Skip to main content

Watch Ramones try to keep their punk rock cool on a cheesy European TV pop show

Ramones 1980
(Image credit: AVROTROS Broadcasting / YouTube)

It may have failed to chart in the US and UK, but Ramones' Rock 'n' Roll High School, recorded for the soundtrack to the 1979 film of the same name, struck a chord with the record-buying public in the Netherlands, ultimately reaching number 8 on the Dutch Top 40 on March 22, 1980.

With the single climbing the charts, and Da Bruddahs in Holland to play Amsterdam's  iconic Paradiso venue on February 11, 1980, it only made sense for the producers of weekly TV chart show TopPop (the Dutch equivalent of Top Of The Pops) to reach out to Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky to ask them to perform/mime on the show that spring.

Understandably, given the presence of punk rock royalty in their midst, the TopPop producers decided to pull out all the stop for the lads from Forest Hills, Queens: and what could scream 'punk rock' more than a professional dance troupe pretending to be jiving 1950s teenagers?

To their credit, professionals that they were, the Ramones were able to ignore the distraction of the suspiciously mature 'students' banging their desks on either side of the sound stage as they '1-2-3-4'-ed their way into their latest high-grade punk rocket, maintaining their air of punk rock cool even when the 'kids' left their seats and proceeded to throw one another into the air in the time-honoured recreation of jivin' and jitter-buggin' 1950's US teens.

Those hit singles didn't earn themselves in Europe y'know...

Watch the wholesome punk rockin' 'n' rollin' unfold below:

Last year, Johnny Ramone's 1965 Mosrite Ventures II guitar, used on every Ramones album, sold for a whopping $937,500 at auction, an indication of the quartet's iconic status. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.