Easter is almost upon us so I’ve had a quick rummage through the Worn Free collection to find a suitable shirt and found this lush vintage Johnny Ramone Hollywood Rabbit t-shirt. Emblazoned with a rudimentary chalk drawing of a running rabbit alongside the slogan “The Rabbit is Running at Hollywood Dog Track!” This t-shirt design dates from around 1976 when the Ramones were recording their debut album ‘Ramones’ in NYC.
Now considered one of the most influential albums of all time, the fourteen track LP cost just $6,400 to make and was recorded in one week. This was partially down to budget constraints but also due to the speed and simplicity of the tracks. The Ramones felt that this was pretty much all the time they needed to bring their raw live sound to the masses. The instruments took 3 days to record and the vocals were laid down in 4. As Joey Ramone explains, this was pretty much unheard of – in fact it still is today. Those recording sessions must have been quicker than the greyhounds at the Hollywood Dog Track:
"Doing an album in a week and bringing it in for $6,400 was unheard of, especially since it was an album that really changed the world. It kicked off punk rock and started the whole thing—as well as us."
Released on April 23rd 1976, the album received mixed reviews initially and only sold around 6,000 copies in its first year of release. Now, however it is heralded as one the ‘100 greatest albums ever’ and the band are considered to be hugely influential on countless bands and genres – as well as kicking off punk rock as we know it.
But back to the bunny – why was a guy from the East Coast wearing a West Coast tee? Well, the Hollywood Dog Track is actually in Florida. It opened in 1934 and is still going strong today (although it is now called the Mardi Gras Casino). And the rabbit is still running round the track. The Ramones didn’t play Florida til 1978 so we don’t know where Johnny got his Hollywood Rabbit t-shirt shirt from – but we know where you can get yours – in our online store! Available in a range of colours to suit your mood go check em out!