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Classic album covers minus deceased band members


 
Over the weekend, when the sad news spread about the passing of Tommy Ramone, a really touching image circulated online, showing the Ramones debut LP, then the same cover with Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee Photoshopped out, and then, at last, Tommy removed as well. Dangerous Minds even shared it on our Facebook page.
 

 
The middle image, of Tommy standing alone in front of that iconic brick wall, seems to have come from a Tumblr called “Live! (I See Dead People),” which is devoted entirely to skillfully removing deceased musicians from their LP covers—sort of like “Garfield Minus Garfield,” but with a more serious intent. The subjects range from cult figures like Nick Drake to canonical rock stars like Nirvana and The Doors, and the results are often quite poignant. The blog hasn’t been updated in almost three years, so it seems unlikely the artists behind this project, Jean-Marie Delbes and Hatim El Hihi, will re-do that Ramones cover. Indeed, their Morrison Hotel still features Ray Manzarek, who passed on a little over a year ago.
 

New York Dolls, s/t
 

Ol Dirty Bastard, Return to the 36 Chambers
 

Nick Drake, Bryter Layter
 

The Who, Odds & Sods
 

Johnny Thunders, So Alone
 

George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
 

Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit
 

Jeff Buckley, Grace
 

The Doors, Morrison Hotel
 

John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy
 

The Clash, s/t
 

Elvis Presley, s/t
 

 
Hat-tip to Derf for this find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Tommy Ramone, RIP: Last original member of Ramones passes
07.11.2014
09:09 pm

Topics:
Punk
R.I.P.

Tags:
Ramones


 
Tommy Ramone, aka Thomas Erdelyi, the last surviving member of the original Ramones died today at his home in Ridgewood, Queens. He was 62 (several sources say 65) and had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct. The time of death was 12:15pm. Claudia Tienan, his partner of 40 years, asked Andy Schwartz, former editor of NY Rocker (among many other things) to make the announcement of his passing.

Tommy and guitarist John Cummings (Johnny Ramone) first got together in a high school garage band called the Tangerine Puppets. When the Ramones formed, he was supposed to be their manager, but ended up becoming the drummer from 1974 to 1978 and producing several of their albums. Tommy was always considered the most “normal” Ramone.

Post Ramones, Erdelyi produced the Replacements Tim album and Redd Kross’s Neurotica. In recent years he’d been playing bluegrass and folk with Claudia Tienan as Uncle Monk.

Below, The Ramones perform “Havana Affair” and “Listen to My Heart"at Max’s Kansas City, October 8th, 1976:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground’: The best book yet on the dawn of punk rock

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Early band shot of Blondie

In the now long line of endless punk rock history cash-in books being pumped out from every corner of the world it’s shocking to find the one book that’s not like the others. Paul Zone’s Playground: Growing Up in the New York Underground published by Glitterati Inc. is a coffee table book brimming with amazing, unseen photos and the life story of Paul and his brothers Miki Zone and Mandy Zone and their bands The Fast and later, Man 2 Man. What makes this book different is its author and the time frame it takes place in.

There was a short moment when everything was happening at once, no one knew or cared and the only band that had an audience or a record deal was the New York Dolls. As early as 1974 Patti Smith was playing, as was Television, Wayne County, Suicide and Blondie. The Ramones were starting to play at CBGB (opening for a drag show that starred Tomata du Plenty later of Screamers fame), KISS was pretty much in this same scene playing to about five people with many bands like The Planets And Paul’s brothers The Fast were playing alongside of them. At one point, sub-culturally speaking, all the cards were thrown up in the air and no one knew where they were going to land. It was a very small group of friends almost all of whom would, in a few short years, become icons of pop culture,
 
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Johnny Thunders, early 70’s

At the time, Paul Zone was very young. Too young to be in a band, but not too young to see a band or be snuck into the back room at Max’s Kansas City. And not too young to document this exciting time in his life by photographing everything. There are very few photos of this period when punk rock was actually occurring in the midst of the glitter rock scene. When the up and down escalators of rock ‘n’ roll infinity met and EVERYONE was hungry on the way up AND on the way down. There was change in the air, excitement and confusion.

Seeing Alan Vega of Suicide performing in a loft in 1973 with a huge blonde wig and a gold painted face is unbelievable. The years the photos in the book span are 1971 to 1978. Most are snapshots of friends hanging out when everyone was still on the starting line. The Fast were one of the more popular of these bands who let their new friends Blondie and The Ramones open for them in small New York clubs.

