Copyright 2022 -> for everything on this page by Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone, Richie Ramone and Jennifer L. Beckwith (who typed an interview).

I (Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone) and my girlfriend Pia Voutilainen traveled to Richie Ramone's shows to United Kingdom in September, 2022. We attended shows in Edinburgh (Bannerman's Bar) