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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Berlin - An Afternoon In The Ramones Museum

Ramones Museum

Ramones with Sid Vicious

Lulu was busy working on her research so I had to entertain myself. Doing a search of our area of Berlin - I was surprised to find a museum dedicated to The Ramones - the punk rock band. 

By the time the Ramones came on the scene - I was married and busy starting a family. I did not know much about them except from watching a movie on HBO called Rock and Roll High School. Listening to Howard Stern on WNBC and K-Rock - I knew that Howard loved them. The lead singer - Joey Ramone - was a dead ringer for Howard - tall skinny goofy curley hair - and dark glasses to hide his big nose. Like Howard - the Ramones were from Queens - Forest Hills to be exact. 

What added more interest for me - when Lulu was a professor at St Johns University in Queens - we had an apartment in Forest Hills - and for a while considered moving there. When I retired - Lulu said - we either buy a place in Queens or we move to Florida. 

The Ramones Museum is along the M1 Tram in Berlin - close to Museum Island. It is just a little store front bar with a few rooms in the back. The admission is $3.50 - but for an extra $1.50 you get a 16 ounce beer. So there I was - stumbling through these rooms full of 1970s memorabilia with a big bottle of beer. 

The Ramones loved The Simpsons TV show - would never missed it - and were featured on one show. 

The Ramones are all dead. They ran into all sorts of health issues and drug overdoses. The oldest one would be my age - 68. They seldom played big concert halls - but they did tour the world for 22 years. I guess you can call them a cult band. They were loved much more in Europe than in America. They played mostly dance clubs. 90% of their songs we under 2 minutes long. Few of their singles or albums broke into the Top 50 on Billboard. But other bands loved to see and hear them play. They averaged 100 dates for 22 years. Songs like - I want to be sedated - and bliz kreig bop - are really catchy. Even U2 recently wrote a song about - the miracle of Joey Ramone - about it being the most beautiful sound I ever heard.

The Ramones were not related - although they all took the surname Ramones. 

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