Tag Archive | Johnny Ramone

Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk at the Queens Museum

The Ramones By Shepard Farley
L to R: Dee Dee, Tommy, Joey, and Johnny. Portraits of the Original Ramones by Shepard Fairey (All Photos By Gail)

Hey, do you love The Ramones? I sure do; so much so, that I even made the trek, by subway train and foot, all the way out to Flushing Meadows, Corona Park (a long, long ass way) to visit the Queens Museum, where there is a newly-opened exhibit that is all about Forest Hills, Queens favorite sons, the legendary Ramones. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk, as you can imagine by the title, is pretty sweet.

Queens Museum Crowd
This is Just The Crowd Waiting to Get In to the Exhibit

On the exhibit’s opening day (April 10th) I journeyed out to Queens with an aggregate group of enthusiastic  Ramones Fans, and when we arrived at the museum there was one line to buy tickets to get into the museum, and then another line just to get into the galleries that are showcasing the Ramones exhibit. Holy Mother of god, do I hate waiting on line(s). Fortunately, I know the right people, and one of those people is my friend Anne, who is good pals with Vera Ramone King (Dee Dee Ramone’s first wife, who is a lovely lady) and so we were able to get some Hot VIP Action and skip at least 90 minutes in “The Line Ride,” as I will call it. Mad props to Anne and Vera!

Gail Vera Jana

Here I am with Vera, and musician/songwriter Jana Peri!

Art By Yoshitomo Nara
Art By Yoshitomo Nara That was Commissioned For This Exhibit

In this expansive exhibit, the four original RamonesJoey, Johnny, Tommy and Dee Dee — are most widely represented, along with Tommy’s replacement, drummer Marky Ramone (who had the longest tenure with the band outside of the original four founders), and to a lesser extent members who came along later in the band’s career, CJ and Richie, who show up in a few places. Not unexpectedly, the exhibit’s opening day was a complete madhouse and total party scene. You will learn so much about The Ramones as a group, and about each of them as people, when you visit this exhibit, but I’m going to skip all of that, because I  know that everyone really only wants to see the photos. Enjoy!

Ramones Map

One of the first things you will see when you enter the first of four galleries is this fun, specially commissioned cartoon map by Punk Magazine co-founder John Holmstrom, tracing the band’s path from Forest Hills to the downtown nightclub CBGB.

Ramones Albums
Covers of All of the Ramones Albums

The first gallery is dedicated to the band’s songs and records, as well as memorabilia, swag, props, photos and magazines documenting the very first articles ever written on the band. The exhibit also celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the release of the first Ramones album!

Installation View
Installation View of First Gallery

Johnny Ramone Red T Shirt
Johnny Ramone’s Red T Shirt from the Cover of End of the Century

More Ramones Mania After The Jump!

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Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite Guitar Goes Up for Auction

Johnny Ramones Guitar
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.

Happy Birthday, Dee Dee Ramone!

Dee Dee Ramone
Image By Dorian Cope

Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Colvin), Bassist and primary Songwriter for The Ramones was born on this day, September 18th, in 1951. Dee Dee died of a drug overdose June 5th, 2002. He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, not far from his former Ramones’ bandmate, Johnny Ramone.

Randy’s Rad Celebrity Grave Tour

Hollywood Forever Sign

My excellent friend Randy, an enthusiastic collector of autographs and celebrity memorabilia, recently found the time to compile a thorough overview of celebrity graves he’s visited over the past decade. Randy sent me the link to this fun slideshow this past weekend. I thought that the virtual tour was so cool, I asked if I could share them with you, dear readers, and Randy agreed.

Randy’s Rad Celebrity Grave Tour, as I am calling it, includes photographs that Randy has taken of headstones, crypts and cenotaphs from a variety of beloved icons, including Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Jimmy Stewart, Errol Flynn, Truman Capote, Natalie Wood, Walt Disney, Spencer Tracy, Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, Jean Seberg, Jayne Mansfield, Truman Capote, Johnny & Dee Dee Ramone, Vampira and dozens more. The photos were shot at Hollywood Forever (Los Angeles), Pierce Brothers’ Memorial (Westwood Cemetery, Los Angeles) and Forest Lawn/Glendale (Los Angeles), as well as Pere LaChaise, Montparnesse and Les Catacombs in Paris.

Descriptive captions appear under each photo. See them now by clicking this link: World of Randsome Celebrity Graves Tour.

Remembering Johnny Ramone


Johnny Ramones’ Grave Marker at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA (Click Image to enlarge)

Ramones’ Guitarist Johnny Ramone (Born John Cummings) passed away from prostate cancer on this day, September 15, in 2004. He was 55 years old.

Mickey Leigh, Brother of Joey Ramone, Speaks Out On Where The Ramones Stand Politically

STATEMENT FROM MICKEY LEIGH:

(November 2, 2008) “It has been brought to my attention that Linda Cummings (Johnny Ramone’s widow), using the name “Ramone,” has recently been in the media joining with the Palin family and the McCains to attempt to aid their campaign for the Presidency.  As a President of Ramones Productions, and brother of Joey Ramone, I just want it to be clear that Linda Cummings does not represent the political views of the Ramones.  Surely, as for Joey Ramone, the only Ramones song he would sing at a Republican campaign event would be ‘Glad To See You Go!’

“I should add that when Johnny stated ‘God Bless George Bush’ at the 2002 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame awards, I realize now that he was on to something.  Because if it were not for George Bush and his handling of our country the past 8 years, I doubt so many Americans, including so many highly regarded Republicans, would now be getting behind Barack Obama. So, yes, God bless George Bush for paving the way to Obama.”

~ Mickey Leigh