The Ramones – We’re Outta Here

(Eagle Rock Entertainment)

Ask me who my favourite band is, and I’ll pick the Ramones every time.

They certainly weren’t the first band I loved, but Joey and his bruddas from Queens represent pretty much everything that I love about punk and rock n’ roll. Plus, they’ve influenced most other bands that I like, in one way or another, so forgive me if this review occasionally lapses into unashamed fan worship.

‘We’re Outta Here!’ is effectively a documentary of the band’s last ever show, at the Palace in Los Angeles on the 6th August 1996. The DVD footage will make you wish you’d been there; with a sold-out crowd going nuts as the Ramones tear through all those classics for one last time.

The band also had several of their friends along for the ride; so you’ll get to see Motorhead’s Lemmy joining the band for ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’, Lars and Tim from Rancid helping out on ’53rd and 3rd’, and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder singing backing vocals on the closing ‘Any Way You Want It’.

The live clips are interspersed with various mini-interviews, which give an interesting and often revealing insight into the Ramones -both as a band and as individuals. Former members, producers, members of fellow NYC bands Blondie and Talking Heads, and various other famous fans of the Ramones all take their turn in front of the camera, along with the band themselves. There’s a certain aura of sadness that the band are finished, but also a great sense of pride for what they achieved.

The CD features a full-length recording of the show, with the band ripping through 32 songs in little over an hour. Sure, it’s no ‘It’s Alive!’ (the definitive Ramones live album), but the excellent sound, frenetic pace and Joey’s loveable stage banter are proof enough that this was a good show to bow out on.

If you ever saw the Ramones live, this will bring back fond memories. If – like me – you didn’t, then this is a fine snapshot of the latter-day Ramones live experience. Gabba Gabba Hey!

Alex Gosman