Share This



"Joey Ramone, as far as I was concerned, was one of nature's gentlemen. Although we only hung together sporadically over the years when our schedules coincided, I always felt I knew him pretty well. I think that was one of his clever things. I think everyone who met him felt that. I hope wherever he went they have a jukebox with all his favorite singles and albums on it and an inexhaustible supply of quarters."

Lemmy Kilmister


"The Ramones changed the sound of punk rock in the UK. Everybody tripled speed the day after that first album came out."

Tony James and Mick Jones


Joey Ramone (click to enlarge)

“Joey was a close friend and a collaborator. He enjoyed working on PUNK magazine with me as much as anyone did, contributing ideas, artwork and more throughout its run. For instance, he was the first to tell me about the Dead Boys and set up our interview with Iggy Pop. He even tried writing a music/gossip column when I published STOP! magazine in the mid-1980s, which he used to tell people about the bands, musicians and people he enjoyed. He was one of the few New Yorkers who understood what we were trying to do with PUNK. It seemed like most CBGB bands wanted to avoid the term (even some of his fellow Ramones), but he embraced it. He understood that the punk/CBGB thing was a scene, and the concept of scene as community, so he was generous in spreading the wealth and trying to help other people become successful. Joey was the most passionate fan of rock 'n' roll in all of its forms - not just the music but also radio, magazines, fashion, art, and performance.”

John Holmstrom
Founder of PUNK magazine


“In 1994 I was in Tokyo when the Ramones and Bob Dylan were there and I got tickets for Joey to go to Bob's show. I think it was the first time he saw Dylan. We went with another friend of ours, Sheena of Sheena & the Rokkets who had opened shows for the Ramones. After the show we went backstage to say hello to Bob's bass player Tony Garnier, who I had gotten the passes from, when Bob Dylan himself walked in. He glanced around the room, passing over the Japanese record company guys, me and Sheena and walked up to Joey and said hello. Joey was surprised but Dylan seemed very glad to meet him. Joey gave him a copy of the Ramones new CD and they had a nice chat.

It was cool that Joey stayed in his apartment on 9th street, even when he could afford to move into something bigger and better. Many people used to see him walking around the neighborhood on 3rd Ave and would wave and say hello. Joey was always gracious and waved back. As Lenny Kaye pointed out one time, "Joey Ramone gave to the world with love, so the world loves Joey."

Joey Ramone (click to enlarge)

Bob Gruen


Jello Biafra


“Seeing the Ramones play in Colorado in the late 1970s was THE catalyst for me as a musician and artist. To this day, Ministry sets reflect the Ramones’ 1-2-3-4 no-nonsense, no dawdling approach to our live performance. That show in Colorado is what kicked me in the ass to get going and start making music. Thanks Joey! You fucking rule!”

Al Jourgensen


“I didn’t know Joey until later. He was a sweetheart. Always super nice to me. I heard him say to someone once, “Oh I like Jayne, she’s fun!“ He always sort of reminded me of Patti! And I once tried to spread the rumor that Joey Ramone and Patti Smith were the same person! I once embarrassed Joey by accident. I would forget sometimes that my sense of humor was a bit much for people. I once made a joke to Joey about the song “Swallow My Pride”. I, in my twisted mind, actually did think the song was supposed to be dirty! “Swallow My PRIDE!” And when I mentioned it to Joey he just gave me one of those “Is she for real?” looks. Then it dawned on me that the song wasn’t dirty at all! Just my dirty mind!”

Jayne County


“Joey is true punk. He’s one of the ultimate icons. Who else could go out singing, “What a Wonderful World”? He died not a drunk, not a junkie. He died giving, not taking. He took that spirit with him. Joey still stands. Don’t worry about me? That’s a beautiful soul. And he covered the master - Iggy Pop - on his last album. That’s another icon living the truth.

I’ll never forget wandering through Joey’s apartment, looking out through Joey’s bedroom windows, and seeing what he saw everyday - New York. Joey’s a New York, American hero. He’s the survivor of all survivors. He died a man. A true man. Punk rock all the way to the end. And there’s a street named after him! How hot is that?

The last time I saw Joey was with his mom. They came in to buy those Trash and Vaudeville jeans. And when she couldn’t buy them for Joey, she bought them for Mickey!”