Early photos of The Fast show them amazingly in full glitter regalia with KISS-like make up (Miki Zone has a heart painted over one eye, etc.) but this was before KISS! There are a few photos of icons of the time like Alice Cooper (watching cartoons in his hotel room), Marc Bolan, The Stooges, etc. (a good one of KISS with about three people in the audience, as mentioned above). Most are of friends just hanging out, having a ball, not knowing or caring about the future and without that dividing line in music history called “punk rock.” It is truly a treasure to see something this rare, and even better, 99% of these photos have never been seen before.
 
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Wayne County long before becoming Jayne County

By 1976 Paul Zone was old enough to join his brothers and became the lead singer of the version of The Fast that made records. Sadly due to poor management decisions The Fast got left behind that first punk wave and watched as almost all of their buddies become some of the most famous faces in music history. How amazing that all of these people were friends just hanging out, broke and creative going to see each other play, talking shit and influencing each other in ways they didn’t even realize?
 
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Joey Ramone eating dessert at Paul Zone’s parents house at 5 am

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Linda Ramone, future design icon Anna Sui, Nick Berlin and me, Howie Pyro (The Blessed) at Coney Island 1978

After a few years of struggling, The Fast trimmed down to just brothers Miki and Paul Zone and some early electronic equipment. They finally let go of the name The Fast and became Man to Man, one of the first Hi-NRG electro dance music groups, recording with the likes of Bobby Orlando and Man Parrish. They had huge hits worldwide and here in dance clubs like “Male Stripper” and “Energy Is Eurobeat,”
 
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Suicide’s Alan Vega, early 70’s

This book is three quarters a photo book and one quarter autobiography, cutting to the point and perfect for this modern, short attention span world. It is packed with so much amazing first hand information in such a short amount of text that no one will be disappointed. Playground was co-written by Jake Austen of Roctober Magazine, with a foreword by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie. The book is available here
 
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If you are in the Los Angeles area this Saturday, June 28th, there will be a book release party and photo exhibit (with many of these photos printed HUGE) at Lethal Amounts Gallery at 8 pm.
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
Debbie Harry, Ramones, Nick Rhodes, Courtney Love and more on MTV’s ‘Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes’


 
In December of 2010, I visited the Andy Warhol Enterprises exhibit then being held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It was an excellent full-career retrospective, loaded with rare goodies, and generously tilted toward his early, pre-Factory commercial work, which I prefer to his more famous silkscreens (commence calling for my skull on a pike, I don’t care). But as much as I was enjoying the early books and the blotted-ink drawings of shoes, I was surprised by a trip down amnesia lane that came at the end of the exhibit, a video installation of one of Warhol’s last projects, the show he produced and co-hosted (with Debbie Harry) for MTV called Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes. The name of the show referred to Warhol’s famous quip “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Episodes of the program were actually 30 minutes in length. #themoreyouknow
 

Warhol with Debbie Harry, dressed by Stephen Sprouse.
 
I was an arty kid, so I knew perfectly well who Warhol was (some of my friends only learned of his existence from that show, believe it or not), and so I never missed it. Though it wasn’t too hard to catch them all—as the series was prematurely ended by Warhol’s 1987 death, there were only five episodes, the last of which was mainly a memorial. But while it was on, it was glorious. Although the program featured lots of marquee names, befitting Warhol’s obsession with celebrity and celebrities, it also highlighted NYC downtown fashion, art, and music phenomena. Mind-expanding stuff for a midwestern kid, and stuff which would have otherwise been entirely inaccessible, since Warhol’s previous television ventures, Fashion and Andy Warhol’s TV, were limited to NYC cable.

And unless you visit the Warhol Museum or a traveling retrospective, the program itself is now pretty well inaccessible. Few things have been more damnably hard to find streaming than episodes of 15 Minutes, and to my complete bafflement, the Warhol Museum store doesn’t offer a home video. Much of what little can be found is fuzzy VHS home recordings, but it gives an adequate taste of how deep the show could go—and remember, this was on MTV.
 

 

 
It gets a good bit better with this clip of Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes taking the viewer on a tour of Manhattan nightclubs The Palladium and AREA (note future Twin Peaks actor Michael J. Anderson as the garden gnome.)
 

 
KONK were an amazing dance-punk band of the era. You may recognize the drummer, Richard Edson, an original member of Sonic Youth, and co-star of the Jim Jarmusch film Stranger Than Paradise.
 

 
This Ramones interview ends with a live, not lip-synced, performance of “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg.”

