"He's almost a father figure, or a mentor to me," says Robert Carmine, the twenty-one-year-old singer for Rooney, who one night slipped Johnny a demo tape that Johnny liked. "He never had a kid. The Ramones were his baby that he was obsessed with. When he retired, he needed something else to focus on, and that's his friends and his wife. He's given me a lot of great advice: Play to the back row, not the people in front; get a straight mike stand, not a boom stand; own your section of the stage; watch the money; learn what other people did that was cool. He's turned me on to such great old music, like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. "He's a much kinder person now than when he was in the band," Carmine continues. "But the thing with Joey is ongoing. We watched the documentary together in his house, and he couldn't stay in the room when they were talking about the Joey stuff. He's still got that pain and anger that he can't quite let go of and become the person he's mostly become."
The last remaining member of seminal 1970s New York punk act, Tommy Ramone, has died, aged 65. [more inside]
The most vivid figure in Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields's End of the Century was the least articulate and most archetypal of the Ramones: Johnny, the right-wing prole whose hard-ass sense of style the others nutballed and softened and accelerated and above all imitated. ... Exciting and absolutely right though their '70s sets always were, the film establishes that they kept the faith live till the end, lifted by Joey's goofy dedication and powered by the chords Johnny thrashed out like they were why he was alive. As unyielding in his aesthetic principles as he was in everything else, this reactionary was an avant-gardist in spite of himself. - Robert Christgau
The Ramones Live: 26 Songs In 54 Minutes. Recorded at the Palladium, NYC, January 7, 1978.
People have made some awesome animated videos for Ramones songs, and have uploaded them to Youtube for our viewing pleasure. I Don't Wanna Go To The Basement is probably my favorite. Commando comes in close second. Ramones as legos playing Spiderman wins on sheer novelty. The papercut animation in this video for Blitzkreig Bop is definitely worth a look. Finally, this snippet of the claymation Ramones playing Judy is a Punk is awesome, if painfully short. [more inside]
In the 1980s, some artists successfully managed the transition from punk rock to rap. Others, not so much.
"When youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture...the first step to do is destroy the record companies." 1991: The Year Punk Broke
Hey, ho! He's...gone. Today Johnny Ramone joins Joey and Dee Dee at the great Blitzkrieg Bop in the sky (though admittedly he might not have much to say to either of them). This comes just days after a benefit/tribute concert in L.A. commemorating the 30th anniversary of the first Ramones gig. Catch the new documentary End of the Century in the meantime. Then again, maybe you'll just wanna be sedated.
Grand Old Punks The Sunday Times reported on Johnny Ramone's conservative beliefs today As he grew up he realised that for all his guitar thrashing, he was a conservative at heart. He opposes abortion and gay marriage and thinks welfare benefits are too generous. “Everyone in America can succeed to at least the middle-class level if they work hard enough,” he said. Do these people have a point or do they just not get it?