A long time ago, in a suburb far, far away, I was a fucked up kid looking for something to believe in. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere or could identify with anyone. Music was always my primary means of escape, but nothing would ever touch my soul as much as the first time I heard The Ramones.
The Ramones’ self-titled album was the first record I bought with my own money. When I brought it home, I couldn’t stop listening to it.
As the months went by, I bought more records. I spent all of my free time listening to their music and reading about their history. I memorized every fact and every lyric. I treated the End of the Century documentary like it was the Bible, because for me, it was.
My first Ramones t-shirt was a constant part of my rotation for almost 10 years. I broke my middle school’s dress code to wear it on the last day of sixth grade. I was wearing it the first time I kissed a girl. I wore it to my first punk show. I wore it under my cap and gown at my high school graduation. I wore it once a week at my first job. This past December I brought it out of retirement, greyed, sleeveless and battered, to wear under my cap and gown at my college graduation.
You see, to me, The Ramones are more than a band.
When I first started dipping my toes in the rock journalism pool, my top dream was to one day interview The Ramones. I was interested in asking about their history, to learn about the tumultuous relationship between Johnny and Joey, to further understand the men that changed my life. Beyond that, I was more interested to learn how leaving the band behind affected their lives. I wanted to know what they were up to now.
It took several years, but eventually I was given the chance to realize that dream.
I spent more than a year collecting the interviews presented below. In addition to talking with Tommy, Richie and CJ, I was able to interview legendary engineer Ed Stasium and the Ramones’ former tour manager/road warrior Monte Melnick.
My goal with this series was to present a fuller picture of the band I love so much to the world, and more importantly, update the stories of the individuals involved. Without further ado, I present you with the fruit of my labors:
“It’s a Long Way Back: Life After THE RAMONES”
By Tyler Evans
Read on by clicking the pages below.
Page 2 – Interview with Tommy Ramone
Page 3 – Interview with Ed Strasium (producer/engineer)
Page 4 – Interview with Richie Ramone
Page 5 – Interview with Monte Melnick “the fifth Ramone”
Page 6 – Johnny Ramone’s autobiography
Page 7 – C.J. Ramone interview
Page 8 – C.J. Ramone’s new album Reconquista