 
The last bit footage I’ve found is a jaw-dropper—an interview segment with a 21ish, pre-fame Courtney Love!
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Ramones drop some truth on a little know-it-all (a young Marilyn Manson?) on Nickelodeon, 1981
01.28.2014
10:01 am

Topics:
Punk
Television

Tags:
Ramones
Marilyn Manson


 
The Ramones appeared on Nickelodeon’s Livewire in 1981, on the cusp of the release of their Pleasant Dreams LP. It could have just been a cool artifact of an important punk band incongruously showing up on a kids show. But no, some self-satisfied little weed decided to ask a wiseass question about producer Phil Spector’s involvement with the End of the Century album, not to actually find out the answer, but to show off how all “insidery” he was and to belittle the band.

To their immense credit, The Ramones answered the smartass’ pitifully thrown gauntlet with a great deal of class. Joey starts strong, and though he drifts off-topic, Johnny saves the moment with a succinct and thoughtful statement of purpose.
 

 
An amusing aside: when you go to the YouTube page for this video—which you’ll have to if you want to watch it, as embedding, unfortunately, is disabled—the uploader makes the claim that the smirking brat is a young Marilyn Manson. I think the differences in appearance outweigh the admittedly striking similarities. Not only is this trying-too-hard little fistpuppet’s facial structure not quite like Manson’s (cheeks and chin are both much wider), Manson spent his childhood and teens in Ohio and Florida, and the eminently punchable, way-too-proud-of-itself assface of the smug little taintbreather in the video is emitting an accent that’s pure New York. Plus, Manson would have been 12 then, and this kid seems more like 14 or 15 to me. Not ruling out the possibility altogether, and I certainly don’t fancy myself the last word on it, but my best educated guess/hunch is “nuh-uh.”
 

Behold: a wasteland where proper awe in the presence of genius vanishes like flatus into a squall.
 

Behold: actual young Marilyn Manson. I say “very close but no cigar,” but judge for yourself.
 
Lastly, what might have been a fine money-shot fades out too quickly, but stay attentive at the end, and you’ll catch Joey’s answer to the question from the girl in the awesomely Welcome Back Kotterish outfit. She, her question, and Joey’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it answer are all fantastic.

Watch it here.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Ramones are Rubbish’: Morrissey’s thoughts on the Ramones, 1976
09.20.2012
02:09 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Ramones
Morrissey
Melody Maker


 
A young “Steve” Morrissey (he would have been 17 years old at the time) writes in the July 24, 1976 issue of Melody Maker:

The Ramones are the latest bumptious band of degenerate no-talents whose most notable achievement to date is their ability to advance beyond the boundaries of New York City, and purely on the strength of a spate of convincing literature projecting the Ramones as God’s gift to rock music.

They have been greeted with instant adulation by an army of duped fans. Musically, they do not deal in subtlety or variation of any kind, their rule is to be as incompetent as possible.

For a band believed to project the youth of America, New York - suburban life, anti-conformism, sex and struggle, or whatever, they fail miserably. And in the sober light of day their imperfections have a field day.

The Ramones make the Stooges sound like concertmasters, and I feel that the only place for their discordant music is the sweaty downtown Manhattan dives to which they are no doubt accustomed.

The New York Dolls and Patti Smith have proved that there is some life pumping away in the swamps and gutters of New York and they are the only acts which originated from the N.Y. club scene worthy of any praise. The Ramones have absolutely nothing to add that is of relevance or importance and should be rightly filed and forgotten—Steve Morrissey, Kings Road, Stretford, Manchester.

This issue of Melody Maker is on eBay with a “Buy It Now” for $35.00.

With thanks to Christian Paris’ FB page

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Judy is a Punk: Kindergartners channel Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone
12.02.2011
12:41 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Ramones
Judy is a Punk


 
The kindergartners at the Sullivan School look like they’re having a damn good time singing “Judy is a Punk.”
 

 
Thank you, Lepus Rex!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Sex Pistols and The Ramones as Hanna-Barbera cartoons
11.28.2011
08:37 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Ramones
Sex Pistols
Hanna-Barbera


 
Artist Dave Perillo says, “This what I thought a Hanna-Barbera cartoon about the Sex Pistols would’ve looked like if they made one in the 70’s…”

Below, Dave’s Hanna-Barbera Ramones illustration titled “Hey Ho…let’s go…”
 

 
(via Boing Boing)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Blank Generation

image
 
It seems like there’s a new documentary on Punk Rock all the time and they all tread fairly predictable paths. Still, this episode of the great BBC series Seven Ages of Rock, titled Blank Generation is one of the better ones I’ve seen. In six parts on YouTube.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment