Monday, April 29, 2013

I DON'T CARE (demo)--Ramones 17

Culled from the earlier, album length batch of pre-SIRE demos, this raw recording features the only song attempted which was held back for inclusion until their third LP, ROCKET TO RUSSIA. Two other tracks (I CAN'T BE, I DON'T WANNA BE LEARNED/I DON'T WANNA BE TAMED) remained untried on any of the group's albums, and they also appear as extra tracks on the CD version of the debut.

One of the first--if not the very first-- songwriting attempts by a pre-RAMONES JOEY, the tune was a mutation of the chords to 'I'm Eighteen' by ALICE COOPER. MICKEY LEIGH, after altering his guitar to be better utilized by the novice JOEY, apparently taught the rudiments of one of his brother's favorite song's melodies to him. He was soon surprised to find that he had constructed a new composition out of a primitive revamping of the hit's chorus. The nihilistic lyric was potently crystallized with what would soon be characteristic simplicity and directness.

As with most of the rest of what is available from their inaugural studio efforts (see RAMONES; THE EARLY DEMOS), the song has been brought a step down slower, from its eventual official key of A down to G. ('I'm Eighteen,' interestingly enough, is pitched some distance away in E.) The stretched tempo does much to make the guitars and drums sound heavier and thicker. Also in common with this group of demos is how much more relaxed JOEY's singing seems when contrasted with the later LP takes, and the probable varispeeding has shaded his vocal with an unfamiliar depth of tone. Eventually the final version of this track will become one of their strongest album's most identifiable classics (even at this early stage of their sound's development they somehow verge near self parody)-- but the tough, chunky, loopiness of this initial blueprint will remain unmatched.


Photo by Roberta Bayley

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