Ramones – Suzy Is A Headbanger

• “Suzy Is A Headbanger” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to Ramones Music.

9.8 “All-time classic Punk from the USA”

From their album “Leave Home” (Sire SA-7528) released in 1977.

Sometimes, I’m amazed to discover that a certain song isn’t actually in my collection. Take “Suzy Is A Headbanger” for example. I must have been singing this for more than 25 years before getting around to collecting it this year.

I seen the Ramones play the Glasgow Barrowlands once, ’twas ace. Very very sweaty and very slippery. They must have played about 40 songs in 90 minutes, with no chat, bar 40 in-between song shouts of 1-2-3-4. Or so it seemed. What a band.

My album review:

Whilst albums by Chicago, Eagles and Peter Frampton continued to shift units by the UPS truckload, the second Ramones offering did even worse than their debut, peaking at a lowly #148 in the Billboard charts; so much for justice. Thankfully, there was sufficient adoration from punk fans on both sides of the Atlantic to keep them in hamburgers, with a decent enough demand for vinyl and live appearances. The classics all appear on side 1 with “Glad To See You Go”, a song bassist Dee Dee wrote about the end of his relationship with a volatile and violent girlfriend, and, from what I’ve read, he seems well rid. Seamlessly, “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” extols the virtue of therapy for the troubled ones: “Peace and love is here to stay and now I can wake up and face the day, Happy-happy-happy all the time, shock treatment, I’m doing fine”. And so the album continues tongue-in-cheek, left, right and centre, as likely to be paying a visit to Burger King as checking in at the local loony bin. The insanely catchy “Suzy Is A Headbanger”, completely digging on Eddie Cochrane’s “C’mon Everybody”, is next to shine and seems to follow up “Judy Is A Punk” from the debut. Seemingly, real-life scenesters are getting a big-up, although it’s doubtful Suzy’s mum will be too chuffed with her geek label. Cheeky boys. Closing side 1, “Pinhead” introduces the classic “Gabba Gabba Hey” chant with which the group would be synonymous for the rest of their career. “I don’t wanna be a pinhead no more, I just met a nurse that I could go for” sings Joey, as awkward a 6’ 6 icon as ever there was. Does he get the nurse? No. Instead, he finds himself in the company of the deformed characters from Tod Browning’s “Freaks”, who speak in high-pitched (tape-speeded) tones: “Gabba Gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us”. At first listen, it’s kinda funny, before the connotations become apparent. As with their debut, the group include one cover, opting for “California Sun” which was made famous by The Rivieras back in ’64. As good as it is, it’s a level below the rest of the set, as is the unremarkable closer, “You Should Never Have Opened That Door”. Mustn’t grumble though – there have been classics galore. And bang-whizz-zap there you have it, 14 songs all over in just 30 minutes. What a lean machine.

You can read the rest of my favoured album reviews from ’77 here.

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