Tag Archive | Richie Ramone

Area Ramones Fan Notices Thing

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.

Unsolicited Notes / Thoughts On We’re A Happy Family

Yes, the Ramones tribute album that came out in 2003, featuring such heavy hitters as Metallica, Garbage, Green Day, and Pete Yorn. Picked up a copy for my birthday after a decade of not really listening to it.

– wish I could say I read / enjoyed Stephen King’s liner notes but it’s four center-aligned pages with no paragraph breaks and he uses the phrase “tuff titty” in line three

– the ratio of artists who perform the songs in the style of the Ramones to artists who perform the songs in “their own unique interpretation” breaks down roughly 40/60; this is fine, as I didn’t expect Rancid to add tuba to “Sheena IAPR” and I sure didn’t expect Marilyn Manson to just plug into a Marshall to play “The KKK Took My Baby Away” at its normal tempo

– the top gun here is Tom Waits’s repurposing of “Jackie & Judy” as greasy juke joint blues howl (which has extra glow b/c it feels like Tom’s thank you note for the brilliant cover of his own “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” the ‘Mones slapped on Adios Amigos); second best is any cut where the artist commits to the melodic genius of the source material (Rooney’s “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” the Eddie Vedder / Zeke stuff)

– how do you sexualize “Havana Affair?” I don’t know, but the Red Hot Chili Peppers found a way

– Rob Zombie’s “Blitzkrieg Bop” is just as awkward and ham-fisted as my memory suggested; speaking of precious moments, I remember VH-1 did a special on Johnny Ramone while he was co-producing this album and the cameras were a’rollin’ when this Zombie-fied version of “Bop” first hit his ears…Johnny’s face wore a perfect mix of deer-in-headlights confusion, faint disgust, and slight arousal

– Eddie Vedder’s decision to do “Daytime Dilemma (Dangers of Love)” with America’s best punk n’ roll band is why he’s Eddie Vedder; the Offspring’s decision to turn in a copy of “I Wanna Be Sedated” they recorded five years earlier for a Seth Green comedy is why they’re the Offspring

– I don’t think U2 could do a more “U2” version of “Beat On The Brat” but I won’t bust on them because I know Bono’s heart is in the right place when it comes to Da Bruddahs

– the inclusion of Kiss is curious, not just because they were contemporaries of the Ramones (and not part of some subsequent musical generation) but also because Johnny Ramone made a big point in his autobiography about how much he never liked the music of Peter, Paul, & the Demon; whatever the reason behind it (tax write-off?) Kiss transforms “Do You Remember Rock n’ Roll Radio?” into the Best Buy jingle you always knew it could be

– surprisingly, the tender rendition of “Something To Believe In” by the Pretenders is not the most recent thing that band has done; they had a record out in 2008!

– leave it to John Frusciante to turn “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World” into a hippie hymnal (and a fucking good one at that)

– no photos of Richie Ramone in the booklet 😦

Spooky Hallospleen 2013 Recap

No spirits or spectres made their presence known to me this year on 10/31. Wrote for most of the day, keeping an eye on my e-mail accounts for virtual poltergeist. No dice. Does Hook Hand not have my Gmail address? Need to update my undead contacts.

Went to a party that night dressed as Richie Ramone, the third drummer from that legendary band and the Ramone I most look like in my everyday life. Driving in the leather jacket wasn’t an activity I’d describe as carefree or fun. I guess that’s why the Ramones lived in New York City. You don’t have to use your arms on the subway that much.

The party was a hoot and a couple people even got my semi-obscure costume. Somehow abstained from drinking the candy corn-flavored soda in this couple’s fridge but I did eat a white chocolate Kit Kat. Note to Nestlé: if it ain’t broke don’t pour white chocolate all over it.

Came home and ate a bunch of Reese’s cups. Surprised scientists haven’t figured out a way to mine the oil outta those bastards for our nation’s fuel needs. Breaking free from our dependence on the Middle East could just be a peanut butter cup away.

All in all, a fine Hallow’s Eve. Not as exciting as the year my minivan was egged, oranged, potato’d, cheesed, and greasepainted with inside jokes by my friends but also not as dull as that string of Halloweens in my teenage years when I was too old to trick or treat but still too young to go to parties.