The Ramones are indeed legendary, and the recent death of lead singer Joey Ramone makes an inside scoop on the group even more timely. However, the band members' jeans-and-T-shirt style and their stripped-down rock and roll tell us all we'd ever need to know about the band. But if another account is inevitable, thankfully it is being done by Marky Ramone, the band's drummer, who's been touring with his own story of the band's days gone by called Ramones Around the World.
Far from the kind of unauthorized tell-all that tends to follow bands' breakups, this show seems more like watching home movies with your pal Marky. It is billed as a "spoken word multimedia event" and includes slides of photos he took during years of touring, plus behind-the-scenes anecdotes, rare concert footage and a question-and-answer session. Stories of The Ramones likely will provide the bulk of the show, but Ramone will also shed some light on his youth in Queens and his subsequent involvement in the scene that spawned the whole New York punk music movement. Apparently Ramone, whose real name is Marc Bell, had once auditioned for the New York Dolls and spent some time playing with the Voidods. He was The Ramones' second drummer, joining in 1978, until he was asked to leave because of drinking problems. He returned (sober) in 1987 when his replacement quit. The Ramones disbanded in 1996.
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Opening up for Ramone is Duncan Wilder Johnson, a spoken word/stand-up comedy/confessional monologist who exposes, extols and analyzes all things heavy metal and hardcore from junior high to the club scene. Anyone who has sewn a patch on a sleeveless denim jacket or whose favorite noun is "dude" will recognize the culture that Wilder riffs and shreds upon with a presentation style more influenced by his favorite band, Slayer, than any contemporary comic.