAM: Questioningly (Norton, Nobody's Baby)
JOSIE COTTON: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (Cleopatra, Everything Is Oh Yeah)
THE RAMONES [WITH TRACI LORDS]: Somebody To Love (Radioactive, Acid Eaters)
THE DOORS: Take It As It Comes (Rhino, VA: Where The Action Is!)
JOEY RAMONE [WITH JOAN JETT]: 21st Century Girl (BMG, ...Ya Know?)
The Greatest Record Ever Made!
THE RAMONES: I Wanna Be Sedated [Ramones-On-45 Mega-Mix!] (Sire, single)
THE NUTLEY BRASS: I Wanna Be Sedated (Sanctuary, The Ramones Songbook)
THE RAMONETURES: Glad To See You Go (Blood Red, Ramonetures)
THE SIMPSONS [THE RAMONES WITH HARRY SHEARER]: Happy Birthday, Mr. Burns (Rhino, Go Simpsonic With The Simpsons)
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: Beat On The Brat (Demented Punk, VA: Dr. Demento Covered In Punk)
THE RATTLERS: On The Beach (Alternative Tentacles, SIBLING RIVALRY: In A Family Way)
TEENAGE HEAD WITH MARKY RAMONE: Top Down (Sonic Unyon, Teenage Head With Marky Ramone)
SHONEN KNIFE: Psychotherapy (Good Charamel, Osaka Ramones)
JOEY RAMONE: Mr. Punchy (Sanctuary, Don't Worry About Me)
WALTER LURE & THE RAMONES: Street Fighting Man (MOJO, VA: 1-2-3-4!)
C. J. RAMONE: One More Chance (Fat Wreck Chords, Last Chance To Dance)
GREEN DAY: Outsider (Columbia, VA: We're A Happy Family)
JOEY RAMONE: What A Wonderful World (Sanctuary, Don't Worry About Me)
AMY RIGBY: Dancing With Joey Ramone (Signature Sounds, Little Fugitive)
BORIS THE SPRINKLER: Kill The Ramones (Junk, VA: Goin' After Pussy)
ROCKAWAY BITCH: Commando (Cretin. Rockaway Bitch)
EDDIE VEDDER: I Believe In Miracles (Columbia, VA: We're A Happy Family)
JOEY RAMONE: When you're doin' it, it's great (Rare Bird Books, Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramone)
THE RAMONES: I Don't Want To Grow Up (Radioactive, ¡Adios Amigos!)
THE RAMONES [with EDDIE VEDDER]: Any Way You Want It (Radioactive, We're Outta Here!)

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Please join us for GABBA GABBA HEY! A CELEBRATION OF THE RAMONES. For our three-hour Blitzkrieg Bop, we'll hear THE RAMONES, both as a group and in solo or extracurricular projects. We'll also spin examples of the Ramones' collaborations with other artists, plus covers of Ramones songs, a few artists that inspired the Ramones, and a sampling of songs about the Ramones. Music from the 1960s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and this I-believe-in-miracles 21st century. Her Majesty's Ramones, a Ronette, a Lizard King, the next Beatles, Syracuse's own power pop powerhouse, the hottest band in the world, and many more of your TIRnRR Fave Raves. And of course: Joey. Johnny. Marky. C.J. Dee Dee. Tommy. Richie. We're even gonna have Joey, Johnny, and Marky themselves introduce some of our selections. They're all here, and you should be, too. Sunday night, 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, on the web at, and via the Radio Garden and TuneIn Radio apps as WESTCOTT RADIO. Hey-ho, let's go--the weekend stops HERE!

Saturday, May 27, 2023

TV EYE: Yet Another Updated List OF TV Series I've Seen In Their Entirety

The series finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now in the books, providing a fittingly marvelous send-off for a show I enjoyed from start to finish. And its finish makes a good excuse to update this list.

Above image by Tyrone Biljan, courtesy of

In 2021, I posted a list of TV series that I've seen in their entirety, every episode. This is another update of that list, still missing a number of shows my memory can't retrieve, but adding some recent completions.

I like TV shows. This is an attempt to list every TV series I've ever watched in its entirety, from Season 1 Episode 1 through the blowout finale. It includes mini-series, broadcast series, cable series, and streaming series without discrimination. And it includes some series I saw piecemeal, as long as I'm sure I saw all of the episodes in whatever sequence I got to them. Some I saw on first run, others I watched after the fact. It is a woefully incomplete list--because, y'know, memory--but it's a start. I may come back here to add more series as I remember them.

