I Wanna Be Sedated

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"I Wanna Be Sedated"
Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated cover.jpg
Picture sleeve (Netherlands)
Single by Ramones
from the album Road to Ruin
A-side "She's the One"
Released January 10, 1979
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 1978
Genre Punk rock
Length 2:29
Label Sire
Songwriter(s) Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone
Producer(s) Tommy Ramone, Ed Stasium
Ramones singles chronology
"Needles and Pins"
"I Wanna Be Sedated"
"Rock 'n' Roll High School"
"Needles and Pins"
"She's the One"
"Rock 'n' Roll High School"

"I Wanna Be Sedated" is a song by the American punk rock band the Ramones. It is one of the band's best known songs.[1] It was originally released on their fourth album, Road to Ruin, in September 1978 and was the B-side of the UK single "She's the One" released on January 10, 1979.[2] The song was later released as a single in the Netherlands in 1979,[3] then in the U.S. in 1980 by RSO Records from the Times Square soundtrack album.


"I Wanna Be Sedated" was written by Joey Ramone.[4] In an interview about the song, Joey explains the chorus:

It's a road song. I wrote it in 1977, through the 78. Well, Danny Fields was our first manager and he would work us to death. We would be on the road 360 days a year, and we went over to England, and we were there at Christmas time, and in Christmas time, London shuts down. There's nothing to do, nowhere to go. Here we were in London for the first time in our lives, and me and Dee Dee Ramone were sharing a room in the hotel, and we were watching The Guns of Navarone. So there was nothing to do, I mean, here we are in London finally, and this is what we are doing, watching American movies in the hotel room.

In Episode #840 of the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, Alice Cooper alleged that Joey Ramone admitted to him that the song was inspired by Cooper's 1972 song "Elected."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, directed by Bill Fishman, was released in September 1988[6] (nine years after the song was originally released) to promote the compilation album Ramones Mania. The iconic video features the Ramones sitting at a table (left to right: Johnny, Joey, Marky and Dee Dee), nonchalantly reading and eating corn flakes. Meanwhile, the background room erupts into a meeting place for nuns, acrobats, ballerinas, monsters, cheerleaders, clowns, doctors, fetish nurses, and smoking schoolgirls. The film is intentionally sped up to show the excitement of the background, while the band's actions are in regular motion. This was achieved by having the band members move very slowly, while the crowd moved normally, and then speeding up the film. One of the video's characters is a young Courtney Love.[7]


"I Wanna Be Sedated" was number 145 on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[8] Marky Ramone is the drummer on this track.

In 1999, National Public Radio included the song in the "NPR 100", in which NPR's music editors sought to compile the one hundred most important American musical works of the 20th century.

Cover versions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song appears on the soundtrack to the 1980 movie Times Square.
  • The song is performed by a cover-band at a High School Halloween Ball in the 1999 comedy-horror movie Idle Hands.
  • On the show My So-Called Life, Rayanne makes a disastrous debut as the singer of a band while covering this song. Just before she is to come in, she panics and races off the stage, leaving Jordan to take over.
  • The song briefly plays in the season 3 Gilmore Girls episode, "Application Anxiety."
  • The song is featured on the trailer and the soundtrack for the comedy Scary Movie.
  • The song makes an appearance on the soundtrack featured in Burnout 3: Takedown.
  • The song is featured in the 2005 music video game Guitar Hero (as a cover), as well as in the second installment of the Jam Sessions series and Rock Band 3 (as a master recording), five years later.
  • The character Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a big fan of the Ramones. This song is featured in the episode "Crush". Spike manipulates Buffy into a date, hums a few bars of it and partly sings the chorus, afterwards he proceeds to ask Buffy if she likes the Ramones.
  • The video has appeared on Beavis & Butt-head. It is extremely well received by the two and they say hardly anything the whole video out of enjoyment of the song so much.
  • An episode from the third season of Entourage is named after the song; in it, an old-school Hollywood producer pitches a script about the Ramones to E.
  • In the song 'Overstayer' by Every Time I Die, front man Keith Buckley sings "'I want to be sedated' / Just like Joey said".


  1. ^ Gina Boldman. "I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones | Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  2. ^ "History of the Ramones". Home.drenik.net. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated (7", Single)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  4. ^ "Joey Ramone: I wanna be sedated. Unplugged.". YouTube. 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_6wVJikAE0
  6. ^ "Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"". Mvdbase.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  7. ^ "Courtney Love - Other Works". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  8. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Ramones, 'I Wanna Be Sedated'". Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Music Reviews". Impose Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 

External links[edit]