The RAMONES MUSEUM was born in summer 2005, when founder Flo Hayler moved in with his girlfriend and she said it's either her or the RAMONES:
The entry to the first RAMONES MUSEUM, 2005.
Basically, it was just a stupid idea to move 8 boxes of RAMONES memorabilia to some friends' basement two blocks down the road, throw some paint and a few dozen wooden frames on the walls and call the joke a "RAMONES MUSEUM".
Then again, some of those things on display were actually pretty cool: Johnny Ramone's stage worn jeans, one of Joey's stage worn gloves, sent to us by RAMONES long time tour manager Monte A. Melnick, a white Mosrite guitar that was lend to us by a friend named Rod Gonzàlez, some old RAMONES shirts and a poster from their last ever show in Buenos Aires.
RAMONES MUSEUM opened on September 15, 2005. It was open only on the weekends, and it was free of charge. There was an old guitar body hanging from a wall where people could throw in some coins, a donation box if you want to call it that. It was always empty, even though we had some busy weekends.
Two years after the opening we got kicked out. The landlord found someone else who was willing to pay 9 times as much for our beloved basement. I'm sure the new tenant had no idea about the mould waiting for him in the walls. We think he lastet 3 months.
Here's a few impressions from the old place. It makes us nostalgic looking at those images. We had NO idea that RAMONES MUSEUM could be something that would last more than a week.
In the summer of 2008 we found a new place in the Mitte district of Berlin. It was big enough to add some coffee place kind of thing, with drinks and snacks, just like a "real" museum Cafe. Prior to the opening on October 18, 2008, the Fifth Ramone, Arturo Vega, came to help us curate the exhibit. Without his expertise and vision the RAMONES MUSEUM as we know it would probably be a different place. Before he died in 2013, Arturo returned once a year to check on the RAMONES MUSEUM. He would constantly push us to change or move things around, encourage us to experiment and not hold on to things for too long. Just as he did with his own work. Arturo was a great friend, muse and inspiration, and we miss him dearly.
Once we had the exhibit up and running, we started working on the RAMONES MUSEUM cafe. It took us a long time to give this place some sort of aura, a unique feel that would make a difference to all the other coffee places that have not much else to offer than a bunch of old wooden chairs. So we came up with the idea of using it more like a bar that provides the drinks for the people that would attend live shows IN the RAMONES MUSEUM.
We got lucky. The museum area had a built in "stage", a wooden construction with a few steps.
During the day we would use it as a reading area with books and a bunch of roadcases to sit on, in the evenings we would put bands on there to play an acoustic set.
Soon after we had moved in, the first band performed at RAMONES MUSEUM:
Someone was smart enough to film the historic event, or at least one song:
Due to the fact that there were way too many people for a small place like the RAMONES MUSEUM, we moved a good part of the audience ON the stage and put the band in a corner further back, accompanied by the RAMONES MUSEUM Pinhead. This way everybody could not only hear, but see Matt Skiba and Derek Grant doing their thing.
The RAMONES MUSEUM Wall Of Fame, ca. 2010.
The ALKALINE TRIO gig launched the RAMONES MUSEUM as the city's No. 1 place for acoustic live shows. In the years to come we had hundreds of bands perform at RAMONES MUSEUM. Some of them you can see in our Guest section, some of the performances you can see on YouTube.
Most of the bands (and some other groups who visited or spent the day at RAMONES MUSEUM doing interviews) signed our "Wall Of Fame" that you can see in the background of this website. The thing is so cool, it has the signatures from Dee Dee's mom & sister and even Milo Aukerman on it!
Here's a few images from the second incarnation of RAMONES MUSEUM, located at Krausnickstr. 23, that lastet from 2008 until 2017! The pictures mainly document the very early stages of the then "new" location. The place developed so much over the years that we did not find the time to document all the changes, for the exhibit as well as the cafe area. We spent many hours and many nights in the museum, trying to find the right spot for each individual item. In the beginning, RAMONES MUSEUM did not have the trademarks it later developed, e.g. the RMCM awning, the wooden walls, and various TV screens.
We left Krausnickstr. 23 in March 2017 because we found a more beautiful location in a much nicer, more familiar part of town: our old stomping ground Kreuzberg. Just like the places before, it is and will always be a work in progress.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, like anyone else in the world, we had no idea what's gonna happen in the near or far future. We started renovating RAMONES MUSEUM in April 2020, only to find out that the rest of the year we lost 90% of our business. Not knowing what the future will bring and with another 3-4 months of lockdown ahead, we decided to take a break and wait the virus out, rather than going bankrupt HOPING that things would soon be better. Things were looking grim, but they're looking good again, so keep your fingers crossed for a new RAMONES MUSEUM in 2023. Thanks for sticking around!