Album: Adios Amigos!
. . .
I’ll admit: after Dee Dee left, I pretty much stopped paying attention. I don’t think the two things really had anything to do with each other, but outside of the singles, I had no use for 1989’s Brain Drain, and I probably got 1992’s Mondo Bizarro at Ragin’, I can’t remember a fucking thing about it. To the point where I didn’t realize that Dee Dee kept writing for the band even after CJ took over the bass duties.
And so I completely ignored their covers album, 1993’s Acid Eaters — which I stuck in the rotation earlier this year and realized that I made the right decision — but actually kinda enjoyed their first official American live album, 1991’s Loco Live!, because the sturdy tracklist was filled with songs that are essentially unbreakable electric versions of campfire singalongs. But of course, Loco Live! was made redundant by the official U.S. release of It’s Alive in 1995.
Hmm, maybe I was paying more attention than I thought. I mean, I could never fully ignore the Ramones, especially as the culture kinda sorta caught up with them — models wearing Ramones t-shirts and all that — in the post-Nirvana bloom.
That said, I’m pretty sure that I’ve never heard their final album: 1995’s Adios Amigos! I mean, of course, outside of the dynamite Tom Waits cover that kicks it off. A song that was tailor-made for the Ramones.
When I’m lying in my bed at night
I don’t want to grow up
Nothing ever seems to turn out right
I don’t want to grow up
Weirdly enough, when Waits recorded it on 1992’s Bone Machine, he titled it “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up,” but the Ramones explicitly called it “I Don’t Want To Grow Up,” kinda showing just how much they had grown up. Didn’t matter, of course, not when they got to the superpowered final chorus.
Stay around in my old hometown
I don’t want to put no money down
I don’t want to get a big old loan
Work them fingers to the bone
I don’t want to float on a broom
Fall in love, get married then boom
How the hell did it get here so soon
No, I don’t want to grow up
With a guitar solo that replicated the melody — no doubt not played by Johnny — the Ramones find contrast their elemental power with elemental melody of Waits’ song, showing that they could still Ramonesize a song and create something new in the process.
Why is this song different from all other Ramones songs?
I was going to say that it was the only Certain Song performed by both the Ramones and Tom Waits, but Waits returned the favor with a gorgeous, sparse version of “Danny Says,” so that can’t be it. Instead, lets just say that the Ramones never shied from being a covers band, long after that was out of fashion, and “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” was their last great cover.
“I Don’t Want To Grow Up”
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