'Ad 'Mone on the Rise

The Ramones sell out! We've all been waiting fifteen years to say that, never had the opportunity until now, until two Marlboro Men in a beer truck decided to enter an auto race, flipped a switch that turned their vehicle into a Jaguar IMSA race car, and roared into television watchers' living rooms to the tune of "Blitzkrieg Bop." If serving up the soundtrack for a brew 'mersh isn't selling out, this is: Kurt Loder wrote the liner notes for the band's latest album.

It's a bit of a stretch to call All the Stuff (And More) Vol. II the group's "latest album" - it's actually a collection of old hits, just like its predecessor, All the Stuff (And More) Vol. I (how do they come up with these titles?). Greatest hits LPs simply can't live up to slabs such as Rocket to Russia or Road to Ruin or Ramones Leave Home or even End of the Century.

The next release, bumped to early 1992, will be a live album, Loco Live: Spain 1991. And while Joey and company have been typically busy-busy-busy of late - touring the Northeast, Canada, Europe; contributing cuts to about 300 promotional compilations for various national publications (Buy a subscription! Get a free CD!) - they won't be visiting SoFlo anytime soon.

The weirdest, and that's saying a lot, goings-on in the 'Mones' oeuvre and current lives is this Bud Light commercial, which has been airing since April and will continue through the fall. For one thing, we always assumed the boys drank Schaefer in the early days and some highfalutin import or another in the post- End of the Century era. And connecting the torn-Ts punk progenitors to auto racing seems pretty preposterous. Hockey or rugby or American Gladiators sure, but auto racing?

The 30-second Bud Light spot was created by the DDB Needham agency in Chicago. The reasoning went something like this: "The song has rhythm and a beat and you can dance to it. The band is representative of today's generation." Okay, maybe they mean second generation. "Blitzkrieg Bop" became contemporary as the primary track on the Mones' eponymous debut album - way back in 1976.

We could note what a stretch DDB Needham's logic is, or drift into a windy essay about how America's changed by embracing as happy-go-lucky pop music what once was seen as angry nihilism, and how that signals a shift in the cultural consciousness of a nation in moral flux blah blah blah. However, we think it's kinda gear that corporate America (and its beer-guzzling, couch-ridden financial base) envisions a bunch of ultraloud, filthy, glue sniffin' shagheads as primo salesmen. In fact, why stop with Bud Light? Here are our predictions for future Madison-Avenue-meets-the-Ramones projects:

Elmer's will attempt to convince the twelve-to-twenty-year-old demographic group that their glue gets you high, using "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" as the theme. Sales of Wite-Out plummet.

Humana, surprised that their "24-hour-a-day physicians" ads have been laughed off television by those who know better, will air commercials showing smiling poor people grooving to "I Wanna Be Well."

Baffled by low ratings, Ron Reagan finds a new theme song for his TV talk show in "We're a Happy Family." The night the song debuts, his guest is Patti Davis.

Now that Freddy Krueger is freed up, Black & Decker hires him as spokesman and adopts "Chainsaw" for his tag song.

With Fidel Castro officially dead (his obit appeared in The Weekly World News), the Cuban American National Foundation initiates a comprehensive program to build support for its takeover of the island. They consider "Havana Affair," but opt for more focus on Jorge Mas Canosa, selecting "Loudmouth" instead.

Lowering New York-hotel standards another notch, the Milford Plaza, fed up with poor results from its "Lullaby of Broadway" promotion, switches to "53rd & 3rd."

Attempting to broaden its consumer base, FPL mounts an effort with "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment."

"Bad Brain" selected as campaign anthem by the Democratic Party. It will be played over footage featuring Dan Quayle.

As a last-ditch effort to end the trend toward aluminum baseball bats, Louisville Slugger begins a hard-hitting promotion to get amateurs back to wood, to the danceable rhythm and beat of "Beat on the Brat."

Suffering terribly depressing publicity after "endorsements" from Gov. Lawton "Education Ain't Worth a Dime" Chiles and frosted blonde Kathy Willets, the makers of Prozac, Eli Lilly and Co., will recover by showing happy families doing the bop to "I Wanna Be Sedated."

Reacting to the new popularity engendered by Prozac's campaign, Hoffman LaRoche will counter with "I Wanna Be Sedated," returning the masses to excessive Valium use. A new movement in psychiatry will put both Lilly and Hoffman-LaRoche out of business via "Teenage Lobotomy."

Truth be told, we made this up. Then again, who'd've ever guessed the Ramones, of all people, would be selling beer to auto-racing fans? The beauty of the 'Mones has always been that they're too real for the hyper-pseudo-bogus "reality" of advertising. Though they sang it convincingly, they were never meant to be "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.