Steve Lewis, is the man responsible for introducing Marky and Andrew to each other. In his latest interview for BlackBook he talks about Andrew’s tour with Marky and the lasting power of the Ramones’ music.
Marky Ramone and I are old friends. There was a time when The Ramones were a huge part of my life. I was friends with Johnny, went on double dates with him, hung with Dee Dee and Joey and the insane entourage that surrounded them. I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, just a bike ride away from their Forest Hills roots. Johnny, Dee Dee and Joey have passed on. Chihuahua, Mexico born-Arturo Vega, the guy who did their stage production and designed all those T-shirts you all sport, passed just a minute ago. He was a dear friend. I named my best dog after him, a mean ass chihuahua who was unbelievably cool to people he liked. They got along.
Marky is from Brooklyn; he’s the drummer I know best as Tommy the original moved on to production around the first album. The Ramones were one of the greatest live Rock and Roll shows I have ever seen. They played thousands of gigs—from small town halls to arenas. They toured the world. They became synonymous with the little guy breaking big. They understood the street, the problems of youth and frustrations of common guy love. They related. Their fans were frenzied. They are no more. The closest thing to the Ramones you will ever see is Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg is a slashing set of Ramones tracks with only a requisite 1-2-3-4 between them. I’ve seen the band and it thrilled me, goosebumps and such. Now Marky has added the infamous Andrew W.K. as the lead singer. I cannot wait to see this.
This Saturday they will be at Irving Plaza (17 Irving Place at 7pm.) Tickets are available. I asked Marky to tell us about it.
You are touring with Andrew W. K. doing the “Joey spot”.. do you think of it like that? Is this a Ramones cover band or something else?
I wouldn’t say Andrew’s in Joey’s spot, Joey’s spot can never be filled. He was one of a kind. Andrew is great too, he brings a different thing to the songs and the live performance. I look at this band as the ultimate celebration of the best American punk band.
What has been the reaction to the act worldwide?
So far the reaction has been great. The most important thing is we’re playing music we love and we’re having a good time doing it.
You played with the band during most of the albums during the meat and potato years. You were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Ramone, yet in some Ramones-centric quarters you get grief…the infighting continues long after the dearly have departed. When’s the book coming out.
I’m actually working on the book now. All I can say is, it’s gonna be good.
Are you featuring new material or any Andrew material?
We’re doing Ramones material that Andrew and I decided on.