Tag Archive | Marky Ramone

Unsolicited Gabba Gabba Hey On Marky Ramone’s Autobiography

If you’ve ever caught an interview with Marky Ramone you know he tends to sound a little rehearsed, like he has stock answers he’d prefer to substitute for in-the-moment emotion. Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life As A Ramone reads a lot like that. It’s less heated than Johnny’s Commando or any of Dee Dee’s volumes, working hard to cram in the most superfluous exposition (OMG, we know what the fucking Berlin Wall was). That said, our self-proclaimed Chicken Beak Boy manages to add a tiny bit of fresh perspective to the Ramones legend while additionally owning up to his own bonkers alcoholism.

Granted, it’s frustrating the drummer can be so candid about substance abuse while ignoring more interesting bits of his mythology, but I suppose only a fool would have expected a chapter devoted to Mark’s alleged wig wearing. There are also several points where it’s not difficult to read between the lines. Die-hards are familiar with the drama between Marky and C.J. and in this tome the former damns the latter with faint praise, mostly saluting his attitude while offering no adjective above “good” to describe the bassist’s playing. Even more telling: there’s no reference to the half decade Mark spent drumming for the Misfits.

Punk Rock Blitzkrieg covers well-worn ground in regard to the founding “bruddahs”: Johnny was fervently right wing, Joey was severely OCD, Dee Dee never met a pill he didn’t like, Tommy was sensitive. Even the author’s struggles with the bottle have been tackled to varying degrees elsewhere. If there’s any revelation in PR Blitzkrieg it’s Marky’s admission that he believes Phil Spector to be innocent of Lana Clarkson’s 2003 murder. Give him credit for sticking by his pal.

The most fascinating stuff in the book comes before Mark’s time in the Ramones, when he bounced from power trio Dust to country rockers Estus (major label ding dongs who owned a swank mansion in upstate New York) before landing in Richard Hell’s Voidoids. The Voidoids were mastering their debut album the night of the 1977 New York City blackout. On his way home, Mark decided it was time to get his; he picked up a trash can and attempted to hurl it through a bank window. The can bounced off the plexiglass like a Nerf football. Inside, a security guard smiled and waved.

Other interesting snippets: Steven Tyler was nice to the Ramones back in the day, Sting wasn’t, Dee Dee’s rap career was just as much about annoying the other Ramones as it was about a love for hip hop, Marky has a twin brother named Fred, Marky likes the Circle Jerks.

Punk Rock Blitzkrieg summed up in one line: probably the one on the last page where Marky expresses satisfaction with his career because both the Pope and Obama are Ramones fans. I’ve never seen Barack in a Mondo Bizarro t-shirt but I’m happy to take the Chicken Beak’s word.

Happy Birthday, Dos Ramones

Bass player C.J. and late guitarist Johnny from the Ramones both celebrate a birthday today, so here’s a clip of the duo (plus drummer Marky) warming up/goofing off backstage circa 1991. Not sure what language Da Bruddahs are singing in here (guessing one they fabricated themselves) but Johnny is absolutely wearing a Chef Boyardee parody shirt featuring convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Would you expect anything less from the guy who co-wrote “Psycho Therapy?”

Unsolicited Thoughts On Marky Ramone’s Gelato Commercial

In the words of Michael Keaton, I tried to avoid all this but I can’t. Marky Ramone’s food empire has now expanded beyond pasta sauce to include gelato. He made a commercial for it, too. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill: Marky Ramone made a gelato commercial.

Gotta break this one down scene by scene as I occasionally do. What we’re looking at here is basically the Zapruda film of inane punk rock branding.

0:10 – Ten seconds in and already this seems pretty weighty for a dessert ad. Marky Ramone lurks in the shadows before a gig. Yes, he is a legend, and “the legacy” advertised on his jacket has brought him here. Will he uphold the brilliance of his work on such classic albums as Road to Ruin and Pleasant Dreams or will this affair crumple into a madness akin to that Jesse Camp video where Marky played the filthy janitor?

0:20 – As usual, the crowd gathered at this rock concert is waiting patiently in relative silence until each member of the band has made his or her way to the stage. Finally, Mark strolls out, women start screeching his name, and just as the mood reaches a fever pitch Big Bad Mark Ramone & His Non-Union All Stars launch into that beloved Ramones chestnut “Gimme Gimme Mah Ice Cream.” When I say “beloved Ramones chestnut” I of course mean “song Mark probably wrote in his head years ago assuming he’d one day star in a gelato commercial.”

0:45 – You know, I wouldn’t be shocked to learn Prince has his own gelato guy for mid-concert refreshment. That seems par for the course with his high-falutin’ ass. The only place I can imagine a Ramone even looking at gelato is in a paid advertisement.

0:50 – “So, what did you bring home from the concert? Did you manage to catch one of Marky’s drumsticks?” “No, but he did hand me this gelato thing he’d been eating. I ate the rest of it already, but it had a fuckin’ Oreo in it!”

1:04 – “Iz eazeeta fawlin love wit a legen.” I’d kill to get my hands on any ADR this guy recorded for Rock n’ Roll High School.

1:06 – The Marky Ramone Cookies Gelato logo seems really busy. Did they need so much detail on the Ramones shirt? “Doug, make sure we know that’s an officially licensed Ramones shirt. Also, if you put a crash cymbal on those drums you have to include the ride, it’s just common sense!”

The remainder of the ad is the ice cream song (can you believe Cookies recorded more than thirty seconds of that thing?) behind images of various Cookies products. My issue is the stuff looks yummy enough without the endorsement of the guy who played on “Zero Zero UFO.” Like, can I see these foodstuffs without some punk rock icon pretending his entire career’s been leading to this “Gimme Gimme Mah Ice Cream!” jingle?

Marky Ramone Young, Shirtless In Dust Mini-Doc

If this featurette on Marky Ramone’s first band Dust doesn’t convince you they’re worth checking out, let me offer my endorsement: both Dust albums (1971’s s/t and 1972’s Hard Attack) are deliciously heavy, bombastic affairs you can’t not take with you on your next cross-country road trip or drive out to see Grandma. Hell, even if you’re just walking to the grocery store to pick up some motherfuckin’ grapes you’ll wanna blast “Learning to Die” in your cans and mouth the words to every baby and dog you pass on the street. We’re talkin’ killer stuff here.

America, stop sleeping on Dust. Please.