The Ramones, four chords, and a punk gun find their way into musical folklore – Times Square Chronicles
“We are a happy family“they sing, pointing directly at you, or at least they believed it at one point in the heyday of CBBG as the action unfolded on the wicked streets of New York and Los Angeles in late 1970s. This late 20-year-old eccentric group called The Ramones zoomed in to deliver a wild true story adventure. “It’s a memory game. But that’s not all of my memories, and some of it is total bullshit, but a lot of it is really, really true. And fucking crazy. “No lie there. It’s the lead-in that takes us fully into the madness, spoken by the pseudo-narrator of this musical folklore, the drummer Marky, played solidly by Brendan Hunt (“Ted lassoHis performance easily brings us back to that infamous year and that famous pounding nervousness of this legendary band. It is quite the fascinating piece in rock and roll history; a slice that I did not know much about- thing, centered around the iconic musicians who made up the punk rock band, The Ramones.
More importantly, it’s also about the complex musical coupling that occurred in 1979 with the band and that legendary eccentric and erratic music producer, Phil Spector, played precisely by the wonderful Ben Feldman (“Hypermarket“). I could barely contain my curiosity as to what had transpired between these vastly different characters, as I knew Spector was the strangest of the wild rides, and the group wasn’t up to par in form or perfectionism. like this well-known producer. I just had to Googling their historical connection (check it out here) before entering John Ross Bowie’s streaming Four chords and a gun. That’s the whole story, and this finely rendered revival, filled to the brim with carefully crafted performances all around, is a truly eye-opening and gripping experience, worthy of the compiled mass-market cast and the legends they bring.
Written with a good ear for the difficult, obsessive and angry by John Ross Bowie (“The Big Bang Theory, “Mute“), Four chords and a gun makes her way with a good hook and a good rhythm, built from hours of exhaustive research by Bowie on the making of The Ramones 1979 album, End of the century. Rolling stonedeclared, with the greatest insistence, that “End of the Century is the most commercially credible album the Ramones have ever made. And they did so without compromising their very real artistic premises. This LP is also Phil Spector’s finest and most mature effort in years, arguably his most understated production since working with John Lennon in the early 1970s.. â€œQuite a lot of praise for something that seems so painful and back-breaking in its creation. Ask Johnny.
The band, played with a strong connection to place, time and speed by Michael Cassady (“Adam ruins everythingâ€) As Dee Dee Ramone, Hunt as drummer Marky Ramone and the still engaging Justin Kirk (HBO’s “Angels in America”) as the controlling Johnny Ramone, find the right flavor and level of engagement, especially when it comes to the perfectionist quirk that is Spector. Bobby Conte Thornton (Broadway’s A tale from the Bronx) like the very tall and always optimistic Joey Ramone, shines the most, infusing light and energy into the compulsive lone star. Even if he is vaguely lost between his boots and his girlfriend, the performance draws us to the heart. His daughter, the strong willed Linda Daniele, played beautifully by the captivating Lena Hall (Hedwig and the angry thumb) is the somewhat questionable version of The Beatles’ Yoko Ramones, who spoils things on a trip to LAX by loving a Ramone and another. The crash, thanks to cool calculated Republican punk Johnny counting the money and wondering “Wanna shoot that shit with ACDC“, completes the convoluted story by adding a level of drama to an already unbelievable storyline, as the bandmates wrestle and bicker throughout their studio sessions with an armed volatile Spector throwing more and more fuel on internal alcohol.
It was definitely a complex showdown between two band members and a powerful manic presence. It wasn’t a recording studio match made in musical heaven, to say the least, as the Ramones were a band drenched in spontaneous and fast-paced energy, filled with chaos and vibrancy. Spector, on the other hand, meticulously portrayed here by Feldman, is the opposite; compulsively aggressive and devilishly determined at the highest level to achieve his structured perfectionism. Known as a notoriously unstable leader, especially when it came to the artists he worked with, he often asked (or forced) his musicians to deliver their performances take after take until he finally felt that it perfectly matched his pop sensibility. Even if it meant their emotional breakdown. Prior to Spector, this punk rock band had only worked in the very comfortable surroundings of their old friend Ed Stasium, knocking out vibrant, thrilling rock albums filled with erratic energy in the span of a few weeks in the recording studio. . This mixture of oil and water, driven by Joey’s love for Spector’s work, was meant to cause the group’s internal breakouts, and as featured here, the grueling schedule fractured and split the group into many. dysfunctional pieces, which seemed destined to separate them, leaving the two extremes, Joey and Johnny, arguing more than the girl. In a 1982 video interview Johnny Ramone does not shy away from this explosive musical union and Spector’s mad, almost violent will for ultimate control: “Working with Phil has been very difficult because I guess he’s a perfectionist so he likes to spend a lot of time redoing things and listening to it and it takes a long time. It’s very hard for us. Rock n roll has to be very spontaneous and a little faster.“
The power dynamics raged, inside and outside the studio, moving this story from memory forward with that same spontaneous side that the band was famous for. Directed with a somewhat stuttered beat by Jessica Hanna (Bootleg Theater’s willows), the Zoomed game bursts the Zoom player. “Got to hold on, even stabbed in the assâ€Dee Dee tells us, and he’s not kidding. There are “important [musical history] shit but be careful“You hear, as this intense dark comedy tries to reclaim and unwrap the violence and power struggles that took place within these infamous recording studio walls. This album made The Ramones more than a band queens musical nuts, but his creation also infiltrated and destroyed their once close family bond. Captivating and intelligent, Four chords and a gun finds humor in the dismantling of trust and union, pulling Spector’s crazed curtain down on that real-life interpersonal drama that surrounded the making of the world’s greatest punk album. Even when it hangs out here and there, in a rhythm, problematic structuring, and repetitive verbal form (I think it could be a lot better on stage), the infamy of this crazy historical coupling is clearly enough to hold us sublimely hostage. “Now come down and watch a movie about a ventriloquist“, or Spector might shoot you. So play that chord, again, even if it’s for the hundredth time.
Four chords and a gun is the powerful and entertaining story of creative madness that highlights everything that happened between the iconic Ramones; Linda Daniele, the woman who loved two; and the fascinating and flamboyant and destructive Phil Spector. Streaming will be available until June 30. Virtual tickets starting at just $ 5.00 can be found here: www.Play-PerView.com. Product benefit Food on foot.
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