The Adventures Of Superman
Being Erica
Bionic Woman [2007 series]
Birds Of Prey
Black Lightning
The Bob Newhart Show
Bosom Buddies
The Bronx Is Burning
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The Crazy Ones

Daisy Jones & The Six
The Defenders [Marvel Comics series]
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Ellery Queen
The Event
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier
The Flash [1990-1991 series]
The Flash [2014-2023 series]
Flashforward [2009-2010 series]
Freaks And Geeks
Get Back
Gilligan's Island
Gilmore Girls
Go On

The Good Place, quite possibly my all-time favorite TV series (other than Jeopardy!)

The Good Place
The Green Hornet
High Fidelity
Iron Fist
Jessica Jones
Luke Cage
Mad Men
Marvel's Agent Carter

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Middle Man
The Monkees
Moon Knight
Mrs. America
Ms. Marvel

The Munsters
The Newsroom
No Ordinary Family
Pan Am
Police Squad!
Pushing Daisies
Quantum Leap [1989-1993 series]
The Queen's Gambit
She-Hulk: Attorney At Law
Square Pegs
St. Elsewhere
Star Trek

*The Steven Banks Show
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
This Is Us

V [2009-2011 series]
Veronica Mars
The Village
We'll Get By
The West Wing
The Wonder Years [1988-1993 series]
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

If I forgot any series you think I must have seen from start to finish, I welcome attempts to jog my stubborn memory.

There is one series cited with an asterisk: the 1994 PBS comedy series The Steven Banks Show. I saw all of the broadcast episodes, but there were additional episodes completed but never aired. Haven't seen those, so...asterisk. (Previous versions of this list also asterisked NBC's 2017 DC Comics sitcom Powerless, but I have now seen all of its episodes, including the three that were never broadcast. I also found the series' unaired original pilot on YouTube; the pilot was very different from the later pilot and series, and I wish the show had followed its original direction.) 

This list arbitrarily excludes animated shows, only because I didn't want to rack my brain to identify which cartoon series qualified; the cartoon list would include things like The FlintstonesBatman: The Animated Series (and the subsequent related Superman and Justice League series that were part of that B:TAS universe), and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Among live-action shows, Arrested Development and Twin Peaks would have been listed on the basis of their original network TV runs, but both have since been revived, and I haven't seen any of the latter-day episodes. (On the other hand, I have seen the continuations of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, and approve of both.)

Current series that will probably make this list some day include Firefly Lane
, Gotham KnightsLokiSuperman and Lois, and the reboots of Quantum Leap and The Wonder Years. I bailed on Batwoman before its cancellation in 2022. Having seen the first season of Dollhouse, I may go back to see its second and final season. 

I own home video copies of just a handful of complete TV series. I have The Monkees on DVD and on Blu-ray, Batman on Blu-ray (and I proposed a Batman-Monkees comic-book mashup here), Shindig! on an unauthorized set of DVD-Rs (and I really need to go back and finish watching those), homemade VHS copies of The Green Hornet, and Police Squad!, and, if we count non-physical media, the 2011-2012 series Pan Am on iTunes. I may write about Pan Am some day; the timing of its original network run coincided with some emotional turmoil in my life, and the idea of jetting off to Europe seemed mighty appealing to me. The pilot episode of Pan Am would serve as part of the climax in the first chapter of a long-gestating memoir I call Spain, a piece which, frankly, I doubt I'll ever getting around to writing. 

There are still a lot of older TV series that should probably be on this list. It's likely that I've seen every episode of 
Get SmartThe Beverly HillbilliesF TroopThe Odd CoupleThe Andy Griffith ShowWKRP In CincinnatiHec RamseySwitchWhen Things Were Rottenand a big ol' bunch of others, but my reasonable doubt is sufficient for me to omit them from this list. There are some other older shows--The Guns Of Will Sonnett, the 1960s Tarzan, Disney's Zorro--I'd like the opportunity to re-visit, but for now, I don't think I've seen all of those episodes.

Yet. But Zorro was been added to Disney +. I watched the pilot episode, and I'm not opposed to watching more....

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreonor by visiting CC's Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at You can read about our history here.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Friday, May 26, 2023

10 SONGS: 5/26/2023

10 Songs is a weekly list of ten songs that happen to be on my mind at the moment. The lists are usually dominated by songs played on the previous Sunday night's edition of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl. The idea was inspired by Don Valentine of the essential blog I Don't Hear A Single.

This week's edition of 10 Songs draws exclusively from the playlist for This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1182. This show is available as a podcast.

