Like the breakneck songs they furiously strummed, The Ramones were a burst of energy that ignited the New York punk scene in the late 70s. But while the band never sought the limelight through antics or outfits—leather jackets and jeans were the extent of their fashion statement—they nevertheless informed the look and feel of the aggressive new rock ‘n’ roll making noise at CBGB. Just as quickly as their signature tempo, all three members (who were not related) passed away within years of disbanding. Johnny Ramone (John Cummings) was the last to go.
Opinionated until the very end, Johnny began compiling his autobiography well before losing his battle with cancer in 2004. Out in April, Commando (Abrams) is both the story of The Ramones, from start to finish, and Johnny’s own story, on and off the stage. Taken from decades of meticulous records and notes, the memoir promises an unflinching inside view of The Ramones and the punk scene, as well as his eccentric Top Ten Lists and previously unseen personal photos. Here’s hoping it’s as intimate, raw, and chafing as the title suggests.