Richie Ramone: in many ways, the black sheep of the Ramones family, the guy who jetted with no warning because he felt he wasn’t getting the proper respect from his band mates. There are two sides to every story, sure, and maybe I’m just some crazy loser, but the more I look at the covers of Richie era Ramones albums the more I understand his 23 skidoo. Each one has a clear symbol Rich was never accepted as a true Bruddah.
On Too Tough To Die, Richie is the only Ramone whose knee is bent, suggesting insecurity next to the defiant stances of Joey, Dee Dee, and Johnny. They could have used another picture where they all look like confident bad-asses, but they didn’t.
“Here, Richie, you hold the chimp, we don’t handle monkey business. That’s your department.” It should be noted Richie is a big animal advocate and later said he was happy to play with the chimp, but still…seems like the critter is only there to demean the newest hire.
Richie’s pink Cons are on fucking point, but the rest of the Ramones are wearing black shoes for the Halfway to Sanity cover. Joey’s purple socks might symbolize solidarity, they might be coincidental. Hey ho I don’t know.
I will always view Richie Ramone as a savior, a guy who stepped in when the Ramones were shaky and helped steer them through their silver age. He tore ass on those drums and had no problem writing songs that fit the band’s aesthetic. Too bad they had that disconnect.
See whatever you want to see on these covers. It’s easy for me to zero in on this kind of crap because I’m the type of person who would rub a magic lamp and waste one wish on a version of Brain Drain with Richie on drums.