In 1977 Blondie signed their contract with Chrysalis Records which went on to release ‘Plastic Letters’, ‘Parallel Lines’ in ’78, ‘Eat To The Beat’ in ’79, ‘AutoAmerica’ in 1980 then finally ‘The Hunter’ in ’82. An incredibly successful period for the band during an incredibly competitive time for music where the band single handidly embraced different genres like pop, punk and rap music and did it with style.
Gaining number one hits whilst on Chrysalis helped a whole raft of new wave and post punk bands get signed in their wake as major labels fell over themselves to sign the punk bands of the day.
Two years later an unknown Irish band released their first EP. ‘U2-3’ Like em or loath them U2 went on to become the biggest band in the world if you have one of those original pressings of which there were 1,000 made you should have it in a vault.
In ’83 Mick Jones was fired by The other three members of The Clash who claimed he’d drifted from what the band was all about from the start he went on to form B-A-D.
The Clash came to a rather sad ending in May 1983. The group had every reason to be on the top of the world by this point: their previous LP, Combat Rock, was an enormous hit and their singles “Rock the Casbah” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go” were all over radio and MTV. But drummer Topper Headon was kicked out of the group for drug abuse in 1982, and Mick Jones and Joe Strummer were barely speaking.
They took a six-month break after the ‘Combat Rock’ tour ended in November 1982. A $500,000 offer from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to headline New Wave Day of the US Festival proved impossible to turn down. Some warm-up shows for the huge festival were booked, the group went on a four-date tour of Texas and Arizona. Tory Crimes (who rejoined the band in 1982 after Headon got the boot) was once again out of the group by this point, so they took out an ad in Melody Maker and recruited 23-year-old Pete Howard.
The band eventually went on stage at US festival two hours late and played a sloppy, 80-minute set in front of a banner that read “The Clash Not for Sale.” Joe Strummer taunted the audience from the stage and afterward, the band got into a brawl with security. The group still walked away with a half-million dollars; four months later, they announced that Mick Jones was leaving the group. The chaotic US Festival was his final appearance with the band and the final two songs were “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Clampdown”.
Joe Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon did release ‘Cut the Crap’ in 1985 and toured as the Clash that year, but that’s like a Rolling Stones tour without Keith Richards. It doesn’t count. The real Clash bowed out at the US Festival other opinions are available.
Finally on this day In 1955 Bruce Foxton, bassist for The Jam was born. Happy Birthday Bruce.
Jeffrey Ross Hyman better known as Joey Ramone passed away at the age of 49. His fight against lymphatic cancer ended on this day after a long a widely reported battle. Hyman was born in Queens on the 19th of May 1951. Joey was born with a parasitic twin, the twin was surgically removed however he did have a sibling, brother Mickey Leigh.
His musical journey began when he played the drums from the age of 13 before picking up an acoustic guitar and then moving onto vocals and the rest, as they say, is history as he performed all over the world playing thousands of shows to millions of people. He loved the Beatles, The Who, and the stones as much as he loved 50’s girl groups and The Ramones managed to do a fine job of mashing up all those influences throughout their iconic career.
Joey has a street named after him in NYC but the band managed to play their farewell show in California. His iconic hunched form with tinted shades ripped jeans converse shoes and the black leather jacket has been copied a million times over as has his band’s music. He will forever be remembered in connection with CBGB and leaves behind a wonderful legacy of Ramones records as well as two solo albums before he passed away as well as being immortalised in the Simpsons and even got a speaking part as well as singing the Spiderman theme song doesn’t get cooler than that folks. Rest In Peace Joey Ramone one of the finest frontmen ever in music – period. King of the outsiders
The last song Joey heard was a U2 tune, not a band I usually like to share but hey it’s about Joey so it’ll do and the Ramones did support U2 at the Longest day way back in the 80’s so kudos to them for doing that at least besides where else was a kid going to see The Ramones?
anyone who ever saw the band can testify as to how good they were and even when they weren’t good they were still good – yeah? Iconic punk rockers amazing image – even more amazing catalogue of songs and albums – incredible characters – dysfunctional, goofy, awkward, enigmatic, influential. Lucky for us there has been something of an avalanche of reissues, bonus material, box sets, books, DVD’s. The Ramones will forever be remembered and rightly so. Rest In Peace Joey you ruled!