by Brooke Kennedy
With 14 studio albums, 22 years of touring, and countless hits under their belt, the Ramones have cemented their spot as the most influential punk rock band in history.
But did you know that RR Auction personally knew the band?
You could find the members frequently poking through lots, chatting with employees, and even inviting them to shows! During one visit Joey took an interest in a matted Rolling Stones signed album page, and he had to go out to their car and get money from their manager to buy it. Now, just as the Ramones embellished their collections with the help of RR Auction, punk rock fans now have a chance to own exclusive pieces from their colorful career.
Singing in Style
The sonically charged stage presence of the Ramones resonated with fans worldwide, and their sense of style – while simplistic in nature – perfectly captured the essence of an outcast.
Donning tattered jeans and leather jackets, the Ramones’ style was reminiscent of the feelings of teen anguish according to the band’s road manager Monte Melnick. Melnick was the one who would drive the Ramones to visit RR Auction back in the day.
“Leather biker jackets were always a sign of rebellion, it was a juvenile delinquent rock and roll look,” said Melnick, “It was what Tommy Ramone was wearing at that time… so they all decided to wear that type of jacket.”
Their austere appearance was enhanced by the zany personalities that redefined the rock n’ roll landscape, and now devoted fans will have a chance to step into their style.
Living in Washington D.C. as a t-shirt screen printer, Gore had the chance to meet his idols just before one of their performances.
“One day, I met this girl who was as big a Ramones fan as I was. She was friends with Johnny and Joey, and asked me if I wanted to meet the band,” said Gore. “I immediately took her up on the offer.”
After his backstage visit, Gore struck up a conversation with Johnny Ramone – the start of a two decade-long friendship. Bonding over their penchant for collecting both men sought out various oddities for each other, with Gore asking Johnny for any Ramones items he was willing to send his way.
“I said to him, ‘Johnny, never throw anything away just sign it and send it to me no matter how obscure the item is!’”
Over the years, Gore put together a collection that could rival the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. During his collecting ventures Gore came into possession of many Ramones rarities, but none as interesting as a leather jacket that traveled from one bassist to the next.
Back in 1983, the band’s gear was stolen after their performance at the Reseda Country Club, leaving the Ramones without their battle armor for future concerts.
“Our whole truck with all our equipment was stolen out of a Holiday Inn parking lot in LA. Luckily the crew had taken the guitars into the hotel so we didn’t lose them, but everything else was gone,” according to Melnick, “I had to go out and buy new leather jackets for them, Schott Perfecto leather jackets.”
Armed with his new garment, this leather jacket explored every corner of the globe with Dee Dee Ramone. He wore this jacket exclusively for stage performances including his final performance with the band in 1989. After Dee Dee’s departure, the jacket remained tucked away in the Ramones’ wardrobe case waiting for its next chapter. That’s when the spotlight lit up on CJ Ramone.
“When I first got into the band I had worn my own leather jacket to the auditions, and just assumed I would be wearing my own leather jacket in the band.”
RR Auction’s Vice President Bobby Livingston recently caught up with the band’s second bassist CJ Ramone in Las Vegas.
“I actually got issued Dee Dee’s jacket… it was his stage jacket,” he told Livingston.
CJ was inducted into the band in 1989 after Dee Dee’s departure, bringing new life to their music with his electric riffs until the Ramones’ retirement in 1996, all the while wearing Dee Dee’s jacket.
Following their Adios Amigos farewell tour, Gore saw the incredible history behind this garment and mustered up the courage to ask CJ if he’d consider selling his jacket to him.
“I just asked CJ outright if he would sell me this leather jacket and, to my surprise, he gave it to me after the band retired,” said Gore.
CJ even went out of his way to get Dee Dee to sign one of the jacket’s lapels while he signed the other. Gore, a true devoted fan, has now decided that the jacket’s journey shall continue in the hands of a new owner who will cherish this rough and tough garment as much as he did. Bearing a connection to both of the Ramones’ bassists, this jacket captures more than ten years worth of the band’s atomic powerhouse performances and is sure to be difficult to get your hands on.
You can find this jacket and more Ramones rarities from the punk rock archives of Andy Gore in RR Auction’s Marvels of Modern Music auction closing on June 22nd.
We’re seeking Ramones consignments!
We’ll give you a free appraisal on your items!