They must have made quite an impact when they appeared and buried almost everything which had been done in rock music before them.
I've been thinking about that, and what's funny is the Ramones didn't really bury 70s rock, their progeny did. They were never really successful, at least not in the way that success is measured in THE MUSIC BUSINESS. They struggled constantly and only persevered through stubbornness and an unwillingness to quit.
None of the bands who created what became punk rock were successful: the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, the MC5, the New York Dolls, the Ramones. None of them were successful
, but all of them were influential
. The old joke is that the Velvet Underground only sold 10,000 records, but everyone who bought the record started a band. You could say the same thing about the Ramones.
What all of those bands did is plant an important seed in the minds of the people who loved them. "Hey, if those guys can make a record, so can we!" That's
what buried 60s and 70s rock. That and the fact that if you liked a band like the Ramones, it made it hard to take the indulgent unicorns and castles music seriously. They reminded us that rock and roll was supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be simple and it was supposed to be kind of stupid.
That's why any time I see a new band and think to myself, "Is this a joke?" I pay attention. Because I'm old and if I think something is stupid, its chances of being the next punk rock are good. If we can ever have (or ever want) another musical upheaval like that, of course. But I don't see that happening. The Internet seems to have put the brakes on that. For now, anyway.
Now that everything is available to everyone, you just don't see musical trends coming and going anymore. Only technological trends in the way music is produced and recorded. It's no accident that the last truly revolutionary music to be created, hip hop, predates the Internet.