Before his concert at the Locanda Atlantide in Rome (May 5, 2015) , Rock Rebel Magazine reached Richie Ramone for a brief but substantial interview in which he revealed us many of its new projects, including a tv mini series about his life and the Ramones.
Interview and photos by Amelia Tomasicchio
RRM: Entitled was published in 2013, so at the moment are you writing new stuff?
Yes, absolutely. We’re going to do it. Right now we’ve been touring since March so we’re going to start recording at the end of the year. I want to do another record. I’ve a lot of ideas, some good stuff. I don’t have a title yet.
RRM: Marky has just published his autobiography, have you ever thought to write your own memories?
No, ‘cause I don’t have an end yet (laughs). Maybe at the end I will do something, but… No, I don’t want to do it. I’m not interested now. Everybody did the book. I am different.
I want to do a mini series, a tv mini series about my life and my five years with the Ramones. I want to do the whole thing. I’m actually talking with somebody now about that on HBO, so we’ll see what happen.
RRM: Do you have some other new projects in the pipeline?
Well, we’re going to recordi the album and doing the tv mini series… Also I’m working with a band from the Sixties called The Standout. I love their dirty sound and I’m doing an EP with their guitar player right now. We’re just finished recording tracks, so it will be out very soon. So I’m doing some side projects and stuff.
RRM: Do you think it still makes sense today talking about punk?
What is punk really? I mean… punk is still just rock n’ roll. Punk is about being real, being true to yourself and it’s just what I do. I’m just being me. And that’s what I thing true punk is. You can call it punk, you can call it rock n’ roll, it’s just the same. It’s harder now. The radio don’t play rock n’ roll anymore - in the States, maybe here it’s better, I don’t know the situation in Italy. It’s all about pop, hip-hop and everything, so you don’t get any attention and it’s harder for kids to come out and I know they still want to come out…
RRM: What do you remember about the Velveteen period?
Ah, you know them? It’s kind of my first original band when I was a baby. It was a good band. I was in that band in 1969 and it was my introduction. What I remember? Nothing (laughs). It was just a good band but it’s stopped.
RRM: How did you manage to enter in the Ramones?
There was a band called The Shirts with Annie Golden that have a big house in Brooklyn, in New York, and I was just hanging out there and the roodie said that Ramones was going in every city audictioning drummers all over the country. I didn’t know any about The Ramones and I said “Ok give them my name”. And then I got a phone call and the rest is history. So being in the right place at the right time allowed me to be a part of the history. Maybe if I wasn’t there it never happened, so it’s funny how it works. I have been very lucky. Now I’m not so lucky (laughs). No, I’m lucky. I’m still healthy and able to do this.