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Misfits crew, Arturo Vega, Dee Dee Ramone, Jerry Only

Cheetah Chrome & Joey Ramone Interview

Interview with Cheetah Chrome (ex-Dead Boys) & Joey Ramone

 

BRADY: Thanks a lot, Monte...

JOEY: Sometimes Monte's a good man.. ha ha

CHEETAH: He's always been my friend..

JOEY: He's always been there for Cheetah, though.

CHEETAH: He's ALWAYS been there...

BRADY: How long?

JOEY: He's been with us for about 15 years. In fact, the first
time we played in Youngstown, Ohio. . . met them there (Dead
Boys), Marcovich was runnin' sound. I remember Cheetah said,
"Lets' go to this party. . ." It was Swingo's. We followed 'em
and Bator's uh......

BRADY: Stickin' his ass out of the window. . .

JOEY: No, he was on the ROOF!

CHEETAH: Yeah, on the roof. He was drivin'...then I took the
wheel and he got out...

JOEY: That was the sickest thing I had seen... it was definitely
one of the sickest... I thought it was great.

CHEETAH: We used to do shit like that all the time.

BRADY: You got the Dead Boys their first gig at CBGB's

JOEY: Yeah

CHEETAH: He sure did.

JOEY: Yeah, I convinced Hilly (Hilly Kristal, owner and operator)

CHEETAH: He lied.

JOEY: Yeah, it was the best show I'd ever seen. I actually hadn't
SEEN them yet, but I told everyone to come down to the
show. . . Punk Magazine. . . all the hip people were there. . .
and they were fuckin' GREAT!

CHEETAH: We had some fun times.

JOEY: Yeah, those Dead Boys shows were really great shows.

BRADY: So what do you think about Hilly Kristal?

CHEETAH: He ripped me off for a lot of money, that's all I have to say.

JOEY: He's always badmouthed us. I never knew about this until
last year.

BRADY: He told you, "Nobody's going to like you guys, but I'll
have you back." Am I right?

JOEY: Well, we were lookin' for a place to play. We saw this ad
in the Voice, a Television ad in there. Y'see, at the time, Hilly
owed the Voice a lot of money, so he could never advertise. So,
Television put an ad out in the Voice and that's how we found
out about CB's. . . and we were like the second band in there.
We went to audition for Hilly in the afternoon. . . and uh, he
said, "Nobody's going to like you guys, but I'll have you back."
It's funny, because kids today think CB's was a real happenin'
place. I remember the first day I walked in there, there was
sawdust all over the place. . . and BIG piles of dogshit all over.
It was like walkin' in a minefield.

CHEETAH: First two times I went to New York, I got out of the
truck, walked in the front door and slipped on dogshit.

JOEY: But it definitely had atmosphere...a lot of character. Y'know,
I thought Hilly put those beer signs in-- but they were
there before he even had the place.

CHEETAH: Y'know Hilly's too cheap. He wouldn't spend the money
like that.

JOEY: He hasn't really done a lot to change it. He moved the
stage at one point. . .

CHEETAH: One time, he came out to California. He brought-- well,
he wore a suit... a tie... he had two shirts, and instead of a
suitcase, he was carrying a Halloween bag. He had a blowdryer
and whatever paperwork he had. He gets to the hotel, puts the
bag down and a cockroach jumps out of it. We were like, "We
see you snuck one of your friends on the plane." HA!

JOEY: The sickest thing is... when we put out LOCO LIVE a few
years ago, Debbie (Deborah Harry) wrote the liner notes
and she wrote something about Hilly's wife, Karen.

CHEETAH: AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

JOEY: . . . for the last year or so, she's been calling everyone
and telling us we have to change it; that they were never married.
She's having EMOTIONAL problems because of the liner notes.

BRADY: You played "Substitute" tonight. I know you've been a
big fan of THE WHO since you saw their first tour in the
States. Also, that you have the same birthday as Pete Townshend.
How was it like working with him?

JOEY: That was really exciting. From the time I was a kid, I
remember going to see the Murray the K shows. They had three
shows a day-- each band would play 3 songs, 15 bands total:
DETROIT WHEELS... VAGRANTS... YOUNG RASCALS... a whole
bunch of people. It was THE WHO's first time in America-- and
CREEM, too. It was at the 59th Street Playhouse, in Manhattan.
It was a movie theatre. I remember if you got there early you
would get an album. I remember I got there around 10 a.m.
For me, it was pretty wild. I remember it was really exciting.
. . there was nobody like them, but I guess Townshend
and Moon were my heroes.

BRADY: They made you get a drum set?

JOEY: Actually, I had a drum set prior to Who, but I guess
Keith Moon and Ginger Baker influenced me.

BRADY: Had you met Townshend before?

JOEY: No, the first time we met was for recording this record.
Actually, since doin' this record, I've met a lot of people I've
never met previously: Arthur Lee, Townshend. We were in Japan
recently and we met Bob Dylan. He walked up to me and
said, "Hello." . . . and it flipped me out.

CHEETAH: Rod Stewart did that to me.

JOEY: February 9th was our 2,000th performance... and on the
8th, in Tokyo, they had a big party for us... and I went to the
Dylan show at the Budokan... cuz I had never seen Dylan before.
It was fun...

CHEETAH: Did you understand what he said?

JOEY: ...It's difficult... HA!

BRADY: A lot of us would like to have been around when the
Mercer Arts and Coventry was introducing a lot of
now-legendary bands. What can you remember about those days?

JOEY: Before it was the Coventry, it was called Popcorn cuz they
used to sell popcorn at the bar.

BRADY: KISS played there.

JOEY: Yeah, I used to see KISS in their earliest... earliest...

BRADY: Were you eatin' popcorn...

JOEY: First time I saw KISS, Gene Simmons was wearing some
skull and crossbones... and they had dry ice (HA!) . . .and it
was funny. And they kept evolving, and evolving. They were
pretty bad in the beginning, too.

BRADY: Before the make-up?

JOEY: ...Eh, they were starting to get it together. I think Gene
was wearing a cape or something... HA!

BRADY: Are things better now, duh, or do you sometimes think
things were better then?

JOEY: I've always enjoyed my life. I enjoyed my life when I had
nothing... and kinda like the idea of just being happy with me.
I've never worried about what I've had. I've never been
materialistic. Maybe when I was 18 or 17, the idea of kinda bein'
a rock star... rock n' rollers-- bein' driven around in limos.
Maybe that was kinda excitin'. And back in those days, the Glitter
Days, that's how it used to be.

BRADY: Do you have any personal goals beyond the band?

JOEY: My plan is to own a radio station. I'd love to bring back
free-form radio; a grass-roots feel. I wanna be able to play
NIRVANA, STOOGES, TOM PETTY, SUPERSUCKERS, whatever I
wanna play. It's very expensive, but I think it would
be real exciting.

CHEETAH: Hey, Joey, a friend of mine saw Jayne (Jayne County,
formerly Wayne County) and said to tell ya hi!

JOEY: Last time I saw Jayne, man... I couldn't believe... I couldn't
believe. I couldn't take my eyes off her........

BRADY: ....hooters?

CHEETAH: She said she had just got 'em. She sat down at the
bar one night and everyone was like, "SHOW US YOUR
TITS! SHOW US YOUR TITS!"

JOEY: A little transformation, there.

CHEETAH: I yelled it, "Hey Wayne, show us your tits!" She said,
"It's Jayne, ya FUCKHEAD!"

thanx JOEY

thanx CHEETAH

Brady, www.glampunk.org  

 
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