Article was released in Daily Yomiuri (Japan) on January 19, 2006.

See dates of this tour here.

Marky Ramone living proof of punk

Article is by Les Coles
Thirty years ago, the Ramones released a self-titled debut album that lit the fuse on a stick of audio dynamite that exploded into the punk revolution. Ever since then, music critics periodically have taken pleasure in proclaiming that "Punk is dead."
Thirty years on, in a basement club called Pink Noise in Futako Tamagawa, western Tokyo, surviving member Marky Ramone is taking an equal amount of pleasure demolishing that statement with a high-energy set of 20 Ramones songs that had the audience frantically pogoing.

Marky, who spent 15 years and 11 albums behind the Ramones' drums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 along with the original four--Johnny (guitar), Joey (vocals), Tommy (drums), and Dee Dee (bass)--is the last of the Ramones on the road, for alas, some parts of punk are dead: Joey died of lymphatic cancer in 2001, Dee Dee succumbed to a drug overdose in 2002, and Johnny lost his battle with cancer in 2004.
"Johnny went through living hell, and Joey never lived to see the band inducted into the Hall of Fame," Marky reflected sadly in the dressing room prior to the start of a seven-day tour of Japan.
It is partly in memory of his bandmates that Marky continues to perform Ramone songs.
"The Ramones were the first," Marky asserted. "We were doing it before anyone else."

And how. The Ramones rocked the house and they rocked the boat. They punctured the self-indulgent egos of arena rock superstars, and they taught the Brits how noise annoys and helped kindle the flame of anarchy in the U.K.
Asked whether he thought the Sex Pistols had snuck in and taken the money and run, Marky replied: "Anyone can say 'f---' on television; we just never felt the need to do so. We'd already been doing it for a couple of years. But I don't resent it."
He added that he isn't upset that another generation of punk bands, such as Rancid, Offspring, Green Day, are also making it.
"It keeps it alive. It just continues. It never stops." Marky said, adding that he plays new punk along with the old on his program on Sirius satellite radio.

But the main reason Marky continues is the fans.
"We play Ramones songs because that's what the kids want to hear," Marky said. "The songs are too good not to be played. A lot of kids weren't around when the Ramones were together. This is their second chance."
One such kid at Pink Noise on Sunday was Yoko, who was in grade school when the Ramones broke up, but has been a fan ever since her teens. "Finally, I'm going to see Marky Ramone," she exclaimed.
The latest Japan tour is Marky's fourth since the Ramones split up but breaks new ground in that he is performing a Ramones-only set backed by two Japanese punkers, Stone Deaf guitarist Yukio Yamamura and bandmate Kojiro Akai on bass. "There's Ramones fans everywhere in the world who grew up on this music because it's so much fun to play. So we can always get good local bands," Marky said.
But he is taking no chances with vocalists, and has made David Brooks a fixture. Having had to step into a pair of pretty big Converse sneakers, Brooks did a stellar job Sunday, belting out classics such as "Beat on the Brat," "Blitzkrieg Bop" and the great Dee Dee classic "Poison Heart."
"It's amazing. It's a dream for me. I grew up listening to this music. They're great songs, they're anthems," Brooks said.

Demand for these tributes to the Top 40 7-inch-vinyl songwriting aesthetic keeps Marky busy handling the Ramones vast back catalog. A tremendously prolific band, the Ramones produced 21 studio and live albums from the moment of their inception in Forest Hills, N.Y., in 1974 until their 2,263rd and final concert, in Los Angeles on Aug. 6, 1996.
The latest offering, "Weird Tales of The Ramones," is a mammoth three-CD, one-DVD boxed set, containing 85 songs and 18 videos that comes bundled with a full-color comic-book complete with 3-D glasses. Not surprisingly, it is up for a Grammy next month, as is the End of The Century documentary on the band.

All of which argues most convincingly that punk is not dead.