Let me begin this by saying that I am extremely surprised by this book that I casually bought. It brought me to tears at the end, (I'm a male in my 50's, ex-Marine) and gave me a penetrating glimpse into my adolescence, but first a little history. My youth was spent in and around N.Y.C., either as a privileged kid in a North Jersey suburb, or at a place we had in the city. I revolted against my upbringing all throughout my school years, and found a source of intense excitement with this new band, The Ramones. We're talking 76' here, I picked up on Leave Home. First one went by me. I was 12 years old then. Anyway, I soon became a nut for the Ramones, and would see them everywhere I could. N.J., The city, Queens, Long Island. I would go see Dee Dee at comic book conventions and just the weirdest places. I would ever so often see Johnny on the Subway, he was always dressed just like he was onstage, the jacket,.... everything. I would always go up to him and say, "Johnny, I'm a huge fan and I just wanted to say that you are the God of Thunder. Only you are able to do this. You rule." I would smile and he would give me a serious look and reply, "Thanks a lot.... that really means a lot to me. That's the kind of thing that keeps me going!" Then he'd smile. I lost touch with the Ramones after Road to Ruin, I tried, but there was endless better music out there. When Joey died I was pretty emotional because he was the sweetheart of the band. But Joey told a rather 1 dimensional picture of Johnny that this autobiography clarifies completely. I cried when I got to the end of the book because I realized what an incredible person he was. Amazing ethics and standards. Sure, a lot of imperfections, but what resonates with me is the integrity. I realized that I was looking for the very things he believed in. Linda, If you're reading this, my deepest condolences for his moving on. I had a powerful intuition as a kid that this dude was something very special, besides the greatest chopper/dragster joyride slice of exhilaration in music we will ever hear. If you can hear me up there Johnny, I will always carry you in my heart, you live on in me. Peace.
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