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Ramones: What they mean to me – by Ginger Wildheart

On February 4, 1980, Ramones released their fifth album, 'End Of The Century'. One particular teenager in South Shields couldn't wait to play it...

The Ramones gave me validation. I was a kid that didn’t look like everyone else. I wasn’t a metal kid. I liked punk music but I didn’t look like a punk. I had long hair, raggy jeans because my family were skint, I wore baseball boots because they were cheap and had a bike jacket from a cousin of mine. I liked Bazooka Joe and Mickey Mouse, so I walked around wearing cartoon T-shirts. Then I saw a picture of a band who looked like me. I was like, ‘What the fuck do they sound like?’.

To this day, I still remember the first time I played Road To Ruin. It was around 1979 and I held the stylus above the record, too scared to play it in case it was a disappointment. But then I heard it and it was like the sound in my head, or bumping into a twin you didn’t know you had. As far as I was concerned, I was a weirdo and a loner until the Ramones came along. They were first four friends I ever had that were just like me. 

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