Michael Berube reminisces about the night in 1982 when Normal Men, his skinny-tie wearing, “generally New Wavey” band opened for The Ramones. Even then, the future Dr. Berube was all about seizing the cultural capital of the moment:
Back then, I participated in that discourse too, knowing as well as anyone of my age and level of pop-cultural capital that the Ramones were basically done. But at the same time I still thought it was a fabulous opening gig, one about which I was pretty much scared witless. Nothing like screwing up in front of 900 people, you know, let alone in front of some of punk’s biggest Culture Heroes…And everything I said to Dee Dee was, of course, completely true. I just felt very weird at the time talking to him as if he were already historical—which, however, he was. But, in retrospect, he was already historical in the good sense, and he did seem genuinely pleased to be running into some college kid backstage who would say so.