THE RAMONES: Rockaway Beach

The third and final part of our salute to THE RAMONES AT THE MOVIES presents four tracks heard in films that were otherwise unrelated to the Ramones. And we start with this irresistible number, which appeared on the soundtrack to a 1979 British film called That Summer! I've never seen the movie, but its soundtrack LP is killer, with da Brudders' ace "Rockaway Beach" sharin' banks 'n' borders with music by Eddie and the Hot Rods, Elvis Costello, the Undertones, the Only Ones, Mink DeVille, Wreckless Eric, the Boomtown Rats, Patti Smith Group, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Nick Lowe, and the Zones.

This album was an essential purchase for me, and probably the first time an Undertones track ("TEENAGE KICKS!!!!!!") entered my record collection. I would have gotten to the Undertones anyway, so the true revelation was the Zones' "New Life," which I'd neither heard nor heard of prior to That Summer!, and which immediately became a top Fave Rave for this lad. New life!

I already owned two copies of "Rockaway Beach" before I acquired That Summer! The 1977 single was my second Ramones purchase (after "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker"), and I bought the Rocket To Russia album in 1978. If we also count the live cut that opens the wonderful It's Alive--HEY!WE'RETHERAMONESANDTHISONE'SCALLED"ROCKAWAYBEACH!"1-2-3-4!--then That Summer! gave me my fourth "Rockaway Beach." Chewin' out a rhythm on my bubblegum! You can never have too many examples of "Rockaway Beach."

And we'll have another example of "Rockaway Beach" in the second set of next week's special show GABBA GABBA HEY! A Celebration Of The Ramones. No, it's not that rendition of "Rockaway Beach""--we do have standards here--but a less-played version nonetheless familiar to our regular listeners. AND! It will be introduced on-air by none other than Joey Ramone himself, from a 1994 interview I believe I've mentioned recently. It's not hard, not far to reach. So BE THERE!

PERILOUS: Last Of The Dying Breed

The May 13th release party for my new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones was an epic night at The 443 Social Club and Lounge, and it gave me my first opportunity to witness the rockin' majesty of Perilous live. Whatta band! Their set raised the motherlovin' roof like a motherlovin' roof should be raised. Perilous performed TIRnRR Pick Hits "Rock & Roll Kiss" and "Band Aid" (the latter originally done by Perilous drummer Paul Doherty's former group the Trend), and closed with an authoritative cover of the Ramones' "Cretin Hop." The 443's owner Julie Leone said that she is now a Perilous fan. Julie, as always, knows what she's talkin' about.

And Perilous played their brand-new single "Last Of The Dying Breed," a vibrant ode to the '70s punk scenes that inspired...well, me! From the Ramones to Lemmy to the Dead Boys to Iggy to Richard Hell, it's all for the love of rock 'n' roll. Turn up the sound all over the town, before the ship sinks into the sea.

So yeah, of course I bought the single. Duh!

And you oughtta get it, too. Sales of "Last Of The Dying Breed" benefit David Lee Mau, bass player for Upstate New York hardcore veterans S.F.B., as he battles cancer. Fuck cancer. See, there is something we can all agree on: Fuck cancer. Make cancer the last of a dead breed.

sparkle*jets u.k.: He's Coming Out

Oh yeah! sparkle*jets u.k. return with a new album, Best Of Friends, thanks to the rockin' pop visionaries at Big Stir Records. HuzZAH! I haven't heard the album yet, but Dana has, and he's already certified it Way Cool. The first single, a cover of the Masticators' "He's Coming Out" (the original of which was a BIG favorite of this little mutant radio show twenty-sumpin years ago), indicates our Dana is right. Again. I can't wait to hear the rest of this.

THE RAMONES: I Wanna Be Sedated

"I Wanna Be Sedated" was included on the soundtrack for the 1980 film Times Square, a flick intended to do for the commercial viability of punk and new wave music what producer Robert Stigwood's previous flick Saturday Night Fever had done for dat ole debbil disco.

It did not accomplish that goal.

Nonetheless, it was a fascinating 2-LP set. Some of its tracks weren't my cuppa, but I loved hearing the Ramones, Suzi Quatro, Roxy Music, the Pretenders, Talking Heads, Joe Jackson, Garland Jeffries, and XTC playing within what was at least ostensibly a mainstream project. I was particularly taken with "Flowers In The City," a duet by David Johansen with the film's star Robin Johnson, a track I'm not sure ever surfaced anywhere else but here. The album was better than the film, but I'm glad I did finally see the movie, its shortcomings notwithstanding.

