Songs I Turned Up: The Ramones, I Just Want To Have Something To Do

Posted on September 24, 2010 by

Artist: Ramones:
Song: I Just Want To Have Something To Do
Album: Road To Ruin

“Hanging out on Second Avenue / Eating Chicken Vindaloo.” Well, it was probably 2nd Avenue and 6th Street that Joey Ramone, suffering from Weltschmerz, sang about, remembering a time when you wanted to be the lonely outsider, but too angst ridden to stay home. And love was calling, so you either wanted to be with her or nobody. It’s restlessness. It’s young love that will solve the peregrination to emptiness. It’s a common theme in rock and roll. And that’s a lot to convey in two verses in a little more than two minutes.

The little post chorus “wait – now/wait – now” provides a feeling of attack. The song just sounds tough, even with a Chicken Vindaloo reference. It’s not nearly as cartoonish as “Bad Brain” or as poppy as “Don’t Come Close.” It can change the climate of a room.

When I heard the song, I was listening to The Mighty Manfred Show on XM Radio. I was stirring my sweet potato risotto on the stove top, listening to the Stones version of “I Don’t Know Why I Love You.” I dig the Stones, but I still like Stevie Wonder’s original version better. Then came the Ramones over the radio. I had to turn it up. The Stones laid the groundwork for the volume increase, tampering with my emotions, but it was the Ramones that I turned up…this time.

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