The always cool
Marky Ramone took a few minutes out of his busy day to give
Toxic Teddie's inventor JFX an exclusive interview in his Brooklyn
Marky, the first question I have is ; you have been all over the
here you are in good old Brooklyn, USA. What is it about Brooklyn? How come
haven’t gone all “Joe Hollywood”?
Marky: I’m just not into that. I’m not into the whole rockstar
thing. I’ve lived
here all my life. The Ramones are a New York band, all of my friends are here,
relatives and family. I don’t have to impress anybody, you know? I’m
not out to be
like some rich rockstar, showing off. I like my friends and the people in my
to be regular people.
JFX: So you don’t go for the Hollywood stuff?
Marky: I’m just not into the glitz. I’d rather
hang out with a guy I can build a
car with then hang out with a guy who’s going to go to a club and
show off and say
he’s some kind of rockstar or something. You know, I don’t
want to hear about his
money, cars, mansion, his girlfriends or the drugs he takes because I don’t
shit. I find my friends who are not in the business a lot cooler.
JFX: That’s pretty cool, man. So what do you do on a normal day? Just
day, do you cook or anything like that?
Marky: No, no, I like to eat (laughs), it’s one of my only vices. And
songs for my new radio show on Serious Satellite Radio, my own show on
Channel 28, Tuesday nights at eight o’clock. Then I’ll play the
drums for about an
hour. Then maybe I’ll go out somewhere to eat at night with a friend
or my wife.
I’ve been married for 22 years. Then I don’t know, I might buy
an old car and fix
it up from scratch with a friend of mine out in the Bronx. He has a semi
a lift in it there and we like to tear cars apart and rebuild them.
JFX: You do body work and all that stuff?
Marky: Yeah, everything. Everything and anything. So that’s what I enjoy
things like that. When I’m not doing music I like to work on cars and
do you know,
JFX: Could you tell me about you radio show? How
did it come
to be? How did you become a DJ, what gave you the idea and initiative?
Marky: Tony Hawk, a famous skateboarder asked me to come to his
show to do an
interview with him.
JFX: He has a show in New York?
Marky: He has a show on Sirius Radio too. He heard me on the
Howard Stern Show a
few times and he said “ya know, you can really talk”, well yeah
of course I can
talk. So he had me on his show, he’s a great guy. They liked me on his
they asked me if maybe I could possibly put a show together.
I asked of what?
(laughs). You know, I play the drums, I do the Ramones productions
and stuff like
that. Also I’m writing my book, so I had to ask myself if I had time
to so this and
think it over very seriously because it takes a lot of commitment.
So I said yes. I
wouldn’t have said yes if I couldn’t do it. You’ve
got to pick out a play list each
week. You’ve got to know when your breaks are going to be.
got to check
emails and voicemails and then you have to go live. Eventually
I can tape. Say I
want to do some shows in LA or South America or Japan for two
or three weeks, I can
tape the shows and play them on the radio station.
JFX: And then you go out on tour.
Marky: Yeah and then I come back and I do the
radio shows live again. As long as I do more
live shows than taped shows, I'm happy. The first four I just did,
and this is October 26th,
so the show is brand new. I’ve done four shows and the response
has been overwhelming.
It’s hard to get to all of the voicemails at the radio station because
so many and when you get there you have to be pumped up
to go on. So what they’re
going to do is break the voicemails and the emails down
so they can send them back to me here to make things a
lot easier. I play lots of punk rock. I believe that there were
lot of bands coming up that deserved to be played and they
hard, spent all their money recording and then they got
JFX: Any in particular that were your favorite?
Marky: Well, you know when the Ramones came out we didn’t even get played.
we’re played in stadiums, I Wanna Be Sedated, Blitzkrieg Bop, you know
, all that
stuff. Then there’s bands like The Heartbreakers, my friends who I still
Dolls with David Johansen, who deserved more credit
and should have been played more
when they came out. Just bands that I feel deserve
to be heard, whether it’s
cable radio like Sirius, or anywhere really. There’s just
so much crap out there
now it’s all just a copy of a copy of a copy. There’s
really no substance anymore.
.When you look at bands like the Dolls or the Ramones, The Clash
or The Pistols, there’s no one like them. They’re the
real deal. Green Day’s great, Rancid’s
great, so you’ve got the newer punk
bands holding up the mantle, which is good.
JFX: Do you listen to Social Distortion?
Marky: Yeah, they’re great too. I played them last night. You know, bands
from California, Bad Religion, The Germs, Fear,
Blondie, Talking Heads. There’s
lot of things people did on their own too. So that’s what I’m going
dedicating my two hour show to.
JFX: Awesome, I’m
going to have to get Sirius Radio.
Marky: That’s the way to go. I mean once you get it, that’s it
because you don’t
want to hear commercials for five to eight minutes
anymore and you pick your own
songs. I have a pretty good idea of the punk
rock scene, I’ve been in
it since ‘74
when it started in New York at CBGBs. So I
kind of have a pretty good touch on it.
JFX: After the huge success of the Ramones
Raw do you plan on doing a sequel or a
special edition with some of the excluded
material such as the Jerry Lewis telethon
performance for example?
