Anyone who saw the Misfits, the greatest Horror-Punk band ever, at SO36 recently may have been surprised to see Marky, from the latter incarnation of the Ramones, on drums. The ‘fits included some of the best known Ramones hits in their set in a round up of the best of old school punk rock. Yes, the Ramones will never be forgotten, as countless related movies make their way to the screen (for example The End of the Century at the Berlinale festival in Feb/2004, which was more personal and behind the scenes).
RAW features hand held, often unfocused, Hi-8 material taken by Marky Ramone, who captured the last 8 years of the band on video but the whole compilation thing is done by the Ramones fan John Cafiero. His main intention, which isn’t revealed on the sloppy audio commentary (together with Johnny & Marky) is to show how crazy people get about punkrockers turning into stars as the Ramones enter the arena of serious rock stardom with all those golden record awards, their handprints in the (totally un-punkish) Rockwalk in Hollywood.
The footage is arranged in non-linear sequences, going repetitively back and forth in time which isn’t exactlty sophisticated – but who cares anyway, it´s a Punk-Fan-video and doesn´t even try to be a movie.
For me the highlight was a sequence showing the Ramones at a hotel in Buenos Aires. Hundreds of totally crazed fans are running for the car, hammering at it with all they have and this is intercut with a scene from George A. Romero’s cult movie, Night of the living Dead in which a Zombie is trying to get into the car of a survivor. If the Ramones had not escaped the raving crowd, they would probably have been ripped to shreds for some bloody fan-memorabilia.
Besides a lot of live footage & some fan animations there is material of the Joey Ramone Place inauguration in NYC near the CBGBs Club (corner of 2nd and Bowery), where the first album cover was photographed.
With their presidential seal and their repeated “god bless America”, the image they present here, is one of patriotic working class dudes who made it big with their simple four chord music and wacky down to earth humour. This is an all ages fun-document of the band, for a true insider you will have to look elsewhere.