And I wonder: even though the soundtrack album didn't do Saturday Night Fever numbers--we punks can't count past 1-2-3-4 anyway--it musta sold a little bit. Is it possible that Times Square's inclusion of "I Wanna Be Sedated" put the Ramones into more American record collections than any Ramones release that preceded it? 

Maybe so. 

We will hear "I Wanna Be Sedated" again in Sunday's GABBA GABBA HEY! A Celebration Of The Ramones. Might not be exactly what you expect. But it is by the Ramones, and it's the only song we'll hear in two different versions on Sunday night's show.

THE PANDORAS: It's About Time

The Greatest Record Ever Made!

THE RAMONES: Blitzkrieg Bop

The definitive Ramones song. The statement is not up for debate. You can hear the Hey-ho, let's GO! at sporting events, in TV commercials, and in movies, from National Lampoon's Vacation to Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. It is an entrenched part of our greater pop culture. It wasn't a hit at the time of its release; man, it didn't even come close to being a hit. But it's now a classic, timeless, as much an acknowledged rock 'n' roll perennial as anything else you can name from the late '70s, and more so than most of its contemporaries. The kids are losing their minds. The Blitzkrieg Bop!

Obviously, some version of "Blitzkrieg Bop" has to open next week's GABBA GABBA HEY! A Celebration Of The Ramones. Has to. We're going with a live version, and following it with a few words from Johnny Ramone about the song's genesis. See, the Ramones had a specific goal when they started out. Johnny will tell you 'bout it.


Hey, two of my favorite groups, singing together! Both the Flashcubes and the Spongetones are doing new full-length albums for Big Stir, and this dynamic collaborative remake of the Spongetones' "Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?" will be on the new 'Cubes album Pop Masters, due out this summer. The album is really, really good.

Hype will follow at the appropriate time, in this very corner of the cyberverse. For now, here's a very small peek at the liner notes for Pop Masters: pop tease

1.4.5.: Let's Groove

Speaking of the Flashcubes, 'Cubes guitarist Paul Armstrong brought his rough 'n' ready combo 1.4.5. to the 443 for my Gabba Gabba Hey! book release party. They delivered. PA always delivers.

My first experience booking a live rock 'n' roll show was March of 1980, when I was a senior in college. I arranged for the Most, a group fronted by singer Dian Zain with guitarist Paul Armstrong, bassist Dave DeVoe, and drummer Dick Hummer, to play at a club in my college town of Brockport. I was paid $40 cash for setting up the gig, the first time I ever made any money for anything connected to rock 'n' roll. It wasn't the last, even if it sometimes seems like it was.

By the end of that summer, both Zain and Hummer had left the group. Ducky Carlisle replaced Hummer, and that remaining trio became 1.4.5.

Hey! We're 1.4.5.
I'm Paul!
I'm Dave!
I'm Duck!

"Let's Groove" was the first 1.4.5. recording to be released, included on a Syracuse bands compilation called Soundcheck, issued in conjunction with the mighty Dave Frisina and local radio station 95X in 1981. The track appeared that same year on the group's own Pink Invasion EP. Outside of the Ramones' Pleasant Dreams, I don't think there was any other new record in '81 I enjoyed more than Pink Invasion.

PA is the only one of the original 1.4.5. trio still in the group. Bassist Tommy O'Riley and drummer Judd Williams (both of whom had been in the Most before DeVoe and Hummer) join Mr. Armstrong and Perilous guitarist Bob Cat in the current 1.4.5., and they can still solicit punk-fueled groove with the best of 'em. Let's groove. Let's groove right now.


"Chop Suey" is a very minor entry entry in the Ramones' discography. It originally appeared only on the soundtrack for the 1983 film Get Crazy. Get Crazy was directed by Allan Arkush, who had previously helmed the great Rock 'n' Roll High School. I was very disappointed in Get Crazy, but I haven't seen it since its brief theatrical run. If I ever get another chance to view it, I should see if the passage of time might prompt reevaluation of the flick's merits, or lack of same.

I still have my copy of the long-outta-print soundtrack LP. This version of "Chop Suey" has never been reissued; an alternate version, with members of the B-52's on backing vocals, appeared on a deluxe edition of the Pleasant Dreams album, but the movie version (with Flo and Eddie chirping in place of the B-52's) has been orphaned. That's the one we played this week.

