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Written by:  Alex Sandell

Free Thing # 7

"Kids killing kids make society pay. Just blow up your school and have a nice day. It really fuckin' kills me. Live your life to the fullest and fuck everything." 
Joey Ramone:

Don't Worry About Me

It wasn't until a fan asked me if Joey's first -- and only -- solo CD was any good that I remembered that I had yet to write a review for it for The Juicy Cerebellum.  I actually received an advance of this a few weeks before it came out, and although I've been listening to it on an almost daily basis since that time (early February), I have completely forgotten to type up a critique.  I think that, subconsciously, I put this review off, because when it's over I know that there really isn't much more I can do, say, or write about the Ramones, or Joey.  

Along with the Ramones' debut, which changed rock and roll forever, this is probably the single most important CD ever released during my lifetime.  The Ramones were the band that got me into punk, and they have remained my favorite group for 14 years.  When Joey Ramone died it hit me REALLY hard, and in the tribute I wrote for him a little over a year ago, I said, "let us keep going, but, before we do, I think all of us should stop and put a single rose, a tube of glue and a pair of Converse All Star shoes in the Pet Sematary, and take a couple of minutes to remember the man who finally made rock and roll real. Joey would be the first one to tell us that anything more than a couple of minutes is just too damn long."  

I guess I thought it was going to be easier to move on than it's turned out to be.  I get pretty freaked whenever I realize that there won't be a NEW Joey Ramone song ever again.  That's why this CD was so incredibly important to me.  It was the last time I would get to hear Joey for the first time.  This was his swan song, and I wanted it to be good more than anything.  So, I crossed my fingers and prayed.  It took me a couple of days of staring at the cover before I could listen to it, out of fear of the unexpected, the fear of the beginning of the end and the knowledge that, after the last note of the last song faded away, it was the end of an era.  

Finally, I choked down a big gulp of fear (along with a little Blue Cream Soda), wiped the sweat off of my forehead, turned the stereo up as loud as it would go, threw in the CD, and screamed along to lyrics that I didn't even know yet.  This is what I thought, and still think, of each song (and, as always, I put some of my favorite lyrics from each song up for your reading pleasure).:

What a Wonderful World:
"I see skies of blue and clouds of white, bright sunny days, dark sacred nights, and I think to myself, What a wonderful world."  If you haven't had your head up your ass your entire life, you'll recognize immediately that this is a remake of that old song that that guy who sounds like Cookie Monster sang.  It's an incredible way to start the CD, and it's a hard-driving, punked-up, Ramones' style remake.  This song smacks a smile onto your face no matter what kind of sorrowful slump you're currently in.  Joey always had a way of looking at the bright side of things.  The fact that he picked this song to remake, as he was battling the cancer that finally killed him, really shows how incredibly upbeat Joey managed to be.  A classic.

10 (on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.  And, if you didn't know that 10 is the best, you should probably go shoot yourself.)

Stop Thinking About It:
"Nothing lasts forever, and nothing stays the same.  Feeling numb all over, and totally deranged.  When you finally make your mind up, I'll be buried in my grave.  Oh yeah."  That chick he was writing about must be kicking herself.  He warned her.  She didn't "stop thinking about it," and now he is buried in his grave.  A chance like that only comes along once in a lifetime, and she blew it.  What a moron.  This is a "new" style Ramones' song.  If you don't know what that statement means, it's probably for the best.  I basically liked most of the new Ramones' stuff, even though a lot of punkers thought that it all got too heavy metal.  Anyway, there's some cool keyboard/piano parts and a pretty heavy guitar.  It's catchier than a venereal disease, and makes for a damn incredible song.  I don't care what my brothers, my friends, my mom, or anyone else says.  Stupid mom, brothers and friends.  D'oh!


Mr. Punchy:
"He must be screwed up, what did he do?  He must be screwed up, what did he say?  He must be screwed up, is he on glue?  He must be screwed up - hey hey hey!  La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la ... Everybody's screwed up in their own special way!"  I told a friend of mine that this song would be like the PERFECT drinking song.  Just get totally bombed and sing along with the "la la la's."  He laughed, agreed, and proceeded to get wasted as I sat around bored, listening to his stupid "drunk guy" philosophies.  Every time that I listen to this slappy happy number, I wish that I still drank.  Unfortunately, I quit back in January ... a month before getting this CD!  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!  The song sort of makes me feel like I'm drunk, though, and that's always nice.  All Ramones' fans should appreciate the reference made to glue.  


Maria Bartiromo:
"What's happening on Wall St.?  What's happening at the Stock Exchange?  I want to know!  What's happening on Squawk Box?  What's happening with my stocks? I want to know!'"  Uh ... uh ... This has sort of been Joey's claim to fame, after his death.  Maria Bartiromo is this CNBC chick that's sorta hot and has her own show that talks about stocks (that rhymed).  No, I didn't know that before I heard this song.  Anyway, all the financial geeks keep talking about this song on their boring financial geek shows, because they think it makes them look hip to have a punk singer write a song about the stock exchange.  From what I've heard, Joey made a TON of money on stocks before kicking the bucket.  He couldn't take it with him, but he could write a pretty unique love/lust/crush song about it.  I would give this a ten, but I wouldn't.  I just took my shirt off.


