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My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down: How the Ramones Educated Us About Testicular Torsion

The year was 1985. Testicular torsion continued to affect men everywhere without many people understanding what was wrong. Suddenly, one day while recording in the studio, the Ramones’ close friend Bonzo Stephanopoulos was distracting the band with one of his classic pranks. His classic move was hanging brain for a good immature chuckle. Unfortunately, this time letting his balls out of his pants was followed by a sudden surge of pain. He was soon rushed to the Bitburg Presbyterian Hospital in Brooklyn where he was diagnosed with testicular torsion. Dee Dee called the event “Still a happier night of recording than one with Phil Spector.”

After Bonzo recovered from his standard surgery, the band got together and knew more people must be educated on the subject. They quickly got on the phone with the Men’s Health Organization (MHO) and discussed coming up with a song to promote awareness on the subject. The result was one of their biggest tracks.

“My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)” soon became a huge success. Not only was it a top selling single, but fans were checking their testicles for issues much more often. An entire generation was suddenly showing improvement in their health.

It’s easy to understand especially thanks to the catchy lyrics: “Get routine exams, hey, hey, Surgery for testicular torsion is usually done under general anesthesia, hey, hey, During surgery, your doctor will make a small cut in your scrotum, untwist your spermatic cord, if necessary, and stitch one or both testicles to the inside of the scrotum, oooh yeah.” Those lyrics were cut from the final version but the sentiment still resonates in the song.

Remember Ramones Maniacs, when you hang your brain, always check to make sure it’s not upside down because there’s nothing punk rock about testicular torsion.