Pictured: Johnny Ramone’s Personally-Owned and Stage-Used 1965 Mosrite Ventures V1 Guitar
Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite Guitar will be featured at a live auction event by Boston, MA based RR Auction this month. The personally-owned and used red 1965 Mosrite Ventures V1 guitar is signed on the body in black felt tip, “Best always, Johnny Ramone, 5/22/90.”
The six-string guitar features several modifications Ramone made to make the guitar fit his sound and style, the most significant being the replacement of the tremolo system with a stop bar tailpiece and installation of a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup, as well as a tortoiseshell pickguard. Included in the sale, is the original hardshell case.
This is a rare instrument in its own right, and the only red guitar or Ventures Model 1 that Ramone owned; it was in his possession for at least seven years, from circa 1982–83 until he sold it in 1990; the first photographic evidence of Ramone playing the guitar comes from a show at the Eagle’s Hippodrome in Seattle on May 5, 1983. Johnny most often used this guitar for TV appearances and it can be seen up-close during a 1988 performance on MTV.
In 1990, Ramone sold this guitar to friend and former Ramones band driver Gene Frawley, signing and dating it on the occasion. A subsequent owner later personally confirmed the ownership details with Ramone, who acknowledged that he owned and used the guitar throughout the 1980s before selling it to Frawley.
“This is one of just nine Mosrite guitars owned by Ramone known to exist — an exceedingly rare and historically important piece of music history,” says Bobby Livingston, Exec VP at RR Auction.
Johnny Ramone was a founding member of the seminal punk band that broke onto the New York music scene in 1974. Johnny was known for his fast, high-energy guitar playing. His style almost exclusively consisted of rapid down strokes and bar chord shapes. This unique playing style and buzz saw-like sound of Johnny’s guitar parts was highly influential on many early punk rock guitarists and keeps him listed on numerous top lists of the greatest guitar players. Johnny Ramone died in his Los Angeles home on September 15, 2004 at the age of 55 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.
The Johnny Ramone guitar will be part of a special live auction event, featuring nearly 150 items, that will take place on January 22nd, 2015 at RR Auction’s Boston Gallery, but Online Bidding begins January 15th, More details can be found online at RR Auction Dot Com.
Currently Up for Auction on eBay: This vintage (circa 1973) Premier Drum Ad ran in all of the popular music magazines during the global Billion Dollar Babies tour featuring the original band called Alice Cooper. This Ad is signed personally by R&R Hall Of Fame inductee, drummer Neal Smith and is surely a very rare piece of Seventies Glam Rock History. The Auction runs through Monday December 9th, 2013.
In my own words, I would describe German artist Michael Riedel’sPowerpoint as repetitive, minimalist geometric designs on large canvases, mounted on wallpaper mimicking the same design. As far as how he came up with these specific images, however, and what it all “means,” I admit I couldn’t really get my head around it. Here’s an explanation from the show’s press release:
“Since the late 1990s, Michael Riedel has advanced his own model of a self-sustaining artistic production, continuously using reproductions as a means to “reintroduce the system of art into the art system.”
PowerPoint takes its point of departure in the artist’s last solo exhibition at David Zwirner entitled The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog (2011). Where this show reflected digital distribution processes — with Poster Paintings featuring information from websites communicating Riedel’s work as their backgrounds — the present exhibition takes the process a step further, allowing the system to recreate itself once more. It includes new works made by combining two Poster Paintings using an animated feature in PowerPoint, the software program used by the artist when delivering presentations on his work. Riedel has “frozen” the particular transition between two slides, generating a new work that takes place between two existing works. In a further variation of the idea, some Poster Paintings were merged with a blank page. The fact that each new work creates a gap that can be filled again suggests the idea of endless production.”
So, there you go. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
What was also cool about attending this opening reception is the invite itself. Riedel asked the band Woog Riots to create an original song to advertise the exhibition, and this makes the invitation itself a collectible work of art. You can see it in the above photo, bottom right. Below, you will see my signed copy of the invite.
You can stream the song at This link. The lyrics explain the “point” of the exhibit and give the location, address, time and date of the opening as well as the duration of the exhibit — and the correct way to pronounce Riedel’s name — in an up-beat, euro-pop dance tune that sounds like a kid’s band version of Kraftwerk with a girl singer. Very fun!
Geoffrey and I arrived at the gallery about 15 minutes early and so were able to get all of our pictures with no people in them, meet Riedel and get his autograph on our invitations and also enjoy some very cool ’60s-sounding music playing on a turntable that was set up on the floor near the corner of the rear gallery.
I think this album is what was playing, but I can’t be sure. It says, “Up Against It: Joe Orton’s Original Screenplay for The Beatles. Original Soundtrack by The Times.” I want to find this album and own it.
Michael Riedel’s Powerpoint will be on Exhibit at David Zwirner Gallery, 533 West 19th Street, NYC, through March 23, 2013, so you still have lots of time to see it. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
Yesterday’s sudden news that director/screenwriter John Hughes had passed away from a heart attack at age 59 shocked and saddened me. I was already in my twenties when Hughes’ films – my favorites being the brilliant and hilarious Sixteen Candles, and the staggering work of genius that is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – were exploding all over the universe and creating pop culture memes and buzz phrases that we still perpetuate today. While I loved and was highly entertained by his movies, they didn’t have the life-changing effect on me that many of his films had on teenagers. Just a glance at the countless comments flooding my Face Book news feed since last evening say that much. I think that the pop-culture paradigm shift initiated by Hughes is perhaps best illustrated in this touching and uniquely personal remembrance, Sincerely, John Hughes by Alison Byrne Fields from her blog, We’ll Know When We Get There. Please have some tissues handy. I would like to close this post with one of my favorite lines from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Cameron is so uptight, if you shoved a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you would have a diamond.” Farewell John Hughes, rest in peace.
