Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Chinese Rocks

Johnny Thunders is the guitarist that Slash wants to be. Even though you could argue that Slash is technically more proficient than Johnny, he can't touch his attitude. That's saying a lot. Johnny Thunders started a group called the Heartbreakers after the New York Dolls (his former band) broke up. At one point, former Neon Boys (Pre-Television) alumnus Richard Hell, was a member of Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers--before he formed Richard Hell and the Voivods. Richard joined forces with Dee Dee Ramone and wrote this song. Dee Dee couldn't use it for his group because Johnny Ramone was opposed to drugs being a part of the band's image--the song is about the perils of heroine addiction. So, Richard Hell and Dee Dee Ramone let Johnny Thunders use it in his band.

The guitars are so heavy on this song--raunchy is the word I'm looking for here. Don't for a minute expect anything resembling current punk here. This is straight ahead New York 70's vintage punk. The thing that has endeared me towards Johnny's guitar playing is that he has that true rock'n'roll swing when he plays, but he manages to keep it going and not devolve into boogie rock (not that there's anything wrong with that). I can't do this song justice with my words, so here's the lyrics:

Somebody called me on the phone
they said hey, is Dee Dee home
do you wanna take a walk
do ya wanna go and cop
do ya wanna go get some chinese rocks?

I'm living on chinese rocks
all my best things are in hock
I'm living on chinese rocks
everything is in the pawn shop

The plaster's falling off the wall
my girlfriend's crying in the shower stall
It's hot as a bitch
I shoulda been rich
But I'm just diggin this chinese ditch

repeat chorus

repeat verse two

repeat chorus 2x

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