Very noticeable at Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg’s show two weeks ago at Gramercy Theatre was Vera Ramone King, ex-wife of the late Ramones bass player Dee Dee Ramone, whose acclaimed memoir Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone (The Ramones Years) came out two years ago.
King, who now lives in Florida, hadn’t been to a Ramones-related show since Dee Dee left the band in the summer of 1989.
“My husband and I were personally invited by Marky Ramone and his lovely wife Marion to attend,” says King. ” I didn’t know what to expect, but was nevertheless excited and interested to finally go after all these years.”
She was “completely overwhelmed,” she says, by the Blitzkrieg’s heavily Ramones-oriented punk rock barrage.
“I was even emotional at times when I saw the new lineup and heard the Ramones songs they performed,” continues King. “First of all, Marky is one of the best drummers in the world, and few can even compete with the talent and dedication this man has achieved after all these years. He is literally a human drum machine! I was taken aback, and had forgotten what a great performer he truly is.”
Next, she noted of lead singer Michale Graves’ stand-in for The Ramones’ late vocalist Joey Ramone, “there is and only will be one Joey Ramone–ever! To try to imitate the original group would not do justice. In this respect, the front man and lead singer Michale Graves was unbelievably outstanding–not just as a singer but also in his whole performance and stage presence, which was absolutely superb. He didn’t miss a beat! The band was tight and the guitar player and bass player were awesome, too.”
King went backstage after the show to greet Ramone and the band.
“It was quite a night for me, going down Memory Lane,” she recalls. “I even held back some tears during some memorable moments, and relived a part of my life that I thought was long forgotten. Once they started playing, every song, every note, every chord came back to me–like it was yesterday! After seeing over a thousand Ramones shows, it was all still there, until the very end.”
Besides seeing many old friends backstage, King also met met many Facebook fans who recognized her from her profile picture.
“It was an evening that I will cherish and remember for years to come,” she says. “I’m sure there will be more great times with Marky and Marion ahead: Our friendship has withstood 35 years and counting, and it was a pleasure to reconnect physically again, since I’ve been living in Florida after my divorce from Dee Dee.”
Noting that the Gramercy crowd was all ages (“anywhere from the teens to the 60’s!”), she adds: “It was simply amazing, and I would strongly urge anyone out there who missed Tthe Ramones before they broke up to get to experience the closest thing you’ll ever see again to the original Ramones band. It will be a treat that you won’t ever forget. It just makes you feel young all over again–and that’s part of the magic of this show. It will blow your mind!”
Meanwhile, King’s book is currently available in hardback at amazon.com, and via Kindle, Nook “and possibly now on iPad” digital devices. She says it will also soon be available for download in Spanish and Italian.
[The Examiner is the author of the first book about the Ramones, Ramones–An American Band, and contributed a back-cover blurb to Poisoned Heart.]
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