Paying homage to Johnny Ramone

Two progress videos under my belt, and now it is about time I pay tribute to another one of the pioneering bands that paved these well-trodden roads of rock.

As my basic skills are beginning to develop and having clocked up one year and four months of guitar practice now, I thought it was about time I paid homage to Johnny Ramone: the amazingly intense, sometimes mercurial, always brilliant, legendary guitarist of the Ramones!

The song? Well, it simply has to be ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’!

Attempting this with all downstrokes is indeed an exercise in speed-endurance, making a straight forward chord progression a much more challenging proposition for one so new to the guitar. The energy the Ramones injected into their performances is breath-taking. Short, sharp, shocks of deconstructed rock at its best. Sincerely though, I am only really just beginning this journey of learning to play the electric guitar, and have a very long way to go before I can genuinely do classic songs like this justice.

The thing about the Ramones though, is their contribution to a new way of thinking about music. It seemed to all be about getting back to basics, stripping away any musical excess, and simply standing naked, so to speak, ready and willing to deliver your message to the World, or whoever was present, in the most direct and visceral way. …enlightenment by way of blunt-force trauma!

The other thing about this music, in contrast to its iconic status, is that if feels real and achievable. Knowing that others have gone before me and taken the fundamentals of music and delivered them with such raw and unadulterated power, leaves me with a very real sense of hope. Hope that, in time, I can develop and deliver something personal and powerful, as I learn to unleash my ability to express myself on the guitar, too.

– Joel BB

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