The National have been covering regionally-appropriate songs on many of their tour stops: New Order in Manchester, Queen in London, etc. When I saw them in Queens last month, they played the Ramones’ “The KKK Took My Baby Away,” joking that Joey Ramone wrote it after his Queens neighbor Donald Trump stole his girlfriend. It was a blast to watch, but the shaky cell phone videos that surfaced didn’t quite live up to the live experience.
Luckily, the National have kept the song in their setlists (complete with the Trump joke). They tagged it onto the end of their recent KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic performance – so now we finally have good video. “This is a true story,” Matt Berninger deadpans.
The cover unquestionably sounds more Ramones than it does National, but it’s fun to hear them step out of their wheelhouse a bit with a punk song. Watch that below (the Ramones cover starts at 25:00). And below it, shakier videos of the tour’s other live covers, of New Order, Queen, Talking Heads, and Cat Power with tour opener Lisa Hannigan.