Watch the Ramones give New Year’s Eve a proper punk makeover, 1977
“I think our peak, our greatest moment, is that New Year’s Eve show of 1977 into 1978. I think that’s our greatest moment as a band.” – Johnny Ramone
On this day some 42 years ago, the Ramones would take to the stage at the Rainbow in London to give a very thirsty a crowd a double-shot of stringent punk fun as the band tore through a New Year’s Eve set that will go down in history.
If you were any kind of punk in 1977 then there was only one place to be on that day, in a sweaty, heaving mass of bodies watching gleefully as Joey, Dee Dee, Tommy and Johnny took to the stage to deliver one of their most feverish performances of their jet-fuelled career.
It was a monster set that was buoyed by an incredible list of acts supporting the New Yorkers. Billy Idol’s Generation X as well as Scottish reprobates the Rezillos taking the stage before the leather-clad quartet made for an entertaining night of beer-drenched revelry. It would see the Ramones at the top of their game, so much so that they would record the evening’s proceedings and deliver it as their first-ever live album; It’s Alive
The album was named after a US horror film of the same name and soon became known as one of greatest live rock and roll records of all time. Lucky for us the whole thing was not only captured on record but on film too as the 26-minute video below shows. The New Yorkers are on their best form delivering a juggernaut of punk energy with every thrashing note, making sure that despite being in the centre of punkdom they were surely the only Rock and Roll Royals around.
Though it was recorded at the end of the most glorious punk year, 1977, It’s Alive wouldn’t hit record shops until 1979, nearly a year and a half after the event. Sold as a double-LP the record is a perfect tableaux of the Ramones’ furious energy, seeing them perform a range of hits from their then-three released records including ‘Blitzkreig Bop’, ‘Rockaway Beach’ and ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’ plus a host more of 90 second gems.
It’s a lesson to all aspiring musicians in how to take a gig from 0 to 100 in a simple “1-2-3-4!” Watch below as the Ramones give their greatest live performance ever on New Year’s Eve in 1977: