Gabba Gabba Hey
Dear Tommy and Marky,
Seeing as you are the last two remaining Ramones (I don't count CJ or Richie as being real Ramones), I am hoping you will be able to shed some light on something for me, despite the fact that you were drummers and not principal songwriters for the group (though perhaps your time behind the mixer as producer will be of some help, Tommy?)
Anyways, my questions surround these two girls the Ramones sing about: Judy and Sheena. First of all, what made Judy a punk and Sheena a punk rocker? And what is the difference between a punk and a punk rocker? Is a punk rocker a specific kind of punk - like is it a species in the order punk? Or is there more to it than that? I wonder if Judy dresses the part of a punk (leather jackets, torn jeans, an army jacket and black high-top Chuck Taylor's) but has no musical ability, while Sheena plays bass in a punk rock band?
Also, in "Judy is a Punk" Joey sings, "Jackie is a punk / Judy is a runt." Who is this Jackie character? I thought Judy was the punk? Is she a very tiny punk? How tiny? I saw a 4'11" girl at Oktoberfest this year (she smashed a stein and made her boyfriend's hand bleed) - is Judy as small as that? And then why isn't the song called, "Jackie is a Punk"? Or "Judy is a Runt"? Or even "Judy is a Punk, Too" so that when I hear the lyrics and Joey tells me that "Jackie is a punk / Judy is a runt" I am able to understand that, aside from being very small, Judy is also a punk? Especially since most of your songs are pretty straightforward. "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is about a guy who wants to be some girl's boyfriend. (Side note: Does Joey want to be Judy's or Sheena's boyfriend?) "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" is about a guy who, at this moment, wants to sniff some glue. In "53rd & 3rd" you guys sang about the corner of 53rd and 3rd, not 86th & East End. So why the confusion with "Judy is a Punk" if Judy isn't a punk, but a runt?
Either way, it seems pretty clear that Jackie and Judy are friends, since they were living in northern Germany and northern California together at different times, and moved "down to Berlin" and "down to Frisco" to join the ice capades and SLA on two occasions. They sure travel a lot together. But what are two punks (again: is Judy even a punk?) doing joining Disney on ice? Though I suppose the German version of that could be pretty wacked. I imagine a lot of leather and eye make-up with some pretty amazing choreography set to some Wagner pieces. I guess my confusion isn't anything to be ashamed of, as even Joey has questions about this when he sings, "oh I don't know why." But he must know something because he then sings, "perhaps they'll die." From what? Is he concerned about them? Poor, poor, tiny little Judy, dying on some frozen pond in Berlin. Perhaps Joey's worried she'll fall through the ice? I don't know, but then again, neither does he.
But there's absolutely no uncertainty about Sheena. No siree. Sheena is a punk rocker, no doubt about that one. No ambiguity in that title. It's not like after you read The Catcher in the Rye and you're like, "what the hell does that title mean?" so you go look it up. Nope. As Joey sings at the end of "Sheena is a Punk Rocker", "Sheena is a punk rocker / Sheena is a punk rocker / Sheena is a punk rocker / Well she's a punk punk, a punk rocker / punk punk, a punk rocker / punk punk, a punk rocker / punk punk, a punk rocker." Yup, he's pretty confident about that.
But is she? She seems more like a surfer chick to me. She's "hopped up" and "ready to go now," presumably to the beach since she's "got her surfboard." But that's not very punk. Or rocker-ish. And this brings me back to my original question about what the difference between a punk and a punk rocker is. I surmised that maybe a punk rocker is a punk who plays in a band, but you don't mention any musical prowess on Sheena's part at all. She surfs, I know that. But that's it.
In closing, what, exactly, is the difference between a punk and a punk rocker?