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"
ReleasedSeptember 21, 1978
Format7-inch single
GenrePunk rock
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"
Music video
"I Wanna Be Sedated" on YouTube

"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 September 21,1978.[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.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, directed by Bill Fishman, was released in September 1988[5], about ten 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.[6]

A still from the video was featured in the liner notes of the band’s 1989 album Brain Drain, though the song itself does not appear on that album.


"I Wanna Be Sedated" was number 145 on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[7] 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 (The Offspring) 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 is played briefly during a scene in the 2003 movie Daddy Day Care.
  • The song makes an appearance on the soundtrack featured in Burnout 3: Takedown. The game was released less than 2 weeks before Johnny Ramone's death.
  • 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 and partly sings the chorus while they are sitting in his car, 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".
  • The song is featured in the 2015 film Terminator Genisys, where Sarah Connor listens to it in one scene in 1984, and later listens to it on a headset while she, Kyle Reese and the T-800 are arming themselves in an underground bunker. It was also mentioned in the novelization of Terminator 2: Judgment Day as one of the songs that John Connor listens to.
  • The song is featured in the 1996 hit movie Carpool.
  • The song is featured in the trailer for the 2019 film Spider-Man: Far From Home.
  • Ramones Time: At 12:00 am on December 31, 2019, many people posted that it was, "2020, 24 hours to go."[10]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  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. ^ "Ramones - "I Wanna Be Sedated"". Mvdbase.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  6. ^ "Courtney Love - Other Works". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  7. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Ramones, 'I Wanna Be Sedated'". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  8. ^ The Collection (Media notes). The Adicts. Taang! Records. 2002.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ "Music Reviews". Impose Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  10. ^ "At midnight it will officially be Ramones time". Reddit.
  11. ^ "American album certifications – RAMONES – I Wanna Be Sedated". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]