The Ramones are elitist.

A friend writes to remind us of Lee Abrams’ real crime:

True, this guy is one of those hilarious clueless douche bags that big thinkers at failing companies like Tribco believe will breathe new life into their franchises and, as his memo amply demonstrates, what he knows about newspapers would fit neatly under your thumb nail.

But his greatest crime is the creation of the so-called “superstar format” that transformed the wild, wonderful and creative world of FM radio into the banality of the AOR format in the 1970s. His ruthless insistence on tight playlists relegated thousands of acts to oblivion, particularly black music but also punk, metal and other kinds of rock while embracing elevator rock by the likes of Foreigner and Supertramp.

Posted at 11:46 am in Media |

26 responses to “The Ramones are elitist.”

  1. coozledad said on June 19, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Ouch. Something tells me this isn’t going to sit too well with the folks at the Hague.

    86 chars

  2. Danny said on June 19, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I miss Supertramp. “Paris” was a brilliant, brilliant live album.

    I’m currently too busy to catch up with everyone right now, but the most important thing in the last two days: Jeff used the word “frak.” A Battlestar fan. Yet another reason to like Jeff.

    Oh, and Big Tuna. Welcome aboard. If you are cool, we may be able to have some fun giving intellectual wedgies to all these progressives.


    420 chars

  3. LAMary said on June 19, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    It’s so depressing to do a long road trip and get the same AOR playlist in every city.

    86 chars

  4. nancy said on June 19, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Guilty pleasure: Lou Gramm’s “Midnight Blue.” It’s like Foreigner, only funny:

    I remember what my father said
    He said “Son, life is simple,
    It’s either cherry red or midnight blue.”

    My dad? Used to say the same thing.

    232 chars

  5. Danny said on June 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Okay, so I am a big time progressive rock fan. “Yes.” LOVE them. But I do not feel guilty liking REO and Journey.

    That said, I agree with Mary. Radio playlists really suck.

    177 chars

  6. alex said on June 19, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    That’s anti-intellectual wedgies, Danny. That is, unless you’re trying to come off as some kind of elitist.

    107 chars

  7. LAMary said on June 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Danny, did you ever see the website WWJD? It’s “What Would Journey Do.” Journey lyrics are used to answer questions from teens. I don’t know if it exists anymore, but it was very entertaining.

    196 chars

  8. LAMary said on June 19, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    It still exists.

    16 chars

  9. coozledad said on June 19, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    The sub-genre that really bothers me is the whole “My dick is starving my brain for oxygen” song. “Hot Blooded” gives sixteen year old boys a bad name. “Tonight’s the Night” is a horror story.
    S’gonna be alright. (Alright for him, maybe. He’s going to be the one that gets off)
    Spread your wings and let me come inside. (This always sounded to me like an invitation to be hit with a blunt instrument)
    Don’t deny your man’s desire (well, she doesn’t have to deny it while she refuses to gratify it)
    Nobody’s gonna stop us now (Not so quick. If you’re at the food court, mall security will probably taser your hopped up little ass)
    I have to apologize. Recalling these lyrics always takes me to a strange place.

    723 chars

  10. Danny said on June 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Alex, an elitist is a know-it-all who is sometimes right. I’m a know-it-all who is always right, or an a-hole for short. I thought you knew that about me.

    Hilarious, Mary!

    EDIT: I’m cornfused, cooz. Are you confusing Foreigner lyrics with Rod Stewart lyrics? If you are, well, then, wake up, cooz, cuz’ there’s something that I need to say to you.

    370 chars

  11. nancy said on June 19, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Coozledad always has a new way of expressing the disharmony between the adolescent male sex organ and the supporting instrument (i.e., the rest of the body). I thought “clinical dehydration from constant exposure to titty magazines” said it all, but “starving my brain for oxygen” is my new favorite.

    300 chars

  12. coozledad said on June 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Yeah, Yesterday our bull busted down his fence to go visit one of our currently ovulating cows. He was walking around the yard with his unsheathed appendage nearly scraping the ground, and I instantly heard the voice of Gene Simmons. In fact, my bull’s appendage resembles the tongue of Gene Simmons.
    I wish I’d waited a little longer to name him now.

    353 chars

  13. Danny said on June 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Mary, is this from the site?


    Gregg and Heather have a picture-perfect marriage. The two are young and wildly successful. Heather is a bank-credit analyst, Gregg a top loafer salesman at a department store. But Heather’s job requires her to work long hours, and Gregg often feels neglected. If she really loves me, he wonders, why is she away from home so much?

    It’s the quintessential modern struggle: a two-income family, overworked, always pressed for time. You may wonder how Journey, who walked the Earth so long ago, could relate to a problem like this. But did you know that Journey faced precisely this same dilemma nearly twenty years ago?

    In Frontiers 5, 0:48, they tell the story of a musician, always on the road, and the woman he’s left behind: “They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family. But right down the line, it’s been you and me. And lovin’ a music man ain’t always what it’s supposed to be. Oh girl, you stand by me. I’m forever yours, faithfully.” Faithfully. It’s clear that Journey intends a double meaning to this term: faithfulness to the absent spouse, yes, but also faith in Journey and their power to heal broken relationships.

