Joey Ramone Remembered: Marky Ramone Pays Tribute
A decade ago today, Ramones frontman Joey passed away. In remembrance of him, his bandmate, drummer Marky Ramone (pictured left), shared his memories of Joey with us for Revolver’s January/February “Fallen Heroes” issue (available here). Unfortunately, at the time, we weren’t able to print all his words in the magazine. So, with the deepest respect, enjoy Marky’s full tribute to Joey.
REVOLVER What do you remember about meeting Joey?
MARKY RAMONE Joey would be hanging out at the bar at CBGBs or Max’s Kansas City and he would always make comments about [Marky’s first band] Dust. Also, the Richard Hell and the Voidoids album I did came out. He liked the album a lot and liked “Blank Generation,” ’cause they would play it a lot in the jukebox at CBGBs. Joey was a very quiet and introverted person, but when he went on the stage, his histrionics came out and he became the perfect lead singer. His voice, to me, was the greatest. He knew how to scream, he knew how to sing, and he knew how to phrase great, and he knew how to use vibrato in his vocal delivery. And then when he came off the stage he was quiet again, and he built up a wall around himself, around a lot of people because he was a very shy guy.
What is something people might not have known about Joey?
As a kid he was picked on a lot by students and people in the neighborhood because of physically the way he looked. And I don’t care how anyone looks, but a lot of people thought he looked a little freaky, a little weird. But there were a lot of people who out there who used to make fun of him. And I didn’t like it, and every time I’d walk with him in the streets and someone would make a remark, I would stick up for him. I’d stick up for Joey. And these remarks that I’m sure didn’t help his self-esteem as young teenager growing up, but when he got on that stage, and maybe all that did help him become what he was because he used that to project what he was on the stage. You grow up in life and you get a lot of knocks, you get a lot of intimidation, you get a lot of comments, and then what do you do with it? You let it bother you, or you just absorb it and then use it into what you want to do in love, into music, you know?
Joey definitely turned that into something else.
Exactly. And I think without all those things that did happen to him, it might not have happened you see? Sometimes that’s how life is, ya know?
What were some of the best times you spent together?
Doing Joey’s solo album [Don’t Worry About Me, released in 2002] was a lot of fun because he was sick at the time when he was doing his solo album. And he asked me to play on it, and I could see the joy on his face cause he always wanted to make a solo album. So he finally got his opportunity, and he was coming in and out of the hospital to do the vocals. Luckily, the best solo song that he did was “Wonderful World” that came out of that album [as a single].