Spirit in My House:
"I got a spirit in my house and I know it ain't no mouse.  I got a spirit in my house! In my house! In my house! In my house!"  This song makes me go, "YES!"  And then I jump around and throw things.  I love it.  It's a combination of the old Ramones and the new Ramones.  Emphasis on the old.  My youngest brother even loved it.  He said, "the music makes you want to boogey, but the lyrics are so gay."  Okay, he didn't really say that, but he did like the music and he did think the lyrics were stupid.  I thought they were hilarious.  Stupid lyrics are funny, and easy to remember!


Venting (It's a Different World Today):
"Kids killing kids make society pay.  Just blow up your school and have a nice day.  And it really fuckin' kills me.  Live your life to the fullest and fuck everything." 
I think that they added the "Venting" part of the title AFTER THE FACT.  Joey dies and everyone pusses out.  This song has great lyrics.  Very depressing but yet not depressing even though it is.  Yep. 


Like a Drug I Never Did Before:
"My head gonna blow brains all over the floor.  Pressure like I never felt it before.  Demons swirling in an OCD pond.  My body is vibrating, I am gone gone gone." 
Pretty good lyrics but the music sucks.  Joey does this thing with his voice that sounds like something some stupid headbanger would do if he was stupid which he would be because he's a headbanger that's dumb.  It's only when he says the word, "before" in the chorus, but he says the word a lot.  Stupid headbanger word.  "Before" is the worst word ever and I wish I could kill it.


Searching For Something:
"Susan moved up to Rochester, she can't stand the crack anymore.  She's clean and sober now, and she just glows.  We went on up to South Fallsburg for some spiritual comforting, and I felt like a million dollars, something that money just can't bring.  Her eyes are filled with diamonds and everybody knows her name.  My my my my my my baby ... Everybody loves you, everybody loves you."  The money men behind this CD are trying to spin this as a sequel to "Suzy is a Headbanger," but I don't think that is what it is, at all.  Whatever it is, I really like it, because the lyrics are extremely rewarding (whatever that means).  I dig the whole concept of this girl getting herself together and just glowing.  I got myself together once, but I didn't glow, so I swallowed a bunch of pills and the doctor told me that he's surprised I lived.  That was weird.  This is the only song on the CD that doesn't sound anything like a Ramones' song.  It's pretty much a folksy sort of ballad.  Nice change of pace.   


I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up):
"Sitting in a hospital bed, frustration going through my head.  Turn off the TV set.  Take some drugs so I can forget.  I, I want life.  I want my life.  I got knocked down but I'll get up!"  A lot of people say, "he didn't get up."  But he really did, because he had to record this song, at some point.  He just fell down again.  This song is the best on the entire CD.  It's inspirational as hell, and it's one of the best sing-a-long songs ever written.  If you don't like it you should probably take out the earplugs and pull the stick out of your ass.  I always have this sort of fantasy that Joey lived, rather than died, and this CD became a pretty big seller, and he is playing to a sold out club and all his fans are screaming along with the chorus when he sings, "I got knocked down but I'll get up!"  That would have been great.  Damn, I miss that guy.


"It's 1969 okay.  All across the USA.  It's another year for me and you.  Another year with nothin' to do." 
This is an Iggy Pop remake.  I've never been able to stand Iggy Pop songs.  He should be called, "Iggy Poop."  Yes, that's right, I said it, "POOP!"  I don't like this remake, either.  Anything Iggy touches turns to shit.  Fuck him.  This song should NOT have been on the album.

3 (for Joey's vocals, which are really good in this one)

Don't Worry About Me:
"When I saw you I knew that I wanted ya, but you're the kinda girl that you just can't get through to.  Standin' by the corner in a mini skirt.  You're the kinda girl that ya just can't forget.  Now I'm sittin' here sad and blue, thinkin' 'bout all that we been through.  I gotta get away.  Don't worry 'bout me!"  Even though it's obvious Joey wasn't writing this as a farewell message to his fans, it comes off that way, and I'm guessing that's why it became the title track.  It's a great song that goes on too long.  It's unfortunate, cuz the CD could have ended with a 10 if the song was a little faster and a little shorter.  Oh well, it's still a good ending for a great record.  


OVERALL RATING - Joey Ramone's "Don't Worry About Me" gets 8.6 Juicy squirts out of a possible 10 ejaculations and becomes THE HIGHEST RATED CD EVER REVIEWED ON THE JUICY CEREBELLUM!  Congratulations, Joey!  You went out with the best CD you've sang on in well over a decade!

MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND - Order the CD today!

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HEY!!!  Do you have something to promote?  I'll review ANYTHING.  Fanzines, magazines, CDs, DVDs, videos, toys, comic books, novels, nude photographs; whatever you send me, I'll review it!  I can't promise a GOOD review, since some of things you send me will indefinitely suck shit, but I CAN promise a review, and an address where a person can find the thing I'm reviewing.  Even if I hate the damn thing, you're still getting free promotion (if it's good enough for Alice, damnit, it's good enough for you!)!  It doesn't even have to be a product that you're involved with!  If you've got something you'd like on The Juicy Cerebellum, send it to:

Alex Sandell
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Everything outside of the "Don't Worry About Me" album cover, and quoted lyrics, are copyright 2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].  Copy this, without my permission, and I'll make sure that you find a spirit in your house, and no it won't be no mouse!

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