4/5/10

Ramones 1st single














Here's some quick bits of random fandom at yas while we're on the first 45's tangent-- Blitzkrieg Bop. What an insane and great two sider. And hey, ho, remember a crazy candy called Pop Rocks? It was kind of the mid-seventies chunky version of Lik-M-Ade or Pixie Stix? Came in a Kool-Aid size packet, dry sour granules that exploded in your mouth? I got my first pack from none other than the great one, Joey Ramone. He sent a pack along with some late breaking news and a note explaining the new fad candy. It was really kinda caustic, felt like your mouth was going to blow up or something. They took it off the market. Perhaps one of you candy luvvers would like to research this topic for summer credit and report back. RIP Joey. And Johnny. And Dee Dee. Missed muchly. Here's a photo taken by that gal with an eagle eye, Miss Roberta Bayley, circa 1977. Call it "Autographs & Pictures". Dig Joey's Slade teeshirt. Nice!

32 comments:

  1. Pop Rocks are still gettable -- not as ubiquitous as they were at the time, but not 'cause of any kinda sinister side effects; the novelty just kinda, well, fizzled. Same way I don't think I ever bought a fourth bottle of Fire Water back in my young adulthood (a monkey directed at my shoulder by you, in fact, with yer romantic photos of y'all quaffing it at wrestling matches).

    In my neck of the woods as a kid (Canfield, OH), Pop Rocks weren't as common as Space Dust, a more finely-granulated imitator with a more subtle crackle befitting yahoos like us. They were hard to come by in the initial rush of fad-dom, and were at quite the premium in 2nd or 3rd grade. I remember Hilltop Elementary's resident Eaglebauer, a white-haired kid named Ronald Gaskins, doing a brisk business in the lunch line hawking these little packets for a buck apiece (high stakes in those days!). I always wondered if his parents were supplying the nascent huckster his wares wholesale. In any event, the principal busted his racket, and these and other dubious goods disappeared from the Hilltop Elementary black market...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Space Dust. This is GOLD, Mondello! Work this story into your next script and you've got a midwest JD Little Fugitive blockbuster.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I still play the first Slade LP.
    Before I moved to NYC, Noddy Holder and the boys hung out in PA with me.
    Plaid was all the rage.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think that picture of Vincent Price (?) is not really an example of H-bomb fallout, but a warning of what could happen if you ate a whole bag of Pop Rocks and then drank a can of Coke. This, so sayeth the legend, is what killed little Mikey from the Life cereal commercials. He downed that fatal mixture and his stomach exploded. The bad publicity from this tall tale (never really disproven, though...have YOU seen Mikey lately?) is what caused Pop Rocks to be taken off the market way back then. The Pop Rocks brass sent letters at the time to concerned parents and high school principals (booo!) all over the country, but it was to no avail. They hadda wait years to make a comeback on the candy market.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Harpy! Me too. I went to England in '73 and went kookoo over Slade. Bovver boots, red plaid everything, hacked my hair off. Somewhere is a photo of me with Dave Hill looking so happy it was like I was stoked on Pop Rocks and set to explode with happiness. First time I saw the Stooges, Slade opened for 'em! And they call Cleveland the Mistake By The Lake! Scott, ya splat cat, thanks for the gory details. Lucky that Mondello was on Space Dust or he too may have 'sploded and that's called.. SAD!

    ReplyDelete
  6. We had a sedated version called sparklers(no, not the ones you light up)...used to crackle in the mouth instead of pop.
    Great with a coke.
    Rip Joey,Dee Dee & Johnny.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Man, I just noticed the pic of Vinnie Price! If I'm not mistaken, isn't that one of those bubblegum cards they used to have with all kindsa boss flick pix warpin' our minds? Usually with some corny caption underneath (I seem to recall the above Price still having something like "Hey, who turned up the heat?"), and a joke on the back headlined "You'll Die Laughing". The only such gag I can recall was two werewolves talking: "How do you avoid falling hair?" "Jump out of the way!". Maximum yuks for a 2nd grader. As many bad memories as I have from the 70's, the first half was actually a pretty cool time to be a kid.

