When the Ramones recorded their debut album in 1976, it heralded the true birth of punk rock. Fast and frenetic in their leather jackets and torn jeans, the Ramones gave voice to the disaffected youth of the seventies and eighties, influenced countless bands, and inspired the counterculture for decades to come.
Born Jeffry Hyman of Queens, New York, Joey Ramone was the quirky, extraordinary lead singer and cofounder of the band. Hiding his face behind signature sunglasses and a mop of dark hair, he helped define punk's early image, and his two-decade-plus tenure as the Ramones' front man made him unforgettable. Told by Joey's brother, Mickey Leigh, I Slept with Joey Ramone provides an intimate look at the turbulent life of one of America's greatest -- and unlikeliest -- music icons.
With honesty, humor, and grace, Mickey shares the fascinating, sometimes troubling story of growing up with an emotionally distressed brother who becomes a rock star and the effect it had on their family. He shows how Joey used music to cope with mental illness; embraced the glam nightlife of the New York scene; launched CBGB alongside bands like the Talking Heads and Blondie; and brought punk to Britain, clashing with the Sex Pistols and changing music history.
Ultimately, betrayal and infighting would end the band. While the music lives on for new generations to discover, I Slept with Joey Ramone is the enduring portrait of a man who struggled to find his voice and of the brother who loved him.
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Mickey Leigh, born Mitch Hyman, has been a major player in the rock n roll world since the late seventies. He was a major contributor to the music of The Ramones and has been in several bands, including The Rattlers, which included the (in)famous Lester Bangs. He currently lives in New York.
Legs McNeil is the coauthor of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, a book widely hailed as the definitive work on the subject. The founder of the seminal magazine that gave punk its name, he is a former editor at Spin and editor-in-chief of Nerve. McNeil also wrote Marilyn Chambers's comeback film, Still Insatiable. He is also the author of the forthcoming The Other Hollywood : The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry. He divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.
It was one of those crystal-clear evenings in the late winter of 1969. My mother, my brother, and I had recently moved into a new high-rise apartment building in Forest Hills, Queens, with a spectacular view of Manhattan.
I was sitting in our new bedroom with Arlene, a friend who’d stopped by after our last class at Forest Hills High School. We could see the entire skyline from my bed by the window and watched the sun set over Manhattan. Arlene gazed at the city lights as I passed her the joint.
All of a sudden, on the other side of the bedroom there was a stirring beneath a huge, homegrown pile of rubble. It was as if this unidentifiable mass of a mess had taken on an animated life of its own.
“What’s that!?” Arlene asked in a hushed but urgent tone; she was ready to bolt should the inexplicable commotion continue.
“Oh, that’s my brother,” I answered, deadpan.
On one side of the bedroom by the window was your average teenage mess, plus a few oddities: a skinny ten-inch-long mirrored hash pipe made by Mexican Indians; an eight-track tape deck; an issue of the East Village Other; a copy of How to Talk Dirty and Influence People by Lenny Bruce; and some guitar picks.
On the other side, my brother’s side, was the pile.
It had levels, or more like tiers: clean and dirty shirts; pants, socks, and assorted underwear; a pair of brown suede, calf-high fringed boots (like the ones Ian Anderson wore on the cover of the Jethro Tull album Stand Up); all covered by a huge Afghan shepherd’s coat. Below, in another layer, were records, newspapers, rock magazines, and wrappers and boxes from various food groups, all surrounded by dishes, cups, and glasses that doubled as ashtrays, containing liquids that had created multicolored foam—beer-mug-type heads that had risen up to and above the rims of the glasses.
Sheets and blankets snaked their way in and out of the living sculpture. An unseen mattress lay on the floor supporting the escalating geological wonder that was my brother’s side of the room.
“Uh, are you sure that’s him?” Arlene asked, somewhat confused, in that I hadn’t even glanced over in the direction of the mysterious mass. “I don’t see anybody.”
“Yeah, that’s him,” I replied, “unless there’s a new tenant in there that I don’t know about.”
Arlene giggled, half genuinely, half nervously.
Hearing our voices, my brother cleared through enough of the debris to pop his head up and see what was going on.
His sunglasses were already on.
They were rarely off.
“Hey, how ya doin’?” he said to Arlene. They’d seen each other around the neighborhood.
“I’m okay,” Arlene said to my brother. “Did we wake you up?”
Looking out the window and seeing that it was almost dark, my brother replied, “No, no, that’s okay, I was up.”
As he started to clear his way out of the heap, we realized he didn’t have any pants on.
Arlene said, “You know, I kinda gotta get goin’. I told Alan I’d stop upstairs.”
“Yeah,” I said. “My mom will be home soon, anyway.”
I moved to the middle of the room to shield Arlene’s view.
I didn’t have many girls come over after that.
My brother—the guy without the pants—lived on to become Joey Ramone, with quite an amazing story.
I lived on to tell it.
© 2009 Mickey Leigh
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Descripción Old Tappan, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Touchstone Books, 2009. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. Signed by Mickey Leigh (Joey Ramone's younger brother) and Legs McNeil (Co-Founder of Punk Magazine) "Joey Ramone (born Jeffrey Hyman of Queens, New York) kick-started my career as a singer.Blame Him" Bono "Mickey Leigh's story makes for compelling reading.I Slept With Joey Ramone is funny, sad, shocking, surprising, and best of all, brutally honest." John Holmstrom, cofounder of Punk Magazine. Told by Joey Ramone's younger brother, Mickey Leigh, I Slept With Joey Ramone provides an intimate look at the turbulent life of one of America's greatest--and unlikeliest--music icons. BONUS--Includes couple of photos from signing event in Chicago. Signed by Author(s). Nº de ref. de la librería ABE-1798986610