MARKY RAMONE AND THE INTRUDERS

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Live at the Satyricon in Portland, Oregon. December 6, 1998 AND December 7 at John Henry's in Eugene.

I'd been anticipating these shows for a long time. The Intruders have been touring for three years but this was the first time they played in the Northwest. It was funny because I didn't think they would play in Eugene, where I live, because it's not a very big city. I bought a ticket for their show in Portland, which is 100 miles away but still the closest place to see them. Then I found out they were going to play in Eugene after all, so I went to both shows and had a great time. The first night, the Intruders opened for Sloppy Seconds, and in Eugene, Sloppy Seconds opened for the Intruders.

The place was packed full with people in Portland, but hardly anybody danced or moved around during the Intruders' set. My friend Jenny and I stood in the very front. The stage was really low so we were right in front of the band. At first we stood in front of Johnny Pisano. It was amazing to watch him play so fast without a pick, but he played so loud that we couldn't even hear the guitar or vocals. We moved over by Ben Trokan and it sounded a lot better. Johnny and Ben both sang, but Ben sang more of the lead vocal parts. They played most of the songs from their album along with some new ones.

They also covered "Blank Generation," "Have A Nice Day," and "I Don't Care." They played everything really fast; way faster than they do on their album, and it sounded great. I talked to Ben Trokan before the show and he said if I wanted to interview Marky, I should just go find him in the back room when they were done playing. We waited until after Sloppy Seconds played to find him. We just walked in and introduced ourselves, and he was more than happy to talk to us. He complimented me on my Krusty the Clown (from the Simpsons TV show) shirt. I won't say much about the interview, you can read it yourself, but it was a real honor to meet one of the Ramones.

The next night, I saw them play in Eugene. I saw Ben Trokan in the bar before the show and he told me some stories about when they played with the Sex Pistols in South America. I knew he was young, but I didn't know he was only 21--the same age as me--and he's playing with the Intruders! The lucky bastard! The audience in Eugene was a lot smaller than Portland, but they more than made up for it with enthusiasm. Everybody was jumping all over the place and going crazy. I took pictures at that show. At the end, when they came out for the last encore, Marky sang "I Wanna Be Sedated" while the drummer for Sloppy Seconds took over on drums. If you read Rev. Norb's column in MaximumRocknRoll a few months ago, you might remember he said Marky Ramone is a bad singer. I thought he was actually pretty good. He sounded a lot better than he does on "Man Of God" from their album. The last thing he said when the song was over was, "Don't let anybody tell you what to fuckin' do!" and then they walked off stage.

Of all the new bands featuring former Ramones, the Intruders are definitely the truest to the Ramones' style. I'm thankful I got to see the Ramones twice while they were still around. We can't see them anymore, but the Intruders are the next best thing if you want to hear the authentic Ramones-sound. I had a final at 8:00 AM the next day for college, and I slept through 45 minutes of it because I got home so late, but I didn't care! That weekend will be hard to beat.

(Suburbanian thanks to Glenn Shires)