Was Bonzo Goes To Bitburg an anti-Reagan Song?

I had always assumed that Bonzo Goes To Bitburg was an anti-Reagan song but in a recent article on Johnny Ramone’s death his political leanings were described

Now it’s possible his views weren’t shared by the rest of the group, but if Reagan was his favorite president I would imagine it would take quite a bit of arm-twisting to get him to perform an anti-Reagan song. So, what’s the deal? Have I just been misinterpreting the song all these years? Can someone provide and alternate interpretation?


Well, I liked Reagan, too, but I still thought laying a wreath at Bitburg was dumb and insensitive. And sice at least some of the Ramones were Jewish, I assume they’d feel the same way.

Other articles you get by searching news.google include one that claims he tried to stop Dee Dee from writing it, so who knows. But clearly the song was an attack on Reagan.

The song was a direct attack on Reagan. Great song by the way. As soon as he learned what it was about Johnny refused to play it live (which is why it is very difficult to find a live version). It was from the albulm Animal Boy which is one of my favourite Ramones records.

This, of course, begs the question: with a title like “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg”, how could he have not known it was an anti-Reagan song?

It remains one of my favorite songs.

Now, is anyone going to write a cute anti-Bush song?

Perhaps he did but was persuaded to play it anyway. People can change their minds you know. The Ramones were constantly fighting which was probably good for their music. Animal Boy has some great songs on it. Worth picking up as it is a very underrated album.

Keep in mind the name was changed to “My Brain is Hanging Upside Down” and the Bonzo part usually appears in paranthesis (See “Ramonesmania” or “Hey Ho” compilations for an example.

From the allmusic album review:

Thank you for posting that review. I entirely disagree with the review but it made for some good reading.

I’m counting on the Dixie Chicks, but in the meantime I’ll give it a try.
George, George,
George of the Bungle
Screwing you and me
Bomb it to debris!
Bomb it to debris!

George, George,
George of the Bungle
Ruling by decree
Bomb it to debris!
Bomb it to debris!

When things get thick
He wiggles out slick
With the help of his friend,
A dick named Dick!

Then he’ll lie some more
And start a war
While Colin and Condoleeza
Play the whore!

George, George,
George of the Bungle
Screwing you and me!
Bomb it to debris!
Bomb it to debris!
OK, first try, needs work.

Correction to my previous post:
On the Ramones Mania compilation, the song is listed simply as “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg”. The alternate title does appear on the “Hey Ho” compilation. I don’t know how it appears on the original “Animal Boy” release.
And to reiterate the answer to the OP, the Ramones Mania liner notes describe the song as

I believe it was called Bonzo Goes to Bitburg on the album. It’s back in Ireland so I’ll have to wait until I get back home. As for the Dixie Chicks…hijack here but what really bothered me about these marginally talented country hucksters wasn’t what they said but their reaction to their fans reaction to what they said (there’s a mouthful). Freedom of speach goes both ways and there is ofter a price for that freedom. They weren’t censored they were just criticized by a section of their fans. That’s the way it works ladies. Stop playing the martyr and have the courage of your convictions to stand behind your comments and not whine when people disagree with you.

In the 'punkish vein, I’d recommend the 1st of the 2 Rock Against Bush CDs.

In the hip-hop vein, there’s the War (If It Feels Good, Do It) compilation. I just got a copy thru Alternative Tentacles last week, and in my opinion, it barely reaches the rating of listenable.

W’s Dad got ribbed a few times. The best tracks that come to mind are:[ul]
[li]A Thousand Points of Light (Was Not Was)'s: “Read My Lips”[/li][li]Steinsky & Mass Media’s: “It’s Up To You” and [/li][li]Beth Watson’s: “Waiting at the Border” (Which falls into the cute category)[/ul][/li]
Minor hijack: Something I’ve asked before -
Was John Fogerty’s “Old Man Down The Road” a refernce to Reagan?