Volume 92, Issue 4

Friday, June 5, 1998

george likes his chicken spicy


Branching out from the Ramone family tree

Steven Messina
STANDING TALL AND INTRUDING DEEP. Marky Ramone leaves the family album behind and intrudes on Call the Office on June 9th.

By Lisa Weaver
Gazette Staff

The Ramones. The mere mention of the name connotes a time-honoured tradition of original '70s New York punk and endless echoes of "one, two, three, four!" The breakup of the band in 1996 has left fans wondering what's next for the infamous Ramone "brothers."

"Me and Dee Dee just did an album together," says Marky Ramone, from his home in New York City. Since C Jay is in a heavy metal band, Joey is completely retired from music and Johnny is really ill at the moment, Marky is "the only one out there really carrying the Ramones' torch with the same rhythm and feel."

Marky Ramone is continuing his work in the music biz with his band Marky Ramone and the Intruders, formed in 1996 with a few of his New York friends. Why would Marky – who is really Marc Bell – keep his Ramones' surname in the face of a new band?

"It isn't logical to change it back because the kids know me as a 'Ramone,'" he says. "I'm sure Paul McCartney wouldn't change his name when The Beatles broke up."

While he still carries the band's name, Marky wants to assure fans that his music is uniquely his own. "The new project has the rhythm I'm known for," Marky explains.

The band's self-titled first album was released in 1997 and is a pure mixture of punk/pop themes and melodies. Song titles such as "I Wants My Beer" and "Good Luck You're Gonna Need It" are reminiscent of The Ramones' lyrical humour. Marky, however, doesn't feel the sound of his new band is particularly "Ramones" but derived from them. "I felt after a while I wanted to advance the Ramones' style," he says.

Marky does not see the inspiration behind today's punk music as any different from that of the '70s. "Kids still have the same problems – parents, school," he says. "Punk is the mold which stems from their anxieties." Marky sees punk music as a way for kids to express themselves. "I'm not saying kids should go out and kill themselves but you have to stick up for yourself. Violence is not the answer."

Since punk is his specialty, it's only fitting that Marky listens to mainly punk music. He is also very opposed to the metal and hardcore genres. "I respect it, but I just like melody – short, sweet songs that I can hear the words to."

Marky Ramone and the Intruders are set to market their sound once again with the release of their forthcoming second album. "We have the whole album in demo form," Marky says. "I'm just shopping around for a label."

Marky and his entourage have played 180 shows so far since The Ramones broke up. After a short tour of Canada the band will begin a fourty-date tour of the United States, including several dates on the Vans Warped Tour. Marky Ramone and the Intruders will be barging their way into Call the Office on June 9.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998