You’ve checked your alcohol at the door, grabbed a couple beers, and placed yourself at the best possible view in front of the stage. Smoke fills the small room and lights flicker above you building the anticipation of the venue. The room slowly begins to fill of leather jackets and ripped jeans and soon enough, you hear a holler, some applause and whistles as the stage becomes occupied by a punk-rock legend.
The Phi Centre in Montreal’s Old Port is no CBGB’s but the lone Ramone settled into his seat just so comfortably you’d think he was back in his Brooklyn stomping grounds. Before the host of the evening, Kim Kelly of Noisey could get a word in, he opens with a joke, not only making the audience laugh but allowing you to bask in the essence that is Marky Ramone.
If you weren’t at the book singing and interview session on Thursday you missed an intimate gathering where Kelly, Marky and the audience chit-chatted about his time being the drummer of the world-renowned band, The Ramones. Marky Ramone is the only band member still alive and he explains all about his life as a Ramone in his recently released autobiography Punk Rock Blitzkrieg. Marky (born Marc Bell) explains that his book gives him the chance to set the record straight on some of the misconceptions of the band.
“There were exaggerations, mostly from people who weren’t in the Ramones,” Marky, who has over 400 hours of Ramones footage, explained to the room.
You wouldn’t expect a 63-year-old punk-rocker to get too emotional but losing your band members one-by-one is more than enough reason to be. Marky describes the experience as horrific as he goes through the death of each band member. Marky said the experience felt almost like they were cursed.
He took the time to touch on tougher topics like his alcoholism, time in rehab, and band tension.
“I thought it was like a gang, or a family, and it wasn’t,” said Marky before he broke into discussing the realization of just how deep the tension between his band members were when he joined the Ramones.
But he does admit, fighting aside, he had no idea just how monumental the iconic band would be.
“We just enjoyed playing the music. Whatever happened, happened,” said Marky.
Marky Ramone was interviewed at the Phi Centre on Aug 6. He will be performing on Sunday August 9th in Montreal at the Heavy Montreal festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau where he says he’ll be performing about 27 Ramones songs.