“It was good that Dee Dee [Ramone, original bassist] was there,” veteran drummer Marky Ramone says.
“But after the show we were backstage; there really weren't any goodbyes, there weren't any backslaps, there were no 'good lucks'; we just packed up and we went our separate ways.”
Just like that, 22 years of loud, raucous rebellion had come to a close after 14 studio albums and a whopping 2,263 live performances around the world. Not bad for a couple of punks from New York City.
With the death of founding drummer Tommy [replaced by Marky in 1978] in 2014, all four original members – vocalist Joey, bassist Dee Dee and guitarist Johnny - had passed on to the great rock & roll high school in the sky, leaving Marky to carry on their legacy.
“They died too young to enjoy the fruits of their labour and we were very close,” he says.
“We had our fights, we made up, we had our fights, we made up but in the end it's the music that really speaks for itself.
“My goal when I realised that they're not going to be around anymore was to continue to present these songs in a quality way with a frontman and with players that really know how to play the music and really enjoy playing it themselves.”
Later this month, Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg brings the Ramones spirit back to Australia playing nearly 40 classic songs like 'Pet Sematary', 'Lobotomy', 'Rock & Roll High School', 'Blitzkrieg Bop' and the first song Marky recorded with the band, 'I Wanna Be Sedated'. “We're doing 35, 36 Ramones songs,” Marky says.
“No [new] originals, no songs you've never heard before; all the songs we're going to play you did hear and that's important. Obviously they're coming to hear Ramones songs and I will never do originals that no one's heard or a whole album than do 15 Ramones song, that's not fair.
“It's just going to be '1, 2, 3, 4!' into each song, no stopping, total energy and believe me, the tightness is there. Everyone should come out, have a good time, forget about what the hell's going on in this crazy world for an an hour and 15, 20 minutes [and] we can all be one.”
For a band that was once the bane of every parent with a teenager – by Marky's own admission due mostly to the group's leather-clad, ripped jeans image and lyrical content that alluded to Nazis and sniffing glue – their music is now ubiquitous, loved and adored by parents and their children alike.
“Well, a lot of it had to do with the image and obviously the lyrical content of the songs,” he says.
“But were we a violent band? No. A lot of people thought we were, [but] we were just a band who wanted to play the style that we played and have fun with our fans, that's all it was.
“I've seen the integration of the older generation that likes the band and the new generation that are like 16 to 24, but it's amazing how they come together at a show,” Marky says.
“It could be a father, a mother, a daughter or a son together having a good time, which to me bridged the generation gap, if that's possible.”
Marky will deliver a keynote at Face The Music (Melbourne) 24 November.
Marky Ramone ShowsWed 22 Nov - The Triffid (Brisbane)
Thu 23 Nov - Manning Bar (Sydney)
Fri 24 Nov - The Croxton (Melbourne)
Sat 25 Nov - The Pier Hotel (Melbourne)
Sun 26 Nov - The Gov (Adelaide)
Tue 28 Nov - Badlands Bar (Perth)