    Those monster cards fascinated me, that TRILOGY OF TERROR melting-face shot especially. At the time, I was totally unaware of the principle of movie stills, and assumed all these flicks I hadn't seen took place in these weird, barren rooms in full light. That sorta made 'em seem creepier to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. R.I.P. big three! They were so important in my life i can not say...right up to the end...really good people, crazy, but good friends...if ya wanna check out those monster cards go here...

    http://www.mad-monsters.com/Cards/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ooh, thanks for the tip, Mr. Pyro! That link in turn leads to the above V. Price card in its original context:

    http://www.bubblegum-cards.com/Youll-Die-Laughing/imagepages/image49.html

    I wonder if Joey used the clipped caption on somebody else's letter? Waste not, want not...

    ReplyDelete
  10. One last observation on those damned monster cards -- going through 'em now for the first time in like 35 years (at http://www.bubblegum-cards.com/Youll-Die-Laughing/index.html), I discovered something I never noticed as a kid -- almost all the non-monster actors' faces are crudely replaced with odd-lookin' nobodies! A surreal experience indeed...

    ReplyDelete
  11. there's a later series i have with an orange border on front where all the faces are horribly drawn over for some bizarre reason...awful & funny...monster kids will get their fix any way possible!

    ReplyDelete
  12. And it must be said, the "gum" in them packs was always a much more lethal threat to the nation's mouths than Pop Rocks ever posed. The Simpsons once had a hilarious bit with Milhouse cutting his mouth on a shard of that gum -- not far off base at all! Chewing a fresh piece was like taking a bite out of a 45...

    ReplyDelete
  13. plus that weird chemical powder on the gum...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, a sleeve for the first Ramones 45! Was their only *1* made? How cool -Tom@ModMidMod

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ugh, I'd forgotten that chemical powder on the gum. Maybe a styptic agent to staunch the flow of blood from yer lacerated cheeks?

    In retrospect, Pop Rocks was a wholesome, sanitary treat by comparison. I'm actually wishing I had some right now -- not a taste you'd ever crave, but I could really use that "party in my mouth" sensation on soul-draining workdays like this. Has anybody ever used 'em as a pick-me-up on road trips? Maybe mix 'em half-n-half with ground-up Vivarins... Hmmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, and not only is that pic of you & Joey #3,547 in a seemingly endless series of Most Adorable Picture Ever (have you EVER taken a pic that wasn't adorable, or have ya just been skilled at suppressing the unflattering ones?)... but I'm totally diggin' on the Teenage Gang Debs in the background. I'd 've been totally gaga over either o' these switchblade sistas had I been on the scene. Born too late, and too far... ~sigh~

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey Artie... What year did you escape Canfield's educational system?? I am a living victim of Chaney High (Y-town). Introduced to loud RnR by seeing Left End, Biggy Rat and the like in my pre-legal teen days..I think at Idora Park. Speaking of Canfield....that stinkin' Fair (visited last year) always had me believing the motto should have been..."Something To Bitch About" instead of "Something To Crow About" because as a youngin' ...older folks were always heard complainin' about...parking...prices....punks...

    Oh..sorry Miriam for using your blog to reach out & remember the root.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hah! I fled Canfield (and Ohio itself) in the fall of 1983 with mom & lil' sis. Didn't get to see any kickin' bands in my tenure there -- moved before I had any kinda wheels of my own, and as ya might guess, Canfield itself is a social death sentence for a kid without wheels. Not much to do but watch Hoolihan & Big Chuck, Superhost, and Chilly Billy Cardille... except Sunday mornings, when ya also got the Gene Carroll Show & Polka Varieties outa Cleveland too. Real party time...

    No kiddin' about the Canfield fair bitchery! My ol' man (from whom we eventually fled the state) seemed to live for nothing more than defying parking & entry fees. I, of course, was always the bargain boy -- try to shove me past the gate without payin', not always successfully, and at least once smuggled me in the trunk of the car! Good ol' dad...

    The thing at the fair that turned us on the most every year was the perennial "pygmy" exhibit, with the endlessly repeating excited spiel, "Little people!!! Little people!!! If they are not alive, you will receive $100!". Always hoped one'd drop dead on the spot so I could collect...

