Thursday, June 14, 2012
Ripple LIbrary - Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone vs. I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir
A few months ago I was flipping through a copy of New York magazine and was surprised to see they printed a chapter from the upcoming Autobiography Of Johnny Ramone. He died in 2004 and I had no idea he had ever written his life story. I've been a huge Ramones fan for over 30 years and was lucky enough to catch the band live close to 20 times throughout the 1980's. I'd read a lot about them and figured I'd heard most of the stories already so I skipped the book written by Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh called I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir that was published in 2009. But when I found out about Johnny's book I took a trip to the library and took out Mickey's book before reading Johnny's. I figured it would be good to read them back to back and see how their stories compared.
Both books end with chapters dealing with the cancer that took Joey and Johnny's life. Having lost a loved one recently to cancer, I wound up skipping over quite a bit of them. Having spent many months in and out of hospitals and doctor's offices I had absolutely no desire to relive any of that nightmare. Johnny and Joey never got along in life but managed to work together to create one of the greatest and most influential rock & roll bands of all time. It's so tragic that they both lost their lives to illness way too early in life. If you're a Ramones fan, you owe it to yourself to check out both these books.