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Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone Kindle Edition
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|Length: 417 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
Like a lot of fans, I've read em all- Johnny Ramone's book, Dee Dee's, Mickey Leigh's, Monte Melnick's, and several other general bio books of the band. That on top of watching the End of Century and Raw documentary DVDs, left me wondering what other stories could be left.
Well, this book proves that there are plenty more great stories about the Ramones, and Marky Ramone's got em. All the anecdotes in this book are either totally new to me, or offer new details on well-told tales. For example, Marky's account of the Phil Spector sessions adds a whole different perspective from any other version.
In short, full of stuff you probably haven't read before, even if you're a hardcore Ramones fan.
By reading "Blitzkrieg" I learned more about being in a punk band and how the music is played than I thought I would. The book offers a musician's view, explaining Johnny's guitar style, how Dee Dee approached the base, and how these techniques were critical to the sound.
The book is clearly written by a guy from Brooklyn. It has attitude, it has chutzpah. It sometimes comes off as a string of somewhat unrelated memorable incidents, without the continuity one comes to expect from an autobiography. But read with an eye on who the author is, and taken at face value, it's an entertaining and good read. I came away feeling like I knew more about the Ramones, and certainly about who Marky is. And he's quite a guy. I'd love to buy him a seltzer some time!
Bell's honesty and sense of humor compliments a passionate and emotional recounting of his life and work.
The Ramones were as dysfunctional as could be, highlighted by a chilly relationship between Johnny and Joey. Dee Dee, for his part, was a hugely creative force despite his rabid drug addiction. The band was a study in contrasting personalities, all sewn up in their famous van, a symbol of the stripped-down, economical, disciplined schedule put forth by Johnny, who took charge of the band's internal affairs.
So many great inside stories here: Joey's strange scar; Johnny stealing Joey's girl, who he later married; Dee Dee's wild times; the filming of "Rock and Roll High School"; visiting the Berlin Wall and a tough incident with German locals; the Phil Spector affair. Too many to name, so much good humor from Marky, with an excellent co-writer in Rich Herschlag, who deserves a ton of credit for pulling this all together. The book is meaty at 388 pages yet moves at a blistering pace.
Impressively, Marky is very candid about his struggle with alcoholism, which contributed mightily from his being asked to leave the band in the 1980s. He returned for the final years of the Ramones' run, sober and carrying the message of recovery to Joey and Dee Dee, both receptive to some degree. Marky's account of his alcoholism is so candid it's worth the price of admission alone. Indeed, this section of the book would be good enough for inclusion in the famous "Big Blue Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization Marky credits for his 30-plus years of sobriety.
A brilliant, clear-headed account of the history and relationships amongst the Ramones, this is a deeply introspective book that deserves a wide audience.
If you're a musician, you'll love his descriptions of the evolution of his drum sets, technique, etc.
Being from Brooklyn, I'm getting a kick out of the whole story so far. Brings back memories...
Someone mentioned pics of the Ramones...I know other authors have run into the same legal issues...getting permission to copyrighted pictures is often a big fat headache and sometimes impossible. Personally, I like the pictures he put in, with his wife and other celebs.
If you're a Ramones fan..what's not to like? Thoroughly enjoying it so far.
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