Raised in Queens, New York, Johnny Ramone founded one of the most influential rock bands of all time, but he never strayed from his blue-collar roots and attitude. He was truly imbued with the angry-young-man spirit that would characterize his persona both on and off stage. Through it all, Johnny kept the band focused and moving forward, ultimately securing their place in music history by inventing punk rock. The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002—two years later, Johnny died of cancer, having outlived two other founding members. Revealing, inspiring, and told on his own terms, this highly designed memoir also features Johnny’s assessment of the Ramones’ albums; a number of eccentric Top Ten lists; rare historical artifacts; and scores of personal and professional photos, many of which have never before been published.
Praise for Commando:
“Amazing book . . . dense and throbbing with character—enough to bring this departed New York icon barking back to life.” —New York Daily News
"Johnny's delightful, sadly posthumous autobiography, Commando, is just like its author—as punk as it gets." —Wall Street Journal
“Ramone memoir reveals charming, grumpy punk icon.” —Reuters
“There's no grand confessional to end Commando, just a nod of gratitude toward family, friends, and fans. Its characteristic succinctness rings genuine.” —Austin Chronicle
Writing with a voice as loud and direct as the music his band would be known for, late guitarist Johnny Ramone (n e John Cummings) recounts his lengthy rock and roll career in this eye-catching and readable memoir. A devout Republican who had no qualms with licensing songs for beer ads, and whose post-show ritual was heading to the nearest 7-11 for milk and cookies, Cummings was a true iconoclast, working tirelessly to promote The Ramones and maintain the band's brand identity. All the hard work paid off The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and their fan base is as strong as ever. Longtime listeners looking for dirt will get some of that here Johnny wore silver lam pants for some of the band's early shows at CBGB; though credited, Dee Dee Ramone didn't actually play on many of the band's later albums due to substance abuse but the thrust of Cummings's story is his own take on history. Whether he's talking about censorship, blowing off a Saturday Night Live appearance due to a last-minute cancellation by the Sex Pistols ("We don't substitute for anybody"), or his battle with the cancer that would claim his life, Cummings' blunt approach is sure to give fans a greater appreciation for the guitarist and his legendary band. 60 color & b/w photos. Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Short, Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of DuncesCory MacLauchlinDa Capo, $29 (288p) In this thoughtful and thorough biography, MacLauchlin recounts the short and tragic life of John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces a book cast aside by publishers during the author's life, but finally published and awarded the Pulitzer Prize after his suicide at 31-years-old. Born in New Orleans in 1937, Toole was the only son of a "pure" Creole mother and an Irish immigrant father, and was a precocious student growing up and at Tulane. MacLauchlin tracks Toole from his Cajun upbringing, to his graduate work at Columbia in New York City at a time when the likes of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were basking in "newfound literary fame," and to his being drafted and stationed in Puerto Rico as an English teacher in 1960, during which assignment his book began to take shape. Unfortunately, finding a publisher for the idiosyncratic comic novel proved difficult; Simon & Schuster editor Robert Gottleib took interest in Toole and his work, but remained unconvinced that publishing A Confederacy of Dunces was a tenable business move. Meanwhile, Toole's mental health rapidly deteriorated, a process abetted by his work on the novel. The final days of the young writer's life are the hardest to recreate, but MacLauchlin does an admirable job distinguishing facts from speculations as he recounts the events leading up to Toole's suicide on a lonesome Mississippi roadside.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Love the ramones? Better read this!
Read the actual physical version and loved it. You can see how Johnny grew up and what happened with the ramones.
Johnny was such an amazing and influential guitarist … what he did he did better than anyone. The Ramones legacy is sealed as one of he most important AMERICAN Rock n roll bands. Along with The Velvet Underground no other American groups have had such a far reaching affect on shaping todays musical landscape. Their influence can be heard amongst todays bands. Johnny Ramone revels what life was like inside of the Ramones in a very honest and direct way. This was such a fantastic read that I did not want to put the book down. You coud always count on Johnny speaking his mind. He was the real deal.
Short, direct, simple.
Just like his playing. The big surprise: his favorite band was The Doors.