Coming from punk royalty like The Ramones, there isn’t a question Richie Ramone hasn’t been asked. Oh, except what size Keds he wears. And, the answer to that is 12. And, he has now matured to leather ones.
“Well you know, when you’re twenty you wear canvas and now I wear leather,” he said.
Of course, that stuff doesn’t really matter to Ramone because punk, in its truest form, is the antithesis of caring about what you wear, or what others think about you.
It does, however, provide a great analogy for sustaining a successful music career across the decades, as Ramone has done.
Richie Ramone is best known from his time as the most powerful drummer who ever played with the legendary punk band, The Ramones. He joined the band in 1983, performed in over 500 shows around the world and wrote several critically acclaimed and fan-favorite songs for the albums Animal Boy, Too Tough to Die and Halfway to Sanity.
As one of the only other people ever allowed to write for The Ramones, “[Richie] saved the band as far as I’m concerned,” punk rock icon, Joey Ramone reportedly said, “He’s the greatest thing to happen to the Ramones. He put the spirit back in the band.”
When Ramone was touring as a young punk in the ’80s, it was all about the show, staying out all night and finishing with a greasy feed of burgers.
Nowadays, it’s still all about the show, but being selective about when to stay out all night and finishing with a healthy serve of veg.
“You’ve got to look after yourself. There’s no other way to keep doin’ it night after night,” Ramone said.
One thing you can be sure of when Richie Ramone hits Aussie shores this month, he will be bringing the blistering back-beat he gave The Ramones and that high energy, in-your-face, F-You attitude we love about punk.
“I know what fans want,” Ramone said, “We’ll play the classics and a couple of new ones.”
The Ramones classics will undoubtedly include ‘I’m Not Jesus’, ‘I Know Better Now’, ‘Humankind’ and ‘Smash You’.
As for the new tracks, Ramone has been in the studio continually pushing the boundaries and direction of his music. Fans can expect more singing and more lyrical content, he told Tone Deaf. One new song he is most stoked to share is‘Cellophane’, a song about touring night after night.
As for the state of the current punk scene, Ramone said, “I dunno man. It’s all rock ’n’ roll to me, ya know?”
If you never saw the punk band that blew the minds of the Sex Pistols and The Clash, now is your chance. The man who saved The Ramones – Richie the ‘Too Tough to Die’ Ramone – is smashing his way through Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in 2016.
By Kylie Cobb