The Ramones' self-titled debut record, released 38 years ago, only got a gold plaque (for 500,000 records shipped) on April 30th of this year. For a classic of punk rock by any reasonable measurement, something about this situation feels not Gangnam Style (as the lingo today goes. A lot has changed since nineteen seventy whatever!).
Certification by the RIAA is no reliable measure of a record's influence. You probably have a bunch of classic non-parody records in your collection that will never even go balsa. But in our hearts we know gold and platinum to be the colours of God. And we're dealing with a band and record whose DNA is threaded all over contemporary culture to the extent that babies are being born right now already sick of "Blitzkrieg Bop." We'd expect The Ramones' iconic status to correspond with record sales that lead to controlling interests in oil platforms and swimming pools shaped like their own hot sauce brands (I think Joe Perry did this).
But sometimes capital needs time to catch up to the legend. Only 534 years til my high school band Fat Fuck's Myspace demo gets me the precious metal I deserve.
Watch The Ramones play a New Year's Eve show in '77 for a London audience below.