    Hadn't been to Canfield since my departure till a few years ago, when I took my now-wife up there to see my roots. My god, what a soul-sucking endeavor! There wasn't a whole helluva lot to Canfield back in the 70's-80's, but damn, it looked like Amsterdam compared to the husk that stands today. Picked up a copy of the weekly paper, with the classic lead story headline to sum up the town: "Local Man Loves To Garden". Can only imagine what the Canfield press had to say about my little act of belated revenge against aforementioned ex-stepdad... (won't go into details, but let's just say it involved a mailbox, a pound of liver, a quart of fudge sundae ice cream, and a hot July afternoon...)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Boys, you I'm casting you all in I WAS A TEENAGE RATFINK, and the blinding opening scene is Mondello and the browning of stepdad's mailbox. It's like Leave It To Beaver gone terribly wrong. Only in Ohio. More please. I'm spending more time diggin' yalls comments than I am bloggin' my brains out. Gimme gimme.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The mailbox scene would indeed be like Beaver gone wrong; it was like Lumpy Rutherford finally getting back at his dickwad dad twenty years later. The original plan was to steal the box under cover of night, like so many idle teens did to him back in the day (a little touch of sentimentalism), but the wife pointed out that that I might oughta sleep on it first (reason 1: mailbox theft is kind of a federal offense, and reason 2: he tended to open fire at the aforementioned mailbox thieves). Refreshed thusly, I decided to merely make a special delivery to that mailbox while he was at work. I'll never forget the portentous reaction of the grocery clerk as I purchased the goods: "Liver... and ice cream?!? ~shudder~". I can only imagine the horror that slithered outa the box at the end of the day... Tell ya one thing, I stopped having nightmares about the jerk after that! Highly recommended for any of ya seeking decades-overdue passive-aggressive closure...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Artie...sumptin in my head had me seein' you in the previous mentioned trunk of the ol' man's car...and forgotten about while the others enjoyed the destination. Probably didn't happen...but crossed my mind! Miriam...sure yuk it up on OUR expense! Question for you pleez...do you know if the Ramones sound equip / man was based outta Y-town? I thought when I lived there I heard that (may have went to school with the dude)...might make sense as their first gig outside of NY was there. Curious....

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, I'm sure I was "accidentally" left in the trunk a coupla times for kicks, but luckily Mom didn't put up with that crap when she was in eyeshot. I was loads of fun for the old man & his buddies, especially 'round the 4th of July -- the perfect slow-moving target for bottle rocket volleys! Ah, the Midwest... God bless 'er...

    ReplyDelete
  23. This blog got good taaaste.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jeepers, Linna, ya sure did hush up alluva sudden. Now ya got me worried the CIA didn't care to have yer JFK scoop slipped... You ok up there?

    Bored In Florida,
    Artie M.

    ReplyDelete
  25. and liver flavored ice cream!...(ala carte)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anyone remember ice cream flavored gum?
    And, yeah, nobody could ever stand to chew card gum....
    PJL

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ooh, I remember that ice cream flavored gum. Brrr! The strawberry & vanilla weren't TOO bad, for the fleeting moments the flavor lasted (not counting the odd faint chemical aftertaste, which admittedly most of these gums boast). But the chocolate -- ~shudder~. I seem to remember it as being somewhere between a Neko wafer & a tootsie roll, but somehow blander and at the same time more acrid. What the heck was that crap called?

    ReplyDelete
  28. 1-2-3-4, what I can say, can't remember now???

    Jari-Pekka
    http://ramones.kauhajoki
    Ramones homepage since 1995

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hei Jari, hyva kuulla Suomesta! Yks-kaks-kolme-nelja!
    Miriam

    ReplyDelete
  30. That's funny the first time I met the Ramones in 77 it was at a 7-11. One of them mentioned Andy Warhol and I told Joey I was going to an opening of his the next day. He bought a pack of Pop Rocks and asked I give them to Andy for him. What a great opening line for my dealings w/ Warhol the next afternoon. Very cool story!

    ReplyDelete