THE RAMONES – May 9, 1985

One of My Favorite Shows – THE RAMONES – May 9, 1985

The place was oversold & packed tight, you couldnt squeeze another drop of sweat into the room. One of those shows that, if there’d been a fire everyone would have been a goner. Hot as hell inside, and once they went on the whole place just exploded into moshing & surfing under massive blasts of Red White & Blue light.

It was the Too Tough to Die Tour, which was considered a comeback album of theirs in the 80s. They had just played town a few months earlier, opening for Billy Idol at the War Memorial. Richie was drumming then, and thats a part of their career that gets overlooked. For my money he was the closest thing to Tommy.

They played like a fury and the body to body compression was so severe that it kept jamming my Walkman recorder. Only 3 songs survived on tape & I’m presenting 2 of them here: Blitzkrieg Bop and Rock & Roll Radio

If you want to get a sense of how crowded it was, compare the audience here with the other clips. Unbelievable.

If anyone has pix from this show, email them to me & I’ll post ’em.


RAMONES Live at Scorgies


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  1. Simon Ribas’s avatar

    I’m pretty sure the fire marshall did show up at this show. I remember being out by the door when they came down, and I don’t know who talked them out of closing the show down, but someone did because they left. Downstairs was like a can of sardines that night.


  2. Greg Townson’s avatar

    It was dangerously oversold and the fire marshall did show up. I remember that night well. The Essentials opened up for them. It was our very first show. I think Richard Kaza helped us get the gig, but Scorgie liked us and we had played there many times as Indirect Object.

    I liked Don a lot and he was always good to us, but we pissed him off that night. I’ll never forget it! I hope he doesn’t mind me telling this story….

    This is kind of long, but what happened was we went down there early, did our sound check and then took off for our rehearsal room around the corner on Pleasant St. We hung out there for about an hour until it was time to walk over to the show.

    On our way to the show, for some reason half the band said they had to go back to the rehearsal room for something they forgot. Todd Bradley, Pete Zajkowski and I told them we’d go on ahead and meet them at the club. Of course, as usual we were running late.

    When the three of us got to the front door, i couldn’t believe it. When we had left the club just an hour before it was ghost town. Now there was a line a mile long out the door and the street was full of people. It was a pretty wild scene.

    Scorgie had a bouncer at the front door waiting for us to walk us through the crowd so we could get to the stage. I tried to tell the guy half the band wasn’t there, but all he would say was Scorgie was pissed off that we were late and we had to go NOW.

    As we were slowly making our way through the crowd I realized pretty quick there was no way the rest of the guys would ever be able to get to the stage without help. To get to the stage we had to go around the bar, go down the stairs and through the crowd that was waiting for the show. It was so packed even this bouncer couldn’t move people out of the way and he was pushing people hard.

    When we finally made it through, Don was waiting there for us with one foot on the steps leading to the stage. The stage lights were up, but his face was more red than any of them.

    Thankfully for me Todd was the first to reach him. When Todd told him only half the band was there and we couldn’t go on yet, well, i have never seen anyone so pissed off in all my life! I can still see him yelling right in Todd’s face. He went on and on – it was incredible! We had to wait what seemed like hours before the rest of the band got there while Don turned around every ten seconds and screamed at Todd!

    Of course, I found out later the fire marshall had been there and the show was close to being cancelled. It probably would have turned into a riot if that had happened.

    When the rest of the band finally got there we opened with the fastest version of Revielle Rock by Johnny & The Hurricanes we’ve ever done. When our set was over all I could do was move my amp out of the way – there was nowhere else for me to go. I managed to stand on the side of the stage right next to Johnny Ramone.

    Anyway, that was the first Essentials gig. What a beginning….

    One other thing: I remember they did The KKK Took My Baby Away and Joey announced he was glad to hear a local band was covering the song. I’m pretty sure it was The Press Tones.


    1. richard kaza’s avatar

      todd wasnt the only one getting screamed at that night.

      don let me have it too. his face turned as red as a big dog boner. his bitch with me was ” how could i book an opening band with so many fucking people “. he had a point.

      the ramones as expected took their sound check and their equipment was secured in place which left almost no room on stage.

      greg, correct me if im wrong, but i think there were 8 essentials at the time.

      …and then when you guys were late, he found me first and went crazy again, 10 minutes, 10 minutes, he kept screaming, if theyre not here in 10 minutes i wont let them go on. i thought he was going to explode or kill me..not sure which would happen first. thats why he perched himself on the stage. to intercept you guys and scream some more and decide if he would let you play or not.

      the thing about scorgie, no matter how pissed he was at me 1 day, the problems we had were always over the next day. like they never happen. never spoken of again.

      the next day the conversation went something like ” good show last night ”
      and we laughed liked idiots


    2. Mitchell Levine’s avatar

      I was pressed up against the front of the stage, where I spotted a cardboard piece of paper taped to the bottom of Joey’s mike stand which appeared to be a cheat sheet posted by the band’s road manager.

      On it were written such memory-joggers as:

      “Rochester, New York, America”

      “Alright.” (Joe kept shouting that between songs), and

      “Run off/ left.” 🙂


    3. Paul’s avatar

      There was only one Ramones show at Scorgie’s?


    4. dougfresh’s avatar

      That was such an awesome show. I saw the Ramones at least a dozen times, but this one stood out as pure adrenalin o.d.


    5. John Wickerq’s avatar

      Excellent, even though only 2 songs. If you have other shows contact me.



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