The Rockaways in Queens and “Rockaway Beach” have been called New York City’s “Hipster Hamptons” and “The Other Hamptons,” but the area has since become synonymous with the devastation left behind by Superstorm Sandy. But for many, including punk rockers the world over, it was the Ramones who brought our attention to this favorite surf and recreation spot within the five boroughs. Their song of the same name also happens to be a quick, killer surf tune for the Top 100 Songs of Summer Countdown.
Hamptons 100 Songs of Summer #37
“Rockaway Beach” by Ramones
Released on the Ramones 1977 album Rocket to Russia and written by Dee Dee Ramone, the only member of the band who enjoyed the beach, this song is clearly in homage to the Beach Boys and other classic surf music. It was only about two minutes long, but the song was catchy and easy to like compared to other “punk” music of the day. It became the Ramones biggest hit single and landed at 66 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In June of this year, Queens Economic Development Corporation used the song in radio ads to promote the area and help the recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy, which was, of course, a no-brainer. The record in nostalgic, area-specific and full of energy. The fast guitars, steady beat and melodic singing could make any landlubber consider catching some waves. And if there’s one thing Hamptonites enjoy, its a day at the beach and riding a few barrels.
It’s not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride
To Rockaway Beach