Buddhist Monk Sings The Ramones: “Rock ’n’ Roll High School,” “Teenage Lobotomy” & “Beat on the Brat”

The Ramones restored speed and sim­plic­i­ty to 70s rock. It’s rare to find a Ramones tune clock­ing in over three min­utes. The sweet spot’s clos­er to 2 1/2.

“We play short songs and short sets for peo­ple who don’t have a lot of spare time,” orig­i­nal drum­mer Tom­my Ramone remarked.

It took them all of 2 min­utes and 20 sec­onds to bomb through their sin­gle for “Rock ’n’ Roll High School.”

So why does Japan­ese Bud­dhist monk Kos­san’s cov­er take more than twice that long?

Because med­i­ta­tion is an inte­gral part of his music video prac­tice.

Kos­san, aka Kazu­ta­ka Yama­da, plays drums, piano, and san­shin, and intro­duces a Tibetan singing bowl into his Ramones trib­utes.

His cov­er of 1976’s “Beat on the Brat” runs a whop­ping nine min­utes and 15 sec­onds — a mind­ful approach to punk, and vice ver­sa.

By com­par­i­son, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s accor­dion-enhanced cov­er hews far clos­er to the orig­i­nal adding just six sec­onds to the Ramones’ 2:30 time frame.

Kos­san cut most of the med­i­ta­tion from “Teenage Lobot­o­my,” his ear­li­est Ramones cov­er.

We’re glad he com­mit­ted to pre­serv­ing this ele­ment in sub­se­quent uploads, includ­ing his takes on Metallica’s “Enter Sand­man” and the Bea­t­les’ “Yel­low Sub­ma­rine.”

It fur­thers his mis­sion as a zazen teacher, and patient view­ers will be reward­ed with his bright smile in the final sec­onds as he resumes his dis­course with the larg­er world.

You can hear Kos­san play san­shin and more of his West­ern rock cov­ers on his YouTube chan­nel.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

A Beat­box­ing Bud­dhist Monk Cre­ates Music for Med­i­ta­tion

Bud­dhist Monk Cov­ers Judas Priest’s “Break­ing the Law,” Then Breaks Into Med­i­ta­tion

How Tibetan Monks Use Med­i­ta­tion to Raise Their Periph­er­al Body Tem­per­a­ture 16–17 Degrees

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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