The alcoholic drummer was the most normal guy in the band.
The Ramones are indeed one of the most revered rock bands in music history. The Ramones
are punk rock. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Grammy Lifetime Achievement winners. Twenty years since the end of the band, and they might be as influential as ever.
The Ramones, however, were not a group of individuals that were the most functional mentally, emotionally and socially.
Marky Ramone’s memoir, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg, features the drummer’s often-bemused ride along with rock’s most dysfunctional family. As the regular Joe in the room, he is often the voice of reason and provides arguably the most straightforward account of the band by anyone who was actually
in the band.
Born Marc Bell, Marky Ramone was in a number of bands prior to The Ramones – including Richard Hell and the Voidoids – and lived a quintessential punk-rock New-York-in-the-1970s existence.
The Ramones are the bulk of the book as Marky juggles Joey Ramone’s OCD tendencies, Johnny Ramone’s political diatribes, Dee Dee Ramone’s drug-fueled eccentricity, and Marky’s own alcoholism. Drop in a number of other wild characters – underground punk rockers and even Phil Spector – and Marky’s life is rife with anecdotes and tales to make anyone blush, squirm, and shake their head in disbelief.
Punk Rock Blitzkrieg never feels like a tacky tell-all. Marky Ramone is too much of a good Brooklyn kid to sink to those depths. He also clearly respects what he and his bandmates accomplished.
Instead, he is honest and authentic. The eye of the storm that was life on the road with The Ramones.