If ever there was a convenient time for the families of the four original and deceased members of The Ramones to put aside their feuds over the band’s properties and subsequent royalties, the 40th anniversary of the debut LP is it. Perhaps Tommy Ramone’s passing in July was the catalyst for a change of minds and hearts, or maybe it was this past Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the celebration of Johnny Ramone’s birthday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which featured live performances from Rob Zombie and Steve Jones. In fact, this celebration was so emotional and poignant that it had a special VIP section, where people could honor Johnny’s legacy without having to rub elbows with mourning nobodies.
Hell, it could just be the realization that nostalgia means CA$$$H and Ramones fans would go crazy over star-studded celebrations and tributes. Whatever the reason, the 40th anniversary of the achievements of punk icons Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone is set to be gabba gabba highlighted by a biopic directed by Martin Scorsese.
According to Billboard, the core of the dispute was between Johnny’s wife Linda and Joey’s brother Mickey, as their bitterness toward each other led to years of silence. But again, convenience is, if anything, a spectacular Band-Aid, and now all of that hatred and contempt is just water under the bridge.
“It’s always been about the entire band expect I had Johnny’s half and Joey’s brother Mickey had Joey’s half. And since we weren’t speaking he did more Joey and I did more Johnny,” Linda says. “We can move on now and do Ramones cause me and Mickey now are friends, so that’s cool. I was happy he came last night.”
Linda jokes, “As we say everyday now, ‘We’re all one big happy family.’” But that is important for her, as the recent tragic passing of Tommy Ramone makes it even more pressing the band’s music be preserved and celebrated.
“With Tommy up there now with them it even feels more like, ‘Wow, they are all gone,’” she says. “I spoke to Tommy every week and the legacy was really important to him too.” (Via Billboard)
Jeff Jampol is now a co-manager of the band’s estate and the driving force behind this huge idea to make 2016 the year of The Ramones, as it will include a book, play, documentary, more remastered music than you can throw a broken guitar neck at, and the aforementioned Scorsese biopic. But it’s very important to remember that this is a celebration of the band and its music, and absolutely not a huge way to cash in on every last idea imaginable.
“You’re gonna see some really interesting combinations of music and new music and remastered music and apparel,” Jampol says. “As far as the apparel goes, and really everything, as a company, for me, authenticity is the foundation of everything. And luckily, when you have a really genius artist like the Ramones you don’t have to spin it. It is what it is and what it is is a beautiful moment in time that sparked a revolution in music and in fashion. So you look at 76 when the Ramones first album came out, and that really sparked that brand new wave of what I call the American rock and roll wardrobe, which is jeans, white t-shirt, leather jacket and sneakers.”
I, for one, welcome our new $300 pairs of Converse All-Stars and Hot Topic’s 200% price increase on the Ramones t-shirts that it already has in stock in every suburban mall in America. As for that biopic, though, it’s very easy to trust a guy like Scorsese when it comes to casting, but if he casts Leonardo DiCaprio as Joey, we riot.