Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Peter Aaron

Rock & Roll Books

If You Like the Ramones ...

by Peter Aaron
Backbeat Books, 278 pp., $16.99

As the lengthy subtitle asserts, "Here Are Over 200 Bands, CDs, Films, and Other Oddities That You Will Love." Punk-blues musician Peter Aaron (Chrome Cranks) has penned an authoritative, annotated guide to the culture that both spawned and was spawned by the leather-jacketed chainsaw-pop quartet that would become punk rock's definitive band. If You Like the Ramones ... could be a necessary update on the early Eighties Catalog of Cool, underlining what records to buy – anything from Chuck Berry and the Ronettes, the Beatles, and the Stones to Black Sabbath, the Stooges, and the New York Dolls, with some Dick Dale in between – to understand what made "Blitzkrieg Bop" so crucial. It's not just knowing the shadow the Ramones cast over every punk, hardcore, thrash metal, and alternative act that followed, but also about appreciating Mighty Mouse and Woody Woodpecker, Mad magazine and The Amazing Spider-Man, Freaks and Nightmare Alley, Hogan's Heroes and The Munsters. Aaron's written a guide to everything historically fast and loud.

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