The Ramainz interview with Marky Ramone


Marky Ramone, longtime Ramones drummer was born in New York City on July 15, 1956. Marky Ramone joined the Ramones in 1978, recording Road to Ruin. Born Mark Bell, he adopted the name Marky Ramone and played with the band through 1983. He took a break for four years, returning in 1987 and playing strong until they broke-up in 1996.

This year, Marky Ramone, along with DeeDee Ramone and his wife Barbara Zampini recorded a live album “The Ramainz.”
Roya: What is your favorite song on the ramainz album?
Marky: I like Chinese Rocks because the Ramones did it, and so did the Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders—that was the original Heartbreakers, before Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers. I like the way Dee Dee interpreted it. Dee Dee wrote it, and Joey sang it on one of the Ramones albums. The way Dee Dee sang it was the way he wrote it, which comes across on the Ramainz live album.

What was your inspiration to make the Ramainz album?

Marky: We were talking about doing a fun show in New York, so we picked a club with a good soundboard; we did a tight sound check, and wired everything up so that the mix would have high-quality, and we could take it into a studio and mix it the next day. So the inspiration was to have a entertaining night with good fun. We just wanted to get a bunch of friends packed in really tight, close to the stage—which we always like to do. This live album is just an aftereffect of the fun we had that night. Dee Dee was fantastic—he was really very terrific, playing guitar and singing—everyone was just having a great time.
Was there any press there?

Marky: We didn’t invite any press down, but maybe there was. We just wanted to have a really fun night. It was initially for us and some friends. We played at The Continental—they advertised it, and it was oversold, so we said “great so let’s just do this and record it.” We were really happy to do it at that club, since it’s a small venue—it holds 350-400 people.
How did Dee Dee meet Barbara Zampini?
Marky: Dee Dee married Barbara 2 years after he met her in Argentina, where she was originally from. She was 21 years old when she recorded that album with us. Dee Dee lived in Argentina for a year.

Was making this album a natural progression for you?

Marky: It was natural, yea--two Ramones doing Ramones songs. So hopefully after so many years of doing them, it better come natural or you better just give it up, you know.

What do you feel is evidence that the younger punk fans are able to fully respect and appreciate what pioneers like you have done?

Marky: It’s evident by their influences in music, which I’m extremely grateful for. You hear it everywhere in bands like: Greenday, Rancid, Offspring, The Donnas, and The Queers, to name a few. It’s wonderful. I mean they could have gone the other way and been influenced by WASP, White snake, you know, bands like that. Everyone has their own taste in music genres, but The Ramones have left a pretty big legacy in the punk scene.

Were there plans for a studio album? If so were there any songs completed that might get released eventually?
Marky: With the Ramainz, no, unfortunately. At that point, I was asked to join the Misfits as a guest, and I couldn’t really do anything with Dee Dee at that point, he was doing his own thing. When we got into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I saw Dee Dee there, and he was in great shape. I was going to bring up to him the possibility of recording a studio album, but unfortunately he passed away a little bit after that. But I’m totally grateful that that album was made. It was his live legacy.
What’s your favorite Ramones album you recorded and why?

Marky: Road to Ruin. The first song I recorded was: “I wana be sedated.” And I really liked the production on “Mondo Bizzaro,” which was one of the last albums we recorded. And “We’re Outa Here” with Rock and Roll High School. It’s tough to pick just one…

Tell me about your upcoming tour with the Misfits.

Marky: That’s going to go through the United States. We’re playing about 30 shows, starting in Ohio, all the way through Chicago, and on Halloween night in New York at The World on Broadway. Then we travel back to New Jersey, to Boston—all around the US—Washington. I just got back from a 30-day tour with my other band that I play with out there, so I’ll be coming back on the Misfits tour. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I really enjoy being around them. They’re dedicated and they really love their fans/friends, and it’s going to be a great tour. We’ll be playing on November 2nd in Reading at The Silo. We’re doing an in-store signing at J&R Records in NYC on October 30th at around 2:30pm. We look forward to seeing our friends/fans there.
By Roya Butler