Thursday, March 17, 2011

Growing Up

I thought I'd offer some thoughts on Joey Ramone.

And then weave in, in my mulish way, some deep, deep thoughts on growing up.  But, you know, subtle weaving. . . .

In a former life as a musician and occasional soundman, I frequently ran sound for a band fronted by ¡Barangus!™ and one of my ex-wives. I was behind the soundboard when they opened for the Ramones at American University in Washington, D.C.

Upon meeting the Ramones, I've never seen an uglier, unhappier band. Surly, pasty, not-really-human.

And no one was uglier and sadder than Joey Ramone.

That was in '85 or '86. The Ramones were thriving, but the men in it weren't.

A few years later, in a former life as a semi-professional photographer, I was hired to shoot and document the D.C. stop of the travelling Joey Ramone NY Club Band tour.
Outside the Tour Bus, Joey Ramone's New York Club Scene Tour
The show featured Joey as M.C. (and occasoinal performer), Holly and the Italians, the Cycle Sluts from Hell, a Zombie band not called "White Zombie," and some other noteworthy folks who escape my memory.

Joey Ramone was the friendliest, happiest guy in the room.

Still ugly, but a smiling, vibrant, pink, healthy man.
Holly Beth Vincent and Joey Ramone
all photos copyright 1990, 1991, 2011 mister muleboy
all rights reserved

I later learned about all the disagreements and in-fighting the Ramones experienced/tolerated, and Joey's insecurities and aspirations as a young man when he joined the Ramones.

I now think I know what it's like to figure out what it is you love, what it is you care about (and don't care about), and what you're willing to be sad or mad about. I'm pretty sure that Joey Ramone got to that place, and I was able to see the difference it made.

Too bad I figured this shit out twenty years later. . . .


thingy said...

This is my favorite post that you have written.

It's touching.

I know that sounds lame, but tough shit. I mean it.

thingy said...

Sigh... okay, I get it. Have a good one.

mister muleboy said...

I must be losing my comments.

None until now, two added. Not sure who wrote what

Thanks to Thingy for understanding; somebody offline said something just like it. Not sure who prompted "I get it," but shame on them!