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Rock Reads: If You Like the Ramones... by Peter Aaron

Reviewed by Kevin Wierzbicki

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The idea behind Backbeat's If You Like series is not to provide an in-depth band bio or tell you what a particular group sounds like; these are for folks who already know and enjoy, in this case the Ramones, and want to explore options for obtaining music that's in one way or another connected to the punk rock legends.

Here Aaron expounds on the bands that influenced the Ramones, everyone from girl groups like the Ronettes to surf bands to British invasion bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who and through to proto-punks like the Stooges, Roxy Music and the Velvet Underground.

The latter portion of the book spins it around to bands that followed or are kindred spirits of the Ramones, suggesting that fans might want to check out acts as varied as Radio Birdman, the Dils, X and Suicide.

Other influences on the band, like comic books, cartoon shows and sci-fi flicks get plenty of attention too. As a reference book If You Like the Ramones… is a definite keeper but it's also a fun cover-to-cover read for those with maybe just a casual interest.


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