Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Far Out / Alamy)

Music

Watch Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone duet on ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’

Two truly influential artists on one stage is a sight we all love to see. Picture the scene: we’ve been to watch one of our favourite bands live in concert, and suddenly, they make the ticket fee doubly worth it by bringing out another legend to play a few tunes together.

This is exactly what happened back in 1988 at the Trash Glitter Ball and Extravaganza at the Ritz in New York City when Joey Ramone brought out Blondie’s Debbie Harry at the end of Ramones’ set. Blondie had been on hiatus since 1982, and fans were treated to the moment Harry returned to the place she belongs to be: the stage.

Blondie’s Clem Burke had been playing with the Ramones just a year before in 1987, though he was fired after two performances as his drumming ability could not keep up with the rest of the band. Marky Ramone, now clean, had returned to the kit.

“It’s Debbie Harry,” announces Joey Ramone before the set’s penultimate song, to which the crowd goes absolutely wild with applause. Harry comes out in a pink suit covered with a black leather jacket, and her trademark blonde hair worn in a fashion that could truly only ever be assembled in the 1980s. After conferring with Joey for a brief second – probably to confirm which tunes they are going to perform – the band, along with Harry, jump straight into a performance of Go ‘Lil Camaro Go’ with Harry on backing vocals.

After ‘Camaro’, Joey Ramone shouts out to the crowd: “OK, we got one more. I wanna be sedated”. Then the band roll out one of their biggest hits, the track released on their fourth album, 1978’s Road to Ruin. A frenzied audience ensues with stage divers left, right and centre. So wild, in fact, that security keeps a close eye on what is going on in the pit, though it must have been difficult given all the smoke pouring out of the machines onstage.

Joey Ramone previously revealed that ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ is actually something of a road song. On writing the track, he once explained that during rare downtime from touring with the band, “We went over to England, and we were there at Christmas time, and in Christmas time, London shuts down. […] There was nothing to do, I mean, here we are in London finally, and this is what we are doing, watching American movies in the hotel room.” Hence the feeling of being sedated, bored out of your mind, watching TV when you should be having fun getting drunk and playing shows.

There’s also a short interview at the end of the video in which the Ramones and Harry explain the projects they had coming up at the time. Check it out below.