Text and photo by David Chiu
One of the most iconic albums by one of rock’s most iconic bands came out exactly 40 years ago: the self-titled debut by Queens’ own Ramones. The legendary quartet of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone waved the flag of the punk revolution here in New York City and all over the world for the next two decades (the first four Ramones albums are still benchmarks in the punk music canon). The story of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees is examined in this retrospective exhibit, “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk,” at the Queens Museum, appropriately held in their native borough. It features memorabilia and artifacts spanning the band’s history: from their Queens roots, through their major breakthrough as one of the de facto bands of CBGB, to their legacy. Classic photos, artwork, show posters vintage magazines, T-shirts, album covers, and video screens highlight the exhibit and paints an exciting and vibrant picture of the downtown scene. It is a must-see for die-hard fans and for those who were born long after the punk scene died.
“Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk” runs through July 31 at the Queens Museum. For more information, visit the exhibit web page.