The first song I played with a punk band was Rockaway Beach. I wasn’t cool enough to have heard this 1977 Ramones classic before then, but that was the point of punk; you could have a go without being a great musician.
I don’t think we had this sheet music; I was told to play a bass line on the Hofner 182 electric guitar that I’d just bought second-hand from a junk shop. It wasn’t a great guitar, but as I write, someone’s bidding over £800 for one on ebay. How I wish I’d not ripped the white vinyl off and sprayed it black!
Rockaway beach is in Queens, New York and the song was written by beach fan Dee Dee. The style of the song is influenced by The Beach Boys and other surf rock bands, and was The Ramones’ highest-charting single and probably their most-covered song, too.
Just as soon as my band, The Devices, mastered Rockaway Beach, we went on to learn this one: