I Wanna Be Sedated

Album: Road To Ruin (1978)

Songfacts®:

  • Joey Ramone came up with the idea for this song after he burned himself with hot water and had to be treated at a hospital. Ramone would inhale steam from a kettle before concerts to help clear his nasal passages.
  • The chorus, where Ramone sings about "Nothing to do" and "Nowhere to go," was inspired by their 1977-78 tour when they ended up in London around Christmas. It was their first time in the city, but it was pretty much shut down. Joey and Dee Dee stayed in their hotel and watched movies. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Farin - Northern Germany, for above 2
  • For Johnny Ramone's guitar solo, he plays the same note 65 times in a row. Very punk. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This was the first song that Marky Ramone recorded with the band (he took over on drums for Tommy Ramone, who stayed on as a producer). He says the song was completed very quickly in the studio, and his part took just two takes. Regarding the musical inspiration for the song, he explained in his Songfacts interview: "We always loved the '60s groups: The Kinks, The Who, The Beatles, The Stones, Dave Clark Five, etcetera. And we loved what was done by The Searchers, a band from the '60s from part of that British Invasion. So we attempted to do our way of doing it, our style, which came out great."
  • The song has been used in a number of movies and TV shows. They include:

    Movies:
    Carpool (1996)
    Detroit Rock City (1999)
    Daddy Day Care (2003)
    Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003)
    The Lather Effect (2006)
    Terminator Genisys (2015)

    TV Shows:
    Gilmore Girls (2002 - "Application Anxiety")
    The West Wing (2003 - "The Long Goodbye")
    Cold Case (2005 - "Blank Generation")
    South Park (2007 - "Guitar Queer-o")
    ER (2007 - "Blackout")
    Constantine (2014 - "The Devil's Vinyl")
  • Ten years after this song was first released, the Ramones made a video for it. Directed by Bill Fishman, it's one continuous shot of the band sitting at a table while various characters try to distract them. Fishman would later direct the group's video for "Pet Sematary."
  • The Offspring covered this in 1999. Their version appeared on their "Why Don't You Get a Job?" single and was used in the movie Idle Hands that same year.

Comments: 10

  • Chris from Germany REVOLUTIONARY song. There was not one song comparable to this at that time
    BILLY IDOLS dancing with myself sounds a lot like this in the refrain
  • Kevin K from West Babylon I cannot believe that 40 yrs have passed by already. The song takes me back to the hard partying at SUNY Stony Brook in, '79
  • Jason from Aurora, CoI had a chance to see these guys with White Zombie in 1995. Damn glad I did.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InYeah, it was meant in a funny way, but none other than Beavis & Butt-Head gave this one their highest honor while watching it, buy only shouting in approval at the beginning, then remaining nearly silent throughout the rest of the song, clearly enjoying this excellent song.
  • Rocco from New York City, NyJim from the Bronx...You're right: Joey Ramone suffered frin severe OCD. In the "End of the Century" Ramones documentary, their manager talks about how long it took Joey to go down a simple flight of stairs or cross the street
  • Harold from San Bernadino, CaOne of the all-time great bar band songs----don't know of anyone who doesn't like this one.
  • Tony from Chicago, IlAwesome Punk Rock Song!!!!!!! I relate!!!!!!!
  • Malicious Matt from SquatneyTo me this song sounds... pretty much like life in the town where I live! "Nothing to do, nowhere to go". Yep, sounds all too familiar! Just the phrase "I wanna be sedated" basically sums it up for me: I'm so bored I just want to get high on something or I'll go nuts! All everybody seems to do around here is get drunk, but I'd rather get high. Well, thats what it means to me at least.
  • Dave from San Antonio, TxHonest lyrics. Some days I find myself repeating that chorus. Its hard to imagine a world without the RAMONES.
  • Jim from Bronx, NyI always thought this song referenced obsessive compulsive disorder, and how much more difficult this affliction made touring.

    "I can't control my fingers I can't control my brain" is the line that really tipped it for me.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

Tom Johnston from The Doobie BrothersSongwriter Interviews

The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

Krishna DasSongwriter Interviews

The top chant artist in the Western world, Krishna Das talks about how these Hindu mantras compare to Christian worship songs.

Supertramp founder Roger HodgsonSongwriter Interviews

Roger tells the stories behind some of his biggest hits, including "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song."