    Devotional meditation: How secure is my faith in Journey? When is it strong? When does it falter?

    1331 chars

  14. LAMary said on June 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    That’s the one.

    15 chars

  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I know LAMary will top this, but at a radio conference in 1980, i was talking in a hospitality suite about how much i liked Supertramp when I got handed a phone and found myself talking to Roger Hodgson who was waiting to begin a show in Paris. I learned that autumn in Paris is beautiful, the crowds were really into the music, and that it looked like rain. Oh to have that moment back!

    389 chars

  16. LAMary said on June 19, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I have no Supertramp moments, Jeff. You’re safe.

    48 chars

  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    And i met the band “Shoes” and got to know them before they . . . ok, they never got big. “Too Late” was about it.

    LAMary, give us a Ric Ocasek story or something.

    216 chars

  18. Danny said on June 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Jeff, wow. Are you sure it wasn’t Novermber 1979?

    I heard last year that they found the video footage of the entire concert. Who knows. Someday we may be treated to the re-release and a DVD. I would love that.

    Oh, here is the link.

    322 chars

  19. coozledad said on June 19, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Here’s a guilty pleasure for you. I still love to hear Liz’s voice. All of her stuff was a kind of improvised word-salad. She was also a really pretty kid. Her husband was a brilliant guitarist, but also an incredible jerk. I’m beginning to wonder if the two qualities are inseparable.

    325 chars

  20. LAMary said on June 19, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys bummed a cigarette off me once.

    63 chars

  21. brian stouder said on June 19, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    You killed him!!

    Murderer!!! Enabler!! Willing Executioner!!!

    64 chars

  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 19, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    It is remotely possible that i do not have completely accurate recall of the late 70’s/early 80’s, but i can affirm the absolute sway of the statue of limitations over that period of my life (no murders or treason).

    We’ll say it was ’79 then; thanks for the link, Danny.

    Nancy, i don’t think Obama wants to do any specific illiberal things in the name of liberalism, but if we’re picking up a Democratic Congress, it’s gonna make me that much more likely to stay a McCain voter. I’ve already dealt twice with frivolous civil rights commission filings in my life, and the future seems to be full of more of the same, only moreso. I don’t want there not to be a CRC, but i’d like to minimize the impact of administrative law over my everyday life.

    One can fairly ask “at the cost of electing warmongering pigs?” That is, in fact, a problem, too — bomb ’em all, let God sort ’em out is a real weltanschauung out there, and want them restrained and inhibited and disempowered.

    It’s like life is trade-offs or something; i’d like a clean, clear choice, but that never happens (except for voting on expanding state-supported gambling, which is a no for me; i don’t object to gaming, just the gov’mint running it).

    1223 chars

  23. del said on June 19, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I figure the government ought to run ALL gaming, like it does across the river from Detroit in Windsor. My Republican friends, of course, disagree. Their eyes glass over like Moonies and they proffer trite Ted Nugentesque arguments about how the private sector’s much more “efficient” and should run the casinos. Hello? More efficient at what business model — taking poor saps’ money? Gambling’s a tax on ignorance and desperation if you ask me. As it stands, here in Michigan, the profiteers cleaning up in “gaming” — if you call shooting fish in a barrel gaming — are people with very dubious backgrounds.

    616 chars

  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 20, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Michael Gerson in the WaPo — “Whatever the reason, his lack of a strong, centrist ideological identity raises a concern about his governing approach. Obama has no moderate policy agenda that might tame or modify the extremes of his own party in power. Will every Cabinet department simply be handed over to the most extreme Democratic interest groups? Will Obama provide any centrist check on liberal congressional overreach?”

    [Oh, and i don’t like gaming, i just don’t think it should be banned.]

    602 chars

  25. jcburns said on June 20, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I keep thinking that Lee Abrams was the consultant who had Columbus’s Q-FM-96 play a loop tape of wind chimes mixed under the announcers every damn time the mics were open.

    Ah, seventies radio. (tinkle, tinkle, ding, bong.)

    226 chars

  26. brian stouder said on June 20, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I keep thinking that Lee Abrams was the consultant who had Columbus’s Q-FM-96 play a loop tape of wind chimes mixed under the announcers every damn time the mics were open.

    JC – interesting point!

    I used to be annoyed by the news updates on Ft Wayne media (TV and radio!) that played a loop of teletype machines under each broadcast. I don’t know when it went away, but looking back, it (the clackity clack of those machines) became “what news sounds like”.

    I think the modern equivalent, when one tunes to a cable news channel, is seeing a group of people dressed in corporate casual, flitting about behind the news anchor at the desk, as she delivers the news.

    I always wonder, are those people actually doing anything? Do they get paid more on the days they’re scheduled to mill about in the background? (or maybe they get paid less, when they have that privilege?)

    890 chars