I’ve been making a concerted effort to leave my fucking apartment more often (i.e. more often than never) now that the weather is pleasantly warmer and going outside does not require wearing twenty additional layers of clothing. Last night I was invited to a party that I suspected would be pretty cool, since it promised to feature all of the things I like in a party; free booze, free snacks, boutique hotels, condoms and Legendary Rock Stars! I was so there! It seems that the last living Ramone, Marky (the drummer, natch) has lent his Ramones-ness to a new line of safe sex kits by Ready two Go. The kits contain two condoms hidden in a tiny little black tin (for that discretion you totally demand) with The Ramones’ logo on the front (because you want to Rock Those Condoms!
Due to the fact that I suffer from Terminal Punctuality Disease, I was the first guest to arrive at the party, which allowed me get a Cosmopolitan before the lines were 20 people deep at the bar. I was also fortunate to snag some one-on-one face time with Marky. Man was I ever surprised to discover that he is, in fact, The Coolest Guy on the Planet. I’m serious! Mark spent at least fifteen minutes talking to me about what kinds of drums he likes, why Rock & Roll High School is the greatest movie musical of all time, and how much fun it is to be over 40, all while shooing away other sycophants and hangers on. So awesome! Mark (which I am a allowed to call him, because we are friends now) returned to our conversation many times over the course of the evening, signed the above photo for me and didn’t punch me in the face when I mistook his wife for his publicist. What a prince! He even gave me an air kiss on the cheek when I left. Once I got back home, I felt all giddy like a little school girl and had a crush on him for about two hours. This morning, I was normal again.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 1, 2008)
VQPR and projekt:nyc, in association with Ready two Go Condoms and Marky Ramone announce ANYWAYYOUWANTIT ; an invite only media event for the east coast launch of the Marky Ramone Safer Sex Kit . This event will be held on Thursday, June 05, 2008 at New York City’s Hotel QT from 7pm – 9pm and will be hosted by Marky Ramone. Mr. Ramone will offer interviews as well as spin a rare DJ set of classic punk rock hits. Ramone has unveiled a signature series of safer sex kits as a means to reach sexually active youth and adults in a cool, hip way; getting the message out about safer sex practices through the power of music and pop culture.
Each kit contains two Lifestyles condoms, lubricant and an STD resource card – packaged inside a discreet metal tin with Marky Ramone emblem printed on the front with a tagline that says Too Tuff To Break. The kit was produced in partnership with Minneapolis-based organization Ready two Go. “The world has lost too many people to STDs of all types and that is why I joined up with Ready two Go for my signature series of safer sex tins,” says Marky Ramone. “We knew we needed a strong voice to help us get the message out about safe sex,” says Brad Hanson, founder and CEO of Ready two Go. “After we had the opportunity to meet with Marky Ramone and truly understand why he wanted to have a safer sex kit, we knew that we all had one common; to spread the love and contain STDs.”
From 7pm – 8pm on Thursday, June 05, 2008, select members of the press will be invited to a cocktail reception with Marky Ramone and the Ready two Go team. From 8pm – 9pm, celebrity guests and VIPs will join the press and will be treated to a special guest DJ set by Mr. Ramone himself. At 8:45, Mr. Ramone will announce the winner of the raffle for VIP guests and press. The winner of the raffle will receive a gift basket that will consist of a Ramones t-shirt, a bikini (made of an authentic Ramones t-shirt) courtesy of Vin-T-Bikini, a bottle of 42 Below Vodka, a signed copy of the Raw DVD and a pair of Marky Ramone Signature Vic Firth Drum Sticks. Throughout the evening, The Ramones DVD, Raw will be looped on the projection -screen above the T’s pool. Sponsored products will be given away throughout the night, including bikinis made of Ready two Go t-shirts, custom made by Robin Macy of Vint-T-Bikini. All guests will receive gift bags that will include t-shirts and the Marky Ramone kit on their way out.
After recording two hard rock albums with the band Dust, Mark Bell got into the punk scene in the early 70s. For a short while he played drums for Wayne County, followed by Richard Hell & the Voidoids, who recorded the Blank Generation. In 1978, after two years with the Voidoids, the Ramones brought drummer Marc Bell on board as Marky Ramone. His tenure with the Ramones spanned a total of 15 years and included 10 studio albums and 1,700 shows in which he played. Marky has received the MTV Lifetime Achievement award and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is the Executive Producer of Ramones Raw; the definitive Ramones DVD which has gone Gold in three countries and Billboard Top 5 in music DVD sales. He has been a guest character on The Simpsons and starred in the cult classic Rock and Roll High School.
Marky has recorded with legendary producer Phil Spector, and was fortunate enough to record with Joey Ramone on his solo album before he passed away. He shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to tour around the world with his band and as a Dj. His show, Marky Ramone’s Punk Rock Blitzkrieg is on Sirius Satellite radio.
READY TWO GO Ready two Go, established in 2006, is a mission-based organization built on the single goal of preventing HIV and other STD’s. The company develops lines of stylish and discreet safer sex tins and continues to innovate new designs to keep up with trendsetters worldwide. Ready two Go makes it easy to be spontaneous and safe every time. The company’s mission is to promote safe sex by providing cost-effective tools that are discreet, convenient and fun. The company’s executives are available for educational engagements, to speak on the importance of safe sex practices. Ready two Go also support organizations that promote social change through philanthropic efforts. The products are distributed through wholesale accounts, hotels, mass retail, non-profit strategic alliances and on the internet through its website, readytwogo.net.