Legendary Port Chester: The Ramones, April 8, 1995

Punk rock icons play Port Chester's historic venue, The Capitol Theater.

When international pioneers of the punk movement invited listeners to "be sedated" in 1978, a village of nonconformists answered not by falling asleep, but by pumping their fists to a flag featuring an eagle holding an olive branch and a baseball bat in each of its talons.

It was the decade of studded dog collars and devil-may-care attitude, and The Ramones started it all in Queens in 1974.

So by the time the band strolled into Port Chester’s legendary venue in 1995 after spending more than 20 years spreading punk rock mohawks, leather jackets and mayhem across the United Kingdom and the United States, it’s safe to say local adoring fans were pretty excited to see their idols.

One fan from Notkin.net snapped a photo of the rock stars tearing it up that night that gives meaning to the old adage "a picture is like a thousand words."

And judging by the hit-packed set list, it's obvious that the group led a stellar performance. The Ramones played 32 songs ranging from the obscure ("Cretin Hop") to the very familiar ("I Wanna Be Sedated" and "Rockaway Beach.")

But it was classics like "Blitzkrieg Bop" that served as the jump-off for some Westchester musicians to start their own bands.

New Rochelle Report blogger Mark Lungariello recalls how rock royalty and screaming fans that night struck a musical chord in him and his friends: “Even though we didn’t know it at the time, we’d spend the rest of our teen years buying used punk CDs, admiring the artistry of guys with names like Johnny Rotten, and snarling at our peers who didn’t listen to punk – our peers that didn’t get it."

The troupe later proved they can add a rock twist to even the mellowest of songs as they closed the night with a gritty cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”

With amped-up electric guitars and volume threatening to tear the place down, fans may even not have even recognized it was the same beloved tune.

Those who were at this show, consider yourself lucky–you were probably one of the last ones to see a live performance by the band. A year after they appeared in Port Chester, the band was sedated for good after a 1996 farewell tour.


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