RAMONES MUSEUM looks back on the RAMONES' career in chronological order, from their early childhood- and school days in Forest Hills to early gigs at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City, the recording and release of their debut album and their first trip to the UK in July 1976.
RAMONES MUSEUM takes you back to 1977, with the release of two (2!) legendary albums, "Leave Home" and "Rocket To Russia". Read all about the making of their legendary logo, a genius effort by the band's artistic director Arturo Vega, and follow them on their relentless path, touring non stop through Europe, America and the UK, all of which culminated in the furious new year's show at London's Rainbow Theatre on December 31st, 1977.
In 1978, Tommy Ramone leaves the band, Marky Ramone joins and records "Road To Ruin" with his new bandmates. "Punk Magazine" mastermind and íllustrator John Holmstrom reworks a fan's drawing into the album's cover art. The RAMONES continue touring, supporting BLACK SABBATH and FOREIGNER and playing Germany for the first time.
1979 was a good year for RAMONES fans, because they were finally able to get VERY close to their favourite band - on film. The RAMONES played themselves in Roger Corman's teen comedy "Rock'n'Roll Highschool", directed by Allan Arkush. In between takes for the movie, the RAMONES killed their time in the famous Tropicana Motel, writing songs for their new album "End Of the Century", produced by Phil Spector.
The cinema at RAMONES MUSEUM shows "Rock'n'Roll Highschool" in its entity, flanked by memorabilia related to the movie: "Rock'n'Roll Highschool" lobby cards, t-shirt, poster, pins, flyers, press releases, scheduled screenings and Soundtrack.
Early to mid 80ies was not a good time for the RAMONES. After their most commercial effort "End Of The Century", the band was struggling with their future musical direction. "Pleasant Dreams" and "Subterranean Jungle" could neither accomplish commerical succes nor please the diehard fans. After Marky Ramone was replaced by Richie Ramone, the RAMONES are back on track with their 1984 album "Too Tough To Die" - combining trademark pop tunes like "Howling At The Moon" with Hardcore anthems like "Endless Vacation" or "Wart Hog".
Weird things happened to the RAMONES in 1987. First, bass player and main songwriter Dee Dee Ramone discovers his love for Rap music and releases his solo Rap-album "Standing In the Spotlight" under the alias Dee Dee King. A few weeks later, RAMONES drummer Richie Ramone decides to leave the band over night, forcing the group to cancel a few shows, including two nights at New York's Ritz. After a short stint from BLONDIE drummer Clem Burke (Elvis Ramone), Marky Ramone returns, four years after he was kicked out of the group.
In 1989, Dee Dee Ramone leaves the RAMONES. He is replaced by 23 year old Christopher Ward, an Ex-Marine, who plays his first show with the band September 30, 1989, in Leicester/ England. CJ is not only a great bass player and singer, he also is by far the most pretty Ramone the line-up has ever seen, even Julia Roberts had an eye on him. When the RAMONES played Wilmington/Delaware in 1990, the actress attended the show with her boyfriend Kiefer Sutherland, and - thanks to CJ's charming smile and colourful tattoos - almost left without him.
In the 90ies, the RAMONES were cited as a major influence by numerous bands - from SOUNDGARDEN, PEARL JAM or NIRVANA to GREEN DAY, RANCID and WHITE ZOMBIE. In Europe the band played to 3.000 people every night, in South America they played the biggest arenas and were treated like gods. After their 1995 album "Adios Amigos", the RAMONES played their farewell tours all over the world, including a sold out show at Obras in Buenos Aires /Argentina and the Lollapalooza tour in the US with METALLICA & SOUNDGARDEN.
On August 6, 1996, the RAMONES played their last ever show at the Palace in Los Angeles.
In addition to the trip through RAMONES history, RAMONES MUSEUM dedicates one chapter to each band member, including personal items, clothing, letters and other treasures such as one of Dee Dee Ramone's credit cards, Joey Ramone's gloves, wrecked mic stand, Walkman & Sound System, Marky Ramone's sneakers or CJ Ramone's bass & blood stained finger tape.
The RAMONES were a merchandise machine. Not only did they come up countless designs for new tour shirts, they were very inventive in terms of new income sources, meaning RAMONES products: Frisbees, socks, shorts, hats, pins, flags, posters, photos, guitar pics, drum sticks, and much more. Pretty much anything the band ever sold at their merch table is now part of the exhibition, including more than 50 different t-shirts from various tours, eras and countries.
The RAMONES MUSEUM is blessed with the support of key people in the RAMONES camp, legends in their own right. Our mentor Arturo Vega (R.I.P.), Monte A. Melnick, RAMONES tour manager and author of the great book "On The Road With The Ramones", Beverly Mulligan, Dee Dee Ramone's sister, his mom Tony and RAMONES bassist CJ Ramone. Also photographers like Roberta Bayley, Godlis and the great George DuBose. They all contributed key items to the museum, illustrating the visual aspect and logistics behind the RAMONES.
RAMONES MUSEUM owes alot to Danny Fields. The former RAMONES manager spent his 5 years with the band trying to break them into the mainstream and taking countless pictures in the studio, on the road, and in the hospital. He was kind enough to grant us access to his archives, and there's a selection of more than 100 Danny Fields photos on display in the museum. Many of these can also be seen in Danny's book "My Ramones".
In the early days of the RAMONES' career their label, Sire Records, tried hard to promote the band. In order to get them into magazines or on the air, their promotional office came up with clever little gifts to bribe journalists and radio programmers. Some of these items are now the most sought after RAMONES collectibles. Examples include all three versions of the 1976 miniature baseball bat that Sire had ordered from "Louisville Sluggers", the "Leave Home" letter opener, the "Rocket To Russia" cardboard standee, the "Road To Ruin" pin-boxes, and the miniature Tequila bottle from "Adios Amigos", including worm and shot glass.
We're always looking for RAMONES stuff we haven't seen before, so please send us your photo of your RAMONES memorabilia item and we'll post it here, along with your name and hometown!