That time Morrissey covered the Ramones song ‘Judy is a Punk’
Today, we are taking a dip into the Far Out Vault to reminisce upon the time when Morrissey paid homage to New York greats the Ramones when playing in their hometown, delighting the east coast crowd with a blistering rendition of ‘Judy Is A Punk’.
Morrissey and the Ramones have a mixed history, one which dates all the way back to 1976 when a scathing 17-year-old unleashed his razor-sharp tongue on the punk icons who, it’s safe to say, didn’t win The Smiths man over at first. He felt compelled enough to write a letter vocalising his disdain towards the band which even got published in Melody Maker and would later become infamous.
“The Ramones are the latest bumptious band of degenerate no-talents,” his letter abruptly started with Morrissey immediately not leaving any question marks around his stance. “Whose most notable achievement to date is their ability to advance beyond the boundaries of New York City, and purely on the strength of a spate of convincing literature projecting the Ramones as God’s gift to rock music.”
A number of years later, however, the Mancunian finally completed a public 180 on his stance toward the Ramones and in surprisingly candid fashion. Morrissey usually lives and dies by the sword but, on this occasion, he admitted that he was in the wrong, which is a very un-Morrissey move but a welcomed one nonetheless.
“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,” Morrissey regrettably stated. “I was 100% wrong. Three days after writing that Ramones piece, I realised 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,” he added in his apology.
Then in 2014, his love affair with Ramones progressed even further when he handpicked a compilation album of his favourite tracks by Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and co. — which was appropriately titled Morrissey Curates The Ramones and made his comments from 1976 to bed for good.
Two years later, Morrissey then went a step further and paid tribute to the Ramones in their hometown of New York when he delivered a raucous cover of ‘Judy is a Punk’ which, even managed to bring a smile to the former Smiths man’s face, which is a rare sight alone.