When I interviewed the Ramones in '94, Johnny Ramone dismissed any rendition of "Chop Suey," asking me rhetorically, "The song sucked, right?" It's not one of my Top 10 Ramones tracks, nor even in my Top 40. But it's actually not bad. It's not bad at all. I'm glad we were able to exhume it to cap off our salute to THE RAMONES AT THE MOVIES


When I started batting around ideas for next week's Ramones special, I stumbled upon the all-female Ramones tribute band Rockaway Bitch. Now, who could resist a group with that name? Not me! And I just now realized that lead singer Patti Ramone also has an established dba as Patti Rothberg, who is herself no stranger to TIRnRR playlists.

Rockaway Bitch made their TIRnRR debut this week. We'll hear 'em again with a different Ramones cover next week.

You should maybe oughtta join us.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreonor by visiting CC's Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at You can read about our history here.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Thursday, May 25, 2023


This is a chapter from my long-threatened book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). It was written well before the passing of Tina Turner, but is offered today in her memory. Simply the best.

An infinite number of tracks can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Today, this is THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE!

IKE AND TINA TURNER: River Deep--Mountain High

Written by Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich
Produced by Phil Spector
Single, Philles Records, 1966

Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep--Mountain High" was producer Phil Spector's tour de force. It should have been a chart-topper upon its release in 1966; some point to its disappointing sales in the US (where it peaked at--choke!--a mere # 88 in Billboard's Hot 100) as the direct impetus for Spector's subsequent personal decline. 

Whether that's fair or not, "River Deep--Mountain High" certainly deserved hit status. It's my favorite Ike and Tina Turner track--I was disappointed that Tina Turner didn't include it in her live set when I saw her in the late eighties--and it's one of my favorite Spector tracks. 

As always, Tina Turner soars here, subtly demonstrating the spirit that allowed her to ultimately survive her marriage to Ike. Ike Turner was himself a rock 'n' roll pioneer with immense talent and vision. His darker nature ultimately overshadowed his contributions.

Ike was a key player in "Rocket '88'," a 1951 single credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, a pseudonym for Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm. "Rocket '88'" can lay plausible claim to being the first rock 'n' roll record (though I still say it was Amos Milburn's "Down The Road Apiece"). On merit, Ike Turner should be celebrated as one of popular music's most important most artists. 

History does not remember him that way. He had only himself to blame for that. Revelation of his ongoing abuse of Tina when they were married effectively reduced Ike Turner from headliner to deplorable footnote. 

Charles Manson was a frustrated musician and songwriter. O.J. Simpson was a celebrated athlete. Joe MeekGary Glitter. Bill Cosby. It's a long list of the famous and infamous. We celebrate the art. The artist may disappoint us.

Or worse.

And Phil Spector? Before his murder conviction, before pulling a gun on Dee Dee Ramone during the making of the RamonesEnd Of The Century album, before producing John Lennon and Leonard Cohen, before overproducing the Beatles' Let It Be, before flying into a fury when "River Deep--Mountain High" failed to become the massive hit it should have been...well, before any of that, Spector was already a prick. 

But, Spector's many sins and shortcomings notwithstanding, "River Deep--Mountain High" did deserve more fame, more acclaim, and a much, much higher chart position. Ike Turner is not on the record--Spector just needed Tina, not Ike--but it was Ike who suggested that its chart failure was a byproduct of radio segregation; the record was too white for R & B stations, and Tina Turner was too black for pop stations. Like considering "Rocket 88" the first rock 'n' roll record, it too is a plausible claim.

There's a fantastic clip of Ike and Tina Turner performing "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" with the Ikettes (including future star P. P. Arnold) on TV's Shindig! in 1964. It offers no hint of the heartbreak that flourished beyond the glow of the lights. The on-stage interplay between Ike and Tina is playful and light, her seemingly girlish approach bouncing off his practiced machismo. Decades on, the fantasy remains appealing. 

But we know it wasn't real.

Tina was still Anna Mae Bullock, billed as Little Ann, when she began performing and recording with Ike Turner's band in the late '50s. When their recording of "Fool In Love" attracted record label attention in 1960, Ike wanted to maintain control of his singer. He changed her billing to Tina Turner, and then trademarked the name, so she could only use it under his aegis; if Little Ann left Ike, well, he could just get a substitute to be the new Tina Turner.


Tina Turner survived all of that. She even took her name with her. Nothing could stop the voice--and the soul--of Tina Turner. Not river deep, not mountain high. And not Ike Turner, hellbent as he was at squandering his legacy. He became an asterisk to history. 

Tina Turner became a legend.

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Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

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