Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ronnie & Ramones

Happy belated birthday Joey...

It was the annual Joey Ramone birthday bash this weekend in New York. If he hadn't been taken out by Lymphoma, Joey woulda been been 56 this week...

Amongst those that played the bash were the two surviving members of the New York Dolls, and the Chesterfield Kings, a psych revival band originally from Rochester NY, whose lead singer sold me my first Van Halen album at the House of Guitars some 25+ years ago...

Ironically, Joey Ramone was outlived by all these folks, and his onetime idol, rock n roll outlaw Phil Spector...

Haven't had time to watch any of the creepy Phil Spector trial on Court TV...

The recaps on the nightly news, and pics of the weird old dude in whatever wig he's working, are likely enough to satiate my curiosity. I caught some clips of Phil giving a post Lana Clarkson "incident" tour of his mansion, hosting his own imaginary reality show pilot, that I guess was too sordid for even a bottom feeder network like E or VH 1 to pick up.

I did read some coverage in the LA Times when I was last down there that included some stuff about a friend of his since highschool commenting that perhaps Phil is genetically & mentally cursed because he's the child of 1st cousins...

I read a book about him once, and Ronnie Spector's autobiography as well, so when the story surfaced that a woman was found dead by gunshot in the foyer of his house, I can't say I was surprised...

I guess the only thing that was surprising was how long it took for someone to get killed. Sadly, the guy's been a gun toting looney for far too long, and Ronnie Spector & Dee Dee Ramone amongst many others who have since stepped forward, made that clear years ago...

Ironically despite their obvious differences, both Ronnie & Phil both ended up working with the Ramones. In fact the last time I saw Ronnie perform was at a post humous birthday party for Joey Ramone, hosted by his late mother Charlotte & brother Mickey Leigh at the Bowery Ballroom a few years back. Joey's friend Daniel Rey produced a lot of stuff for The Ramones, Joey & Ronnie at different times.







Here's a video clip of Marky & Johnny Ramone, road manager Monte Melnick and others talking about being held hostage by Phil, and other aspects of working with Phil Spector on the End of The Century album in 1979.





Here's a rare radio spot done to promote the End of The Century album with voiceover by Joey

Joey Ramone - End Of The Century Radio Ad

Here's Ronnie Spector & Joey Ramone singing a Johnny Thunders cover in a 1997 AIDS charity performance at Coney Island High in NYC



Billy Joel who wrote the song "Say Goodbye To Hollywood" for Ronnie once commented on her voice

'I mean, it sounds almost lubricated. It's got a smell to it, like sweat and garlic. There's an urgency to that voice, a sexuality that screams street to me. Ronnie's sound is like the neon glow that hits the streets under the elevated tracks on a hot summer night. She's got the natural vibrato that sounds like it's coming straight up from her gut - and there's no one else who sings like that. Ronnie can wring more emotion out of one long phrase than most singers can from a whole song.'


Here's an mp3 of Ronnie Spector and Joey Ramone doing a duet of the track Bye Bye Baby, an old Ronettes #1 hit. This version is from her album She Talks To Rainbows that came out on Creation/K Records in the late 1990's.


Ronnie Spector & Joey Ramone - Bye Bye Baby

Gotta love this track, from Ronnie's "Siren" album it's a Ramones cover in case you didn't know...

It's from Ronnie's first attempt to make a comeback album, and was produced by Genya Ravan (aka Goldie Zelcowicz of the girl rockers Goldie & The Gingerbreads) who'd also produced studio sessions with the Dead Boys. In fact The Siren LP in 1980 was littered with studio guests including guys like Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys, as well as ex NY Dolls and others.

Ronnie Spector Here Today, Gone Tommorrow

Siren

Download "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" (mp3)
from "Siren"
by Ronnie Spector
ItsAboutMusic.com

Add Text Ads To Your Blog

2 comments:

dean said...

I couldn't agree with your sentiments more. Great post.

Maxim de Winter said...

Thanks for this. I have great memories of attending one of Joey's birthday parties in Coney Island High in maybe '97 or '98 where Ronnie sang with him, this brought it all back.