If you ever want to feel depressed, disenchanted, or incredulous towards the typical grandeur and epic nature that is associated with rock and roll, just watch End of the Century: The History of the Ramones. Over an hour and a half, the documentary makes being in the Ramones, one of the most legendary and important bands of all time, look like an insufferable experience.From a lack of mainstream success to disheartening failures that seem to follow the band like a bad incurable disease, life as a Ramone is about as unglamorous as can be. Gross touring vans, dingy clubs, constant internal conflict, and drug abuse are everyday realities within the group, and it only gets worse once the original foursome fractures. For any bass player or drummer who comes in, a disappointing lifestyle, lack of income, and a dictator-like rule from Johnny quickly dashed the joy of being a part of punk’s greatest band.
You could argue that McCartney worked the hardest to distance himself from the prickliness of the Hamburg days to become a more wholesome performer, while Lennon strived to hold on to his venom. That combination was what always appealed to me, though; the velvet glove covering the iron fist is what made The Beatles work so well.
Bob and Lauren Bacall in Australia 1986
That was one of the ones where it was very notable that he showed us on piano. I started playing on the piano. I think I may have said, “Why don’t you play piano?” It took a long time to get it, but we got it. Yeah, I was on that. I need to listen to that again, because I remember thinking it was a beautiful song at the time. He knows a lot about that war. He knows a lot about a lot.The other thing touring with him was, the rehearsals for the ’87 Temple in Flames tour, when he played over and over again the chords for “Frankie Lee and Judas Priest,” he also would be playing something beautiful just in the corner. I’d say, “What’s that?” It was like a Child Ballad or something from the 18th century or 19th century.
“He’s nude in all of them, because I got the original inspiration from a Picasso piece called ‘The Dancers’ and they were all prancing about in the nude. And I thought, why not? You know, it’s a good form of expression.” Talking about Watts, who died aged 80 in August, Wood said it meant a lot to them that he gave him their blessing to carry on touring and use Steve Jordan in his place on drums.