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I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Punk Rock Family Memoir Paperback – Bargain Price, November 9, 2010
A Little Thing Called Life
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Top Customer Reviews
One reason why I enjoy reading biographies of musicians is to get insight into the musician in their formative years, to find out what it is that inspired them. That is the second reason I decided to read this book. I figured Joey Ramone's brother could provide unique insight into what made Joey Ramone and the Ramones who they were. Again, here he did not disappoint. In fact, I would argue that the strongest part of this book are the scenes of Joey and Mickey (their names were actually Jeffrey and Mitchell Hyman then) growing up in the Forest Hills area of Queens.Read more ›
Mitch captures that atmosphere well in the first half of the book but seems to lose touch with the realities of it as his story progresses. I was both eager and a bit fearful as I approached this book because I didn't know Mickey's motives. I watched Richard Carpenter, for example, spend years trying to make a buck off of his sister Karen's death - even going so far as to change up lyrics and sing songs like, "She'd only just begun.... to live." I hoped that Mickey hadn't started down that sickening path.
The good news is that for the most part, he never gives the reader a sense that this is an attempt to bankroll his brother's notoriety. The bad news is that he does waste a lot of time trying to rewrite history in order to paint himself in a better light - at the expense of Joey's (Jeff's) reputation.
I saw the Ramones a number of times and in fact was backstage (if you could call the open area a "backstage" at all) at the show he mentions at Frolics up in Salisbury, Mass. The tension between Johnny and Joey was obvious and their respective entourages quickly seperated into camps on opposite sides of the room. The problem with this book is that while it is very detailed and honest about some aspects of the band, there are huge gaps and outright falsehoods as well.
The first half of the book does a great job in describing how the core band came together.Read more ›
More than that though, it introduced me to a person I never knew - Jeff Hyman. I was a pool of tears at the end of the book, which concludes with Joey Ramone's passing. By this point though, I was no longer thinking of him as "Joey Ramone", but as Jeff - a man who suffered from birth to death with one ailment or another, of one type or another, whether it be physical, emotional or mental.
After reading the book, I almost felt dirty thinking of him as anything other than Jeff. I still love the Ramone's for their music and what they did historically in music, but my heart breaks for the man who was Jeff Hyman. I just wanted to make his hurting stop and make all the pain go away.
Mickey, thank you for introducing us to your brother and your family. I'll never look at "Joey" the same way again.
I've been lucky enough to cross paths with the Ramones many times in my journalistic career. I've interviewed Joey, Johnny, and Marky for outlets I've worked for including Performance Magazine, Amusement Business Magazine, and, Marky for The Crowgrrl's Perch. I did a story on the first Joey Ramone Birthday Bash for Amusement Business in 2001. And I was at the show at the Bayou in Washington, DC, that was mentioned in the book - the Ramones opened for Blue Oyster Cult...BOC have been like brothers to me since my radio days when I first got into this industry, and they were the ones who introduced me to the raw brilliance of the Ramones!
So, of course, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the book I Slept With Joey Ramone written by the person who probably knew Joey best - his younger brother Mickey Leigh (along with the brothers' long time friend Legs McNeil.) (Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster) And I was NOT disappointed! Mickey bares his soul to give us the clearest portrait ever of this great musical icon!
This dynamic book is an intimate look at the triumphs and tragedies that defined the lives of both brothers. In reality, this is actually Mickey's biography although his brother plays a huge part in it. But it does show how Joey ultimately triumphed over overwhelming obstacles to become an icon that defined the Punk genre of music. It's an incredibly inspiring story!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mickey Leigh probably wrote all the reviews with the positive feedbacks. Mickey seems like a lame and Joey a great guy who had to deal with that twerp.Published 7 months ago by sergei vanderwiel
Although I was surprised it was a library book, am enjoying the read! I mean, what is there not to like about The Ramones? Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jillian
Warning: after this read you might love The Ramones less... Johnny comes off the worst. Very interesting insight into Joey's youth and the formation of the band. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gary Tanenbaum
So much bitching and whing from reviewers... I can tell you first hand that there is nothing out of line in Mitch's account. Read morePublished 15 months ago by larrys
Loved this book from start to finish! Detailed, poignant, engaging, and clearly 100% brutally honest, even when it ain't pretty - which is quite a bit. Read morePublished 16 months ago by nygal
I bought this book for a young person I'm mentoring. I had to cover up the title of the book because it made me uncomfortable to give such a book. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Paula
If you're a Joey Ramone fan you really need to read this book. It is such a wonderful thing that Mickey has shared their story. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Maria Gallagher