MAGGIE ST. THOMAS INTERVIEWS JOHNNY RAMONE
Sept 13, 2001
Maggie: What have you been up to since the Ramones disbanded?
Johnny Ramone: The Ramones stopped in ’96. I have been retired, but I still have work with certain Ramones related projects. There are always new products to be dealt with. I’m also very busy with my hobbies, which includes baseball and films.
Maggie: What do you collect?
Johnny Ramone: I collect movie posters and baseball related items.
Maggie: Any favorite films?
Johnny Ramone: As far as film goes; I enjoy all Hollywood films and all horror films like the Bride of Frankenstein, which also might be my favorite. I like 60’s and 70’s Italian and Spanish horror films.
Maggie: Who are your favorite artists?
Johnny Ramone: My favorite artists have always been Elvis and The Beatles and they still are!
Maggie: What’s your favorite Ramones album?
Johnny Ramone: My favorite album would have to be Rocket To Russia. I feel this album has the most classic Ramones songs.
Maggie: What songs do you most enjoy performing live?
Johnny Ramone: As far as my favorite songs to perform live, most of the songs we did live were my favorite. If they weren’t I would have gotten rid of them.
Maggie: What’s one thing you’ve learned in being with The Ramones that you’ll never forget nor leave behind?
Johnny Ramone: I learned very early on to try to never let your fans down. It is the fans that have given me a lot of my happiness.”
Johnny Ramone performed on every album the Ramones released.
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Johnny Ramone co-founded The Ramones in 1974 along with fellow bandmates Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Tommy Ramone.
I photographed the Ramones a year before they disbanded at the KROQ Weenie Roast in 1995 and a host of other Ramones related events for my friend Arturo Vega. In 2001 I had the honor of interviewing Johnny Ramone.
Fast forward to July 2004… 60 Cycle Media sent me an advanced copy of End Of The Century long before it hit the theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Arturo Vega and I were corresponding via email regularly and he was helping set up for me a 2nd interview with Johnny Ramone that was going to take place less than 2 weeks after the date he passed away in which I was hoping to collaborate my written review on this release with Johnny’s own words.
Well, sadly enough my much anticipated 2nd interview with Johnny Ramone never happened. Johnny Ramone passed away on Sept. 15, 2004 at his home in Los Angeles.
I got a phone call from a very grim Arturo Vega and he told me the news before I heard anything on the radio, tv, or other form of media.
A statute in memory of legendary punk guitarist Johnny Ramone was unveiled in a public ceremony on Jan. 14, 2005 by Johnny’s wife Linda Cummings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. The monument is located next to Chris Cornell, and just around the corner from where bandmate Dee Dee Ramone is also buried. The bronze statue, created by artist Wayne Toth, captures Johnny in his most memorable image – playing his Mosrite guitar.
John William Cummings aka Johnny Ramone
October 8, 1948 – September 15, 2004
All photographs by Maggie St.Thomas