new york 1970s

“I remember one night saying to Linda “I’m going to form a band, would you like to be in it?”
It was just a natural, organic thing to have happen. And with some trepidation, she kinda said “Er, yeah.” That was like all there was to it.
We knew we’d have to suffer the slings and arrows of our friends saying “What’s he doing with her in the group?” But then our logic was, well you know what? Groups aren’t such precious things - The Beatles was just The Quarrymen once; it was just a bunch of guys hanging out. And we liked the idea of returning to those kind of basic thoughts, instead of thinking, “Oh, after The Beatles it’s got to be important. It’s got to be super musicians involved in this..”, this was more like “No, let’s just find ourselves.”

“Our first shows were at CBGB’s on August 16 and 17, 1974. It was just an old, dumpy little bar on the Bowery, as everyone knows. Hilly Kristal and his wife ran the place, and they had nothing going on there besides winos, so they started letting these new bands play there, like Television and Patti Smith’s band. Dee Dee had heard about it, and so we decided to give it a try. It was like a practice in front of ten people. We had gotten a lot better by then, and we had more songs. At that point, we were still dressed in partial glitter because the Dolls were still the big thing in New York. I had these silver lamé pants made of Mylar and these black spandex pants I’d wear too. I was the only one with a real Perfecto leather jacket—what the Ramones would later be identified with—which I had been wearing for seven years already.” (extract from Commando Johnny Ramone’s bio).

Johnny Ramone during the early Ramones glam rock phase, photo by Chris Stein ca 1974