Marky: I could do another Raw , I have enough
material, but will it be as good as the first one,
because that’s the cream of the crop. Some things, like the telethon,
used for commercial use. But I think the
show from Italy was great. I think out
the three hours of footage, visually it’s a five hour DVD if you put
it all together
with the commentary from me and Johnny
Ramone talking over it. I think there’s
much stuff in there that it’s really enough, that’s it. Plus the
End Of The Century
was a little depressing. It was a documentary
more from the directors point of view
of what he thought and what he gathered.
The Ramones were fun, I really enjoyed
being a part of it and sure, there were
a lot of crazy bad times but that’s
Life hits you with a lot of curves so you
have your problems. You deal with them.
I had to leave the band or, well, get thrown
out for three and a half years because
I was drinking too much. Dee Dee was doing
too much dope and drinking, Joey was doing
too much coke and drinking too much. A lot of that shit effects
At the end I straightened out, I came back
a second time to the Ramones. But
that’s what End of the Century was about, the darker side.
Raw was the lighter,
funnier side. We tried to throw a lot of
funny stuff in there.
JFX: You guys looked like you were having
a lot of fun.
Marky: We were, most times, like anything
else ; I know a lot of guys, even
construction workers who don’t get along and some do. I know cops who
along with each other but some do.
JFX: When you’re with someone twenty
four hours a day you might get a little
tired of them.
Marky: You know what that’s called? Office politics! But when we played
what was most important and we
left all the bullshit off the stage.
JFX: I’ve seen you guys about fifteen times and it was awesome every
Marky: You saw us with Dee Dee?
JFX: I saw you with Dee Dee too.
I think the first show I saw
Marky: Yeah, and Dee Dee left
in ‘89 when he was forming that Dee Dee
There are some good songs
on that album.
JFX: Are there? I never heard
Marky: Yeah, there are.
We should have used some
for the Ramones
albums. But he contributed
out of the band while
he was a writer
an element of Dee Dee
in the band even when
JFX: Now I know you have
your own band and you
wondering if you ever
like you did with
Dee with the Remains,
maybe with CJ and someone
Daniel Ray or something
just as a thought to
Marky: CJ has kids,
I don’t think he can tour. He’s a family man
now, which is
cool. Daniel is a
producer, he’s not really a touring kind of guy. I
have a band
with three guys that
love to tour, love
to play and
they’re able to.
We do Ramones
songs. I get emails
from 16 and 17 years
out and do
Ramones songs. When
the band retired
in ‘96 it wasn’t what I wanted
to do. I
wanted to do my own
stuff but then I
Ramones, that’s a
pretty heavy menu.
The kids just really
I mean, how far can
A lead singer or
guitar player yeah,
that’s different, but I don’t
sing, I play
drums. So I figured
what am I known for
what do the
playing Ramones songs
and being one of
So I got
a band together
some guys, they’re not rock star types, they’re not into the ego
shit. They’re from
Cleveland, Ohio, near
the Rock and Roll
Ramones, very dedicated.
We’re going to play in LA on the 29th with Suicidal
and the new Germs.
as East Coast
we’re going to start playing around and the beauty
of it is
that it’s when I want to not because I have to. That’s the difference,
have to tour anymore
but when I want to
itch, I will.
JFX: When you can’t sit still?
Marky: When you
sit still you
die. That’s the truth. I went on vacation
place to get
away but then
nothing to do.
so I said
the fuck am I
doing here? I
just let me
JFX: I’m like that too. After three days I’m done, I want to go
home. So I see
that you’re a collector, you love collecting.
I’ve got 300 robots, these are just some of them. The other
Here’s the Hall of Fame statue, the
and here’s the original Robby the Robot from 1954. And
these are the replicas, they’re
and get a
that’s the outside
JFX: That’s the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge, very nice.
I can see why
a hand made
they’re cute, kids will love them. When I was
about nine or
that’s pretty cool.
series of the
spirit of the
Marky: I think
they aren’t around to see this. But knowing them for the
It’s unfortunate that
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t
Whether it’s a song that comes on or I see a picture, there’s
we’re going to just keep at it. We have Ramones leather jackets coming
They’re beautiful, I saw one yesterday. Nice leather, great quality.
JFX: During your
say “wow, we’ve made it”?
Marky: (Laughs) Yeah,
when you’re starting out but if you only
you’re going to die. You’ve got to move onto bigger
places to get
that’s when I knew we had arrived.
JFX: Speaking of
Marky: They say
: “Hey Marky, how ya doing, let me take a photo with
you”. I don’t
what’s the big fucking deal? You’ve got these guys that don’t
want to do it
I’m not going to name names, but the guy was
a rock star
don’t give a fuck who
he was. But
think it’s wrong to come off like you think you’re better than
JFX I heard
there’s going to be a bio like one of those VH1 movies,
know if it’s
it’s about the story of the Ramones played with actors.
Marky: Well, there was
interest from a producer in Hollywood who’s well
known and I
going to wait
for my book
to come out.
That way he
can pool everything
Because he’s a great writer, there’s
JFX: How long
Marky: Two years.
going to be
why he has
to talk to
me and Tommy.
Tommy to talk
talk about ‘78
on. But knowing
JFX: Very good,
I’m really looking forward to that. I don’t
want to take
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