Grocery shoppers go to happy place with Ramones

While shopping in City Market, I stopped for a moment and listened to the canned music. I’ll be darned. They were playing “I Want To Be Sedated” by the Ramones. What does this mean when a seminal punk-rock standard becomes background noise in the dairy aisle? – Val E. Um

“It’s awesome!”

That’s the pronouncement from Durango’s own legendary Ed Stasium, who produced the Ramones’ now-classic album “Road to Ruin,” which introduced “I Wanna Be Sedated” to a world not quite ready for punk.

“I had the same reaction to hearing one of my Ramones songs in City Market,” Stasium said. “I’ve heard ‘Sedated’ four or five times while shopping. It’s totally cool.”

Back in the day, the Ramones were counterculture bad boys who played subversive music that stripped rock ’n’ roll to its bones and turned up the volume to 11.

Ed recalled the inspiration for the song.

“We were wrapping up recording a live album in London, and I flew home on Christmas Eve 1977 with the master tapes. But the band decided to spend Christmas in London,” he recalled.

“Here’s the catch. London totally shuts down for the holidays. So there they were – stuck in a hotel and bored to death. The band just sat around and watched TV. Joey Ramone wanted to get the hell out of there and wrote a song about it.”

Anyway, what does it mean when “I Wanna Be Sedated” becomes Muzak for the consuming masses?

Action Line can think of no better of a tune for grocery shopping.

It’s the perfect soundtrack for south City Market never-ending remodel or north City Market dysfunctional parking lot.

“I Wanna Be Sedated” should be Walmart’s corporate anthem, and the song works equally well at Albertsons, Nature’s Oasis and even Durango Natural Foods – if DNF would see fit to broadcast something other than Grateful Dead jams.

This has been bugging me for months. It’s the City Market/Town Plaza entryway at Ninth Street. Now, that Ninth Street westbound has separate left, straight and right-turn lanes, people should realize they cannot turn into the parking lot from the northbound lane. Hello ... don’t they see the double yellow lines or the three lanes of traffic they’ll have to cross? The other day a driver trying to enter the parking lot honked at me to pull forward so he could turn in. I wanted to roll down my window and point to the double yellow line. Please, inform people that they can no longer turn here. Or am I wrong? Hope not! – Sign me, Don’t Honk

Action Line is bearer of bad news. Your interpretation of the double yellow is incorrect.

According to Colorado’s official Driver Handbook, a double yellow line means drivers cannot pass. However, “crossing the center lane as part of a left-turn maneuver is permitted,” the law said.

The legality was confirmed by Lt. Ray Shupe of the Durango Police Department, who correctly labeled the location “a weird intersection.”

“Yes, you can turn, but I wouldn’t advise it because you will be stuck there for a while.”

While you are sitting there in traffic, Action Line suggests listening to a song.

It’s called “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones.

durango colorado

Last week’s column prompted more than a few readers to suggest the HAWK intersection be put on the endangered species list:

“I’m so furious about the lighting situation in Durango,” writes Lori Large. “What ever happened to simple green, yellow and red?”

She adds, “Let’s remove all of these blinking Christmas tree lights. We have become so confused and indifferent to flashing lights, I can’t distinguish between our streetlights and emergency vehicles.”

“So, one pedestrian punches the button to make the light change so that he or she crosses safely – fine,” Anne Markward said.

“But drivers are still supposed to approach the light, stop one at a time as the light flashes, look both ways, then proceed? Sounds like a great way to get rear-ended.”

And loyal reader Jeff Bennett brings up a really good point.

“I wish there had been one more question in Amber Blake’s HAWK traffic light quiz,” he said.

“What do you do when there are two red lights alternately flashing? Answer: A train is coming. Whatever you do, don’t proceed until the lights stop!”

Perhaps CDOT will need to erect yet a third sign to further explain that a HAWK intersection is not a railroad crossing. Sheesh.

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com” or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you fill out your request in triplicate along with the Paperwork Reduction Act disclosure.

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