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Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone Hardcover – January 13, 2015
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“Marky and I are from the 70's; as a drummer from the 70's, he can show the new boys a beat or two! He's legend!!!” (Peter Criss of Kiss)
"Marky was an integral part of not one, but TWO of the most important bands in rock and roll. He saw everything from ground zero and lived to tell about it. Absolutely vital document!" (Anthony Bourdain)
“Marky's music and style defined the punk rock movement and has influenced countless artists, entertainers and designers. As a musician, he harnessed the energy of the 1970s counterculture into a truly new movement, one that resulted in a seismic shift in fashion, art and music. While playing in great groups like Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys, Dust, Estus, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and of course The Ramones he became known as one of the best drummers of our time, rivaling Keith Moon. I first saw him perform with Estus in 1973 in Horseheads, New York when they opened for B.B.King. It will forever be an amazing memory.” (Tommy Hilfiger)
"The Ramones are one of the three or four most influential American rock bands of all time, and their story, as related by surviving member Marky Ramone, is both entertaining and enlightening. So put on your old leather jacket, scream Gabba-Gabba-Hey at the top of your lungs, and dig in." (Stephen King)
About the Author
Born Marc Bell, Marky Ramone, a Brooklyn native, joined the Ramones in 1978. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 along with Johnny, Joe, Dee Dee, and Tommy, and has received both a Grammy and an MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit him online at MarkyRamone.com to keep up with all the latest.
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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.
Some of the other Ramones books currently out are good, maybe even nearly as good as this one. But if you read only one, this is the one to grab.