četvrtak, 10. rujna 2009.
The Ramones - Bonzo Goes To Bitburg (EP)
The song was written primarily by Ramones lead singer Joey Ramone in reaction to U.S. president Ronald Reagan's visit to a military cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany. Reagan visited the cemetery, where he laid a wreath, and then gave a public address at a nearby air base on May 5, 1985; the visit was part of a trip paying tribute to the victims of Nazism and celebrating West Germany's revival as a powerful, democratic U.S. ally. The phrase "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" was coined by protesters in the weeks leading up to Reagan's visit.Although intended as a reference to Reagan, Bonzo is actually the name of the chimpanzee title character in Bedtime for Bonzo; Reagan was the top-billed actor in the 1951 film comedy. The phrase is also possibly a play on the title of the film's sequel, Bonzo Goes to College (1952), though Reagan did not appear in that picture.
Reagan's plan to visit the Bitburg cemetery had been widely criticized in the United States, Europe, and Israel because among the approximately 2,000 German soldiers buried there were 49 members of the Waffen-SS. This was the combat arm of the SS, the paramilitary organization that helped run the Nazi extermination camps and committed many other atrocities, including the murder of American POWs. Among those vehemently opposed to the trip were Jewish and veterans' groups and both houses of the U.S. Congress.Before departing for Germany, Reagan ignited more controversy when he expressed his belief that the soldiers buried at Bitburg "were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps."In his remarks immediately after the cemetery visit, Reagan said that "the crimes of the SS must rank among the most heinous in human history", but noted that many of those interred at Bitburg were "simply soldiers in the German army.... There were thousands of such soldiers for whom Nazism meant no more than a brutal end to a short life."
The song's lyrics, with their explicitly serious content, are a departure from the Ramones' usual style. Joey shares writing credit with Ramones bassist Dee Dee Ramone and Ramones producer and former Plasmatics bassist/keyboardist Jean Beauvoir. Discussing the inspiration for the song, Joey, a Jew and previously a Reagan admirer, explained that the president "sort of shit on everybody." David Corn describes the beginning of the refrain—"Bonzo goes to Bitburg/then goes out for a cup of tea/As I watched it on TV/somehow it really bothered me"—as "snarled" by Joey over a "power-pop beat and melodic hooks galore".Salon.com arts editor Bill Wyman writes of Johnny Ramone "lob[bing] guitar bombs" amid the song's "Spectorian, rushing production". Led by "Joey's pained, pleading voice," it is "the group's greatest song and his greatest vocal performance", according to Wyman.Douglas Wolk fits the song into his general view of Joey Ramone as different from his many musical imitators in that "he never, ever sneered": "the tone of 'Bonzo Goes to Bitburg'", writes Wolk, "isn't contemptuous, just confused and angry." Calling the song "brilliant", David Fricke of Rolling Stone writes that it "vividly captures the sense of helplessness and confusion felt by rock youth in the Age of Reagan
1. My Brain is Hangin Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)
2. Go Home Ann
3. Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)