Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Slept With Joey Ramone by Mickey Leigh with Legs McNeil

(Touchstone) They say rock & roll was the safe haven of many a misfit. This tome offers unflinching, conclusive proof. Mickey was the brother of the
late great Ramones frontman, and knew Joey when he was still Jeff Hyman, long before he had a street named after him in New York's East Village. The tale is riveting, but not a pretty one, following the family as they move through several neighborhoods, having to deal each time with a new group of neighborhood kids who can't quite get used to the enigma that was Joey, with a divorce unceremoniously thrown in the mix. It's one thing to be friendless when you're just a kid on the block, but the drama really heightens during the Ramones years - despite the all for one/one for all aura, Joey is constantly butting
heads with guitarist Johnny Ramone. After Johnny steals Joey's girl, you can see Joey gradually embracing his inner asshole, becoming more bitter as the book (and, unfortunately, his life) grinds to a halt. Leigh's involvement doesn't end when they both move out of their mother's house; through it all, Leigh is moving in the same circles, playing in bands that are roughly contemporaneous with the Ramones (but without the big-label breaks), and even co-writing some of the Ramones' most enduring songs without receiving any credit, which is understandably a sore sticking point. Some harsh truths in this book, but still fascinating.

No comments:

Post a Comment