March 30, 2012

Magic Mushrooms, Johnny Ramone, & Me

This next one combines New Wave, magic mushrooms and Johnny Fucking Ramone.  Read on, comrades…

Way back in ’81, the youngling Nazz and his pal Steve (via Steve’s hotshit Red Firebird) ventured into big bad NYC to see the Psychedelic Furs. This was well before the John Hughes flicks made em all hot shot and all, but in the big city, they were still pretty popular. Being the young savants that we were (or idiots- it’s a thin line), we did the math and figured: Psychedelic Furs = Hallucinogens. Because we were really smart (or stupid). So, we grabbed ahold of a bag of magic mushrooms and proceeded to ingest them whilst stuck in traffic on the Williamsburg Bridge, alternating bites of the disgusting dried fungi with handfuls of Oreo cookies.

We get in, and have some time to kill before the show begins, so we wander around the area that the show is gonna be in (the old Ritz theater (now known as Webster Hall).

Drinking beers on the street, who do we run into but Mr. Grouchy Punk himself: Johnny Fucking Ramone. He looked exactly as he did on stage, except he had a denim jacket on instead of a leather MC (it WAS August). He also had an umbrella. For some reason, that weirded me out, since I didn’t think Ramones should worry about the rain. 

Anyway, we walk right past him and do the head swivel thang. “Holy shit, that was Johnny Fucking Ramone!” we both shouted. So, we immediately ran across the street, doubled back and crossed back so we could walk by him again. This time, we stopped him and… JUST AS THE MUSHROOMS KICKED IN, tried to start a conversation that went something like this:

Nazz: “Ummmmmmm Hi Johnny”

Johnny Fucking Ramone: “Hi”

Nazz: Johnny we love the Ramones you’re in our favorite band I’ve seen Rock N Roll High School a million times when’s you’re new album coming out holy shit you’re Johnny Fucking Ramone oh my fucking god blargh blurgh glarb (cue heavy mushroom madness) blargh gribble blughh”

Johnny Fucking Ramone: We’re recording it now. Doing the tracks and waiting on Joey for the vocals.

Nazz: “Blurgh blurgh blum Psychedelic Furs cool show we’re going to blughh you should come too blargh (eyes rolling in back of skull) you’re Johnny Fucking Ramone”

Johnny Fucking Ramone: “Nah, I got things to do”

Nazz:  “Cool you’re blurgh gragh fucking awesome GABBA GABBA HEY”

Johnny Fucking Ramone: “Yeah see ya” (Johnny Fucking Ramone then makes his escape)

After a few minutes and a couple of more beers, we finally were able to comprehend the magnitude of meeting Johnny Fucking Ramone and we went into the show.

Anyway, here’s an actual link to the concert I found. Listen for yerself- that thump in the background would be me hitting the floor. I do remember them opening in a splash of bright light with “Into You Like A Train”. I also remember passing out drop dead unconscious during I think “Sister Europe” and being revived by my buddy Steve and some hot chick (or it could have been a really big and ugly bouncer ).

The Psychedelic Furs show was cool. But not as cool as meeting Johnny Fucking Ramone.


Pig State Recon said...

Awesome story mate. Punk + heavy psychedelics will never, ever end badly. This is a truism.

welfare cheat said...

Ahh.. It's all coming back to me now. I distnctly remember him turning around and pointing his umbrella at us as if he were The Penguin, thinking we were stalking him. I guess if you think about it, this was less than a year after John Lennon's murder. Or maybe he was just a paranoid misanthrope. I also recall us telling him about all the Ramones shows we had seen and he self critqued each and seemed really interested in our opinions. That really did happen right? We didn't just sync our halleucinations?

Anonymous said...

I saw The Furs a few times before and in the beginning of their fame. They got a little worse every time but the first few shows were fantastic. I got to hang around with Richard Butler after a show because my friend was the college rep for the label. He was actually a great guy and loved to gossip.