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Bill Orton

The Democratic nominee
for California's 67th Assembly District


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      My brother, Gary, was one of the original EDISON HIGH SCHOOL punk rockers.

      He'd hang out at PUNK ROCK WALL just a short walk from SMOKERS FIELD. There was lots of yelling about it at home, but what could you do?

I'm an outsider, outside of everything.
I'm an outsider, outside of everything.
I'm an outsider, outside of everything.
Everything you know... everything you know.

      I never got just what he saw in all the weird music he listened to or in the intense people who he'd bring in to his room at home, where they'd all listen to outrageously loud, obnoxious music and wafts of smoke would billow from under his door as "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" or "Suffragette City" or "Rock Around the Clock" or "Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n Roll" blared.

      And, dang, those god-awful jam sessions in our garage, where everyone (except my brother) was in such dire need of figuring out how to keep rhythm and stay in tune....

Everybody try to push me, push me around
everybody try to put me, try to put me down

      Well, of course I didn't get it, because I was clinically unhip.

      I was too busy working on JAMES WHEELER's school newspaper and LINDA CARPENTER's triva team and hanging out with my fellow ubernerds to understand. I'm glad I did my thing, but, man, just what was my brother up to, I thought.

      Gary had his life. He'd head off with TODD LUKE or MARK PLOTKIN or JOHN WALDRON or JOHN MISHMASH and they'd ditch school and ride their bikes off to Brookhurst to surf and god knows what and then come back and go straight into Gary's room.

The sun is out and I want some,
It's not hard, not hard to reach.
We can hitch a ride to rock 'a way beach.

      As my brother shook off his youthful habits and gang of friends, he also swore off punk music. Eventually, I got his old RAMONES and SEX PISTOLS and BLONDIE and DEVO and BOWIE records.

      How remarkable, I realized in college... putting on Gary's old scratched up "Station to Station" and realizing just how absolutely ultra cool my brother really was....

      Mild stuff now, but it was only after getting his old records that I figured out that my brother was the hippest kid in HB.

      Thanks to Gary's records, I can appreciate just how big of an earthshaker Dede Ramone's overdose is, because we all ought to thank this furious foursome from New York for saving rock and roll.

Ringie ringie ringie, Mr. President,
find out where my baby went...
ringie ringie ringie, up the FBI...
and find out if my baby's alive.

      My god, when I was listening to Electric Light Orchestra (and Joey Krys was the King of Disco), it was the RAMONES who were inspiring thousands of guys like my brother to whip out a guitar and jam with friends. Play it fast, loud and clear enough so every one can sing along. Isn't THAT what rock 'n roll is?

      It was said of BUDDY HOLLY that his remarkably powerful and beautiful music ensured that rock 'n roll would not simply become another fad, like, say, calypso. I think that the Ramones and Bowie and a few others deserve the same accolades.

      On May 19th, I ushered in my 40th birthday with a GO-GO PARTY at OLD WORLD, in Huntington Beach. (Thank you, MITCH DEVINE, for spinning six hours of great tunes.) I'm pleased to say that there were a handful of RAMONES tunes (along with Devo and Blondie and Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan and Alpha Blondy) scattered in there.

      Rest well, Mr. Ramone. Long live rock 'n roll.


For more information, write an email message directly to Bill.
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