Jimmy Webb
Trash and Vaudeville

Joey Ramone (click to enlarge)


"One night in the mid seventies after we closed CBGB, one of many nights we all came to the loft, Joey was feeling inspired and wanted to record an idea for a song he had in his mind. So he picked up his acoustic guitar with two strings and started strumming. As far as I could tell, I didn't think he was getting what he wanted. I thought he wasn't getting anything period but after about 40 minutes he had a big smile in his face and said he was ready to record. He had an old (it was already old back then) reel to reel tape recorder that was missing so many parts it didn't look like anything, and he was using a pair of big clunky pliers trying to make the thing to work. After I paid attention to what he was doing I realized it was almost impossible to make the damned thing work and told him so, but he insisted he could make it work if only.... So he kept trying and he kept repeating, ‘it has to work, it has to work’ and the way he was saying it was like he knew something, that somehow it was going to get this machine going and to my surprise it did. It started moving and he started to record then he looked at me and said, ’see I knew it.’ So I asked ‘how did you know?’ And he said, ‘Oh, I don't know. I just trust rock n' roll.’”

Arturo Vega
Ramones art director


“I'm known for wearing a Vietnamese Cooly Hat all the time. Joey came to see me play guitar in Trigger's All Stars playing Ramones covers at my club. When he showed up with his best friend, Chris from the band The Independents, they were both wearing Cooly Hats as a tribute to me! Loved the guy. A great friend and he, along with Dee Dee, Marky, Iggy Pop, Murphy's Law and D Generation, put my club on the map.”

The Continental


“Joey was the embodiment of the rock and roll spirit in downtown New York. He was out and about all the time and friendly to anyone who wanted to talk to him. He always had time to talk, and he always made you feel good, just in his manner. Joey's dedication to music was complete but his generous spirit came from the mentality of a fan, someone who hadn't forgotten what "rock stars" mean to their followers. That is rare.

The last time I saw Joey was in his favorite Japanese restaurant, Hasaki, on East 9th Street near his apartment, where he was having dinner with an old friend who was his computer tech. He invited me to join them at their table and proceeded to make suggestions about what to order. I think I had my first burdock root at Joey's recommendation. Hamburgers and fries? No, Joey knew his Japanese food and he liked sharing his knowledge.

My favorite Joey story involves my nephew Obie, who visited me in New York when he was 16. Obie was a skateboarding California punk fan back then.

On his last night in New York we went to the Cat Club on 13th Street where my friend Holly Vincent (of Holly & The Italians fame) was playing. Holly and Joey were good friends and had recorded an amazing version of "I Got You Babe" for a single. As a matter of fact, I met Holly at a Thanksgiving dinner in 1986 that Joey had invited us to.

So we get to the club and even though we're on the list, the doorman said "no way can the kid come in" because the drinking age is 21. I pleaded and said I was his aunt and I would supervise him, and they finally relented if I promised to not even allow him near the bar area. We watched the show, and Joey did a guest song with Holly, and it was great as usual.

Afterwards we went backstage to the dressing room and I introduced Obie to Joey. The first thing Joey says to him is "Wanna beer?" I freaked, thinking we might be thrown out and explained the back story to Joey, who had a quick solution: he invited Obie to the men's room where inside a locked stall, they chugged an elicit brew!

Whatta guy! Obie's trip ended with a bang. He went back to California a King, crowned by the one and only Joey Ramone.”

Roberta Bayley


“It’s not uncommon now to hear Ramones songs in television commercials and film soundtracks or to see a Ramones T-shirt on a teenager too young to have seen the band play. It’s a shame Joey never lived to see the belated fruits of his labors. But all along, despite all the inner-band drama, I think Joey and the band knew they were doing something very special. The Ramones were truly ahead of their time.

Joey was a special character. He had a heart of gold and talent to match. To me he was more than a boss – he was a good friend. He was like a family member. There could only be one Joey Ramone and I'm proud to have worked with him and to have known him. I miss him.”

Monte Melnick
Ramones road manager


"Joey Ramone and the Ramones are a huge influence of the Hurley brand and we all grew up listening to them. Joey Ramone’s music paved the way for so many other bands and his music will live on forever."

Joe McElroy


“Joey Ramone is only one of two celebrities I cried over upon news of their death. The second was Mister Rogers. Seriously.”

Dan Sartain


“I never met Joey. But you know what I would say about Joey? He’s the real deal. And you can’t take that away. I love him for that. I mean, a cat that’s so very helpful to the New York scene, taking it out farther. And such a huge part of CBGBs and all that. You gotta love the guy.”

Peter Blast




Become a Thirsty Friend:

Share This

Search Thirsty for:

© Stay Thirsty Media, Inc. 2006 - 2008
All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Terms of Sale | Contact | Site Map