Watch Morrissey Cover the Ramones’ ‘Judy Is a Punk’
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The performance, which you can watch above, caps a series of public displays of affection from Morrissey to the punk legends — including Morrissey Curates the Ramones, the 2014 Record Store Day exclusive that found him curating 17 tracks from the band’s vaults. Of course, as the internet discovered several years ago, he wasn’t always a fan.
Calling them “the latest bumptious band of degenerate no-talents whose most notable achievement to date is their ability to advance beyond the boundaries of New York City,” Morrissey penned a write-up of the band’s debut in a 1976 issue of Melody Maker that sneered the band “have absolutely nothing to add that is of relevance or importance and should be rightly filed and forgotten” and referred to their fans as clueless dupes.
“For a band believed to project the youth of America, New York – suburban life, anti-conformism, sex and struggle, or whatever, they fail miserably. And in the sober light of day their imperfections have a field day,” wrote Morrissey. “The Ramones make the Stooges sound like concertmasters, and I feel that the only place for their discordant music is the sweaty downtown Manhattan dives to which they are no doubt accustomed.”
After that old press clipping was dredged up, Morrissey explained his point of view, explaining he’d written those words in a misguided fit of pique and changed his mind almost immediately after mailing them off.
“When I bought the Ramones first album on import, I was enraged with jealousy because I felt they had booted the New York Dolls off the map. I was 100 percent wrong,” Morrissey told Billboard in 2012. “Three days after writing that Ramones piece, I realized that my love for the Ramones would out-live time itself. And it shall. Well, it virtually has already. If the Ramones were alive today, they’d be the biggest band in the world. It takes the world 30 years to catch on, doesn’t it? I mean, look at poor Nico. Every modern teenager now seems to love Nico, yet while she was alive she couldn’t afford a decent mattress.”
Morrissey Albums Ranked in Order of Moz-ness