Friday on My Mind: Joey Ramone!

The Morning Show w/ John Richards
John Richards
Joey Ramone, St.Marks Place NYC 1981

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind, our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News. This upcoming Monday April 15th will mark the anniversary of Joey Ramone’s passing so today we’re looking at our favorite Ramones’ videos. On May 19, 1951, Jeffry Ross Hyman was born and raised in an area of Queens, New York called Forest Hills. During his teens, he attended Forest Hills High School which is where he met and became friends with his future Ramones band mates, John Cummings, Tommy Erdelyi, and Douglas Colvin. In 1974, the friends formed The Ramones and each adopted a new name using Ramone as their last name. They wore torn up jeans and black leather jackets as their own modern punk take on the 50’s greaser. The band performed their very first live show on March 30, 1974 at Performance Studios in New York City. Originally Joey just played drums for the band while the bassist, Dee Dee took care of the lead vocals. They quickly gained popularity and played many shows from the onset. Dee Dee’s vocal chords were unable to take the strain of the constant performances, and so Joey took on lead vocal duties, and remained the Ramones’ frontman for over two decades.

By the end of the summer of 1974, the band earned a sizable fan following and a regular residency at the legendary CBGB’s. With the Ramones, Joey was an icon of the 70’s punk movement. During their career as a band, they released a whopping total of 14 studio albums, and despite their sizable creative output and fanbase, the band felt they never achieved the status of stardom that they hoped and they called it a day in 1996. The year before in 1995, Joey was diagnosed with lymphoma and given given three to six months to live. He fought the diagnosis, and continued to live beyond those months and on through another six years. The lymphoma finally claimed Joey’s life on Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001. He was 49 years old. Since his passing, two posthumous solo albums have been released. Don’t Worry About Me was released in 2002 and collected a bunch of songs that he had recorded in the studio, but had not seen the light of day. In 2012, Ya Know?, a compilation of unreleased Joey demos was completed and released. In his honor, a block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place on November 30, 2003.

And now here are a few favorite Ramones videos in celebration of Joey’s life...

“I Wanna Be Sedated” “I Wanna Be Sedated” was released on the Ramones' fourth album Road to Ruin in September 21, 1978. The video was directed by Bill Fishman, and was released ten years later after the album release in September of 1988 in promotion of the compilation album Ramones Mania. One of the characters featured in this video is a young Courtney Love. “Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?” Off of the album End of the Century which was released on February 4, 1980 and was produced by the one and only Phil Spector. As legend has it, they say that at one point Spector held the whole band hostage by gunpoint. “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” From July 18, 1995, this is the Ramones’ cover of the Tom Waits’ song “I Don’t Want to Grow Up”. This song was featured on the final Ramones’ album ¡Adios Amigos! “Psycho Therapy” “Psycho Therapy” is from the album Subterranean Jungle, which was released February 28, 1983. Joey Ramone – “New York City” The official video from this single off of the posthumous 2012 album Ya Know?. The video is a stop motion film using 1600 photographs taken throughout New York City. There are over 100 participants in this video. Tommy Ramone, Anthony Bourdain, Matt & Kim, Andrew WK, Reggie Watts, members of Les Savy Fav, The Drums, and Joey Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh are all included in the video. Joey Ramone - “Rock ’n Roll Is the Answer” Also from the album Ya Know?. This video was shot by Joey himself. Later edited by his friends, and contains lots of cool old Joey Ramone footage. "Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)"Official video. Was on the album Brain Drain, and released March 23, 1989. “Blitzkrieg Bop” (Official Loco Live)“Blitzkrieg Bop” was on the album Ramones released on April 23, 1976. The song was # 92 on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Rockaway Beach”Live version of “Rockaway Beach” on Musikladen Extra in 1978. Musikladen was a West German show that ran from December 13, 1972 till November 29, 1984. The song was written by Dee Dee Ramone, and is about a place he liked to hang out at called Rockaway Beach, Queens. “Rockaway Beach” was released on the album Rocket to Russia November 4, 1977.

“Pinhead”Pretty sure this is from the same episode of Musikladen as the “Rockaway Beach”. Pretty lively version. This song was inspired by the 1932 film Freaks. Was released on the album Leave Home on January 10, 1977. “Spider-Man”There are two videos for “Spider-Man, and I think this one is the better one. Not all animated, and has some very short video clips that make it funny. Was a hidden track on the Ramones last album, ¡Adios Amigos!. Was also released on Saturday Morning: Cartoon’s Greatest Hits.

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