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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