In which Young Southpaw looks into the theories about the great psychoanalyst C.G. Jung’s time as a member of The Ramones, detailing the band’s part in the whole Construction Time Again – Appetite For Destruction cycle while calling bull on Freud’s Louisa May Alp-cott speculations, and much else
Taking in the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Live Aid, The Clash, Young Frankenstein, David Bowie, Eurythmics, R.E.M., Subhumans, Sonic Youth, etc.
“Lotsa people be like ‘Southpaw, you crazy! Talking bout Jung’s influence on the 80s records while skippin’ over his whole involvement with the punk movement like that. As if the Spirit of 77 never even happened. But people have been asking this question since the dawn of time – who was Carl Jung’s favourite OG punk band?’
I mean Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks you know seem more Freud’s cup of tea. I’m not saying he had tea made out of…male members, not even pandas though I’ve heard, I’ve heard that’s an aphrodisiac… But I just don’t know how that would have any bearing on who Freud… or anyone’s favourite punk band was… Unless it was like Never Mind The Bullocks just put, ya know, the other thing…in a cup a tea
But punk was rebelling against all that! Or so they claimed. I mean Buzzcocks, that’s your caffeine hit right there. But we can’t just sit around drinking tea all day – no matter what it’s made out of – to try and figure out where Freud’s punk allegiances lie. I mean maybe he had his own underground band goin’ on in Vienna, ya know. That although it stayed true to the spirit of punk, it was a bit too avant-garde for them to be invited on the Anarchy In The UK tour. Then some people even claim that, fed up with this lack of commercial success, despite wishing to at the same time remain true to his artistic ideals – I mean you can see where psychoanalysis came from – well some claim that, with all this going on, Freud actually became a founding member of Ultravox
But then ya know with Live Aid and everything, We Are The World, I mean what a throwing down the gauntlet to Jung. I mean if anything We Are The Collective Unconscious
But I mean Jung’s punk bands – woo! – I mean you’d prolly think of The Clash first of all, right? With all that stuff going on underneath the surface of consciousness, all you have to reconcile. Or maybe the Clash should have been Freud and Jung’s supergroup, ya know, after their famous split
But I’m just gonna say it. I mean though I have no documentary proof of this, I think it was The Ramones. I mean let’s look at the facts
Young Frankenstein comes out in 1974. I mean obviously they couldn’t spell it with a J, it’s an American film. But ya know, it takes place over there around Central Europe. Ya know right near Jung’s native Switzerland. The alps ya know, like ALP in Finnegans Wake and ya know Joyce is buried in Zurich. Louisa May Alp-cott, ya know… Not quite. I mean Little Men and Little Women, Freud you can’t be usin’ that, that wasn’t her name. But ya know Alps, the Sound Of Music ya know, predictin’ punk rock! And Julie Andrews’ film before that was Mary Poppins ya know – pop, pop music. I mean no wonder so much punk just sounded like pop songs played real fast, ya know…
But back across the ocean, over in New York City in 1974 the Ramones are forming. And you know David Bowie always knew what was really goin’ on. I mean next year in 1975 he goes and releases Young Americans to let us all know…that this up an coming punk band…are probably gonna be the famous Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung’s favourite punk band. Bowie was hip, man
Then there’s the whole thing that people claim Jung was actually in the Ramones for a while. For a lot longer than you’d expect too. I mean the arguments about this go back and forth, and prolly will for aeons ya know. But the story goes that when the Ramones released Pleasant Dreams, Jung felt it was time to speak up. For dreams, can be anything but pleasant. It was a conversation he would also later clarify with the Eurythmics… And so during the European leg of the Ramones tour in November of that year they found the time to meet up, at a Burger King – Jung’s suggestion, thinking it might force some sort of unconscious confrontation with the lyrics of Oh Oh I Love Her So – and, sources say, here Joey Johnny and the gang were so impressed that they just immediately handed Jung a leather jacket and jeans. Magically just his size. And from there on out, they got down to some serious work. C.G. Ramone paving the way for C.J. to come thru in ’89. The band honouring Jung right before this happened with naming their greatest hits collection Ramones Mania. And then when C.J. joined the first album is called Brain Drain?! That’s almost enough for me to rest my case
But let’s look at the facts. Right after this little talk at the Burger King – some say it was in Spain and that Mondo Bizarro points to this, others claim it would’ve without a doubt been in Germany – but anyways the next Ramones album was Subterranean Jungle. Jung’s name right in there. And what a better metaphor for the collective unconscious than a subterranean jungle. My goodness, those boys were onto something. And what’s the big hit off of Subterranean Yungle or Jungle however you wanna pronounce it? Well only Psycho Therapy!
This was in 1983 too, tying into the whole theory broached last episode that the great cycle of the world can be seen in the movements between that year’s Construction Time Again and 1987’s Appetite for Destruction. 1985 being the midway point, the center of it all, where the craziest things can happen. Like David Lee Roth leavin’ Van Halen. And that precisely did occur. R.E.M. was hip to this early on too, man. Again an issue of dreams not being so sweet. Psychic TV, woah, there ya go. But they had that album Dreams Less Sweet released in 1983 same year as Sweet Dreams are made of this who am I to disagree etc.
But R.E.M. right smack in the middle of the whole Construction/Destruction cycle, right there in 85 go on and release Fables Of The Reconstruction! Trying to hip the world to the fact that there’s a better way, the synthesis the sages have known for ages is coming. I mean look at some of those songs too – Maps & Legends, Life & How To Live It…foooo!
The Subhumans too! Another choice for favourite punk bands. I mean they broke up in 85 but they knew what was up back in 83, released From The Cradle To The Grave to point to the start of the cycle all over again
I mean it was a crazy world in 1985. Especially at the beginning with the proposed balance approaching, Freud planning Live Aid from the afterlife and all that. I mean it was all too much for Carmen Sandiego. And to show you how crazy it was, no one was really asking the question ‘if Carmen Sandiego is anywhere else in the world besides San Diego then what is really going on?’
But the Ramones knew. Especially with ol C.G.’s help – the C.G. I in the triangle as some were calling it – I mean they knew what was coming and prepared for it, openly declaring in 1984 that they were Too Tough To Die. Knowing that things often don’t survive such transitional phases as the switch to the Appetite side of the spectrum. They even went so far as to piss off Freud with Mama’s Boy, making sure they weren’t asked to participate in the Live Aid proceedings
1985 saw no new album from the Ramones
But 1986 with Animal Boy saw them heading back towards the primal, Mental Hell off that album further evidence of the Swiss doctor’s behind the scenes workings
And then, most tellingly, 1987 rolls around – the year we hit peak Appetite For Destruction. And we get Halfway To Sanity. I Lost My Mind and I Wanna Live bold proclamations of the journey they were on
And then as boldly as it began, it all seemed to scatter. A Slothrop-like fading out of the narrative… Was this an effect of the cycle? Or something else? Some claim they couldn’t have a C.G. and a C.J. both in the band while others were all for this balancing the J’s of Johnny and Joey, and with Jung’s role never being clearly defined or at least not made public, it made things all the more problematic. Especially with his last name startin’ with a J
Some look for him going on into the future, providing inspiration for countless other bands. I mean Sonic Youth? C’mon – Jung, Youth. I mean as if Expressway to Yr Skull and Schizophrenia weren’t enough they only go and release Goo in 1990. Carl Goo! Though people will point to Confusion Is Sex putting them more in the Freudian camp. This debut of course coming out in 1983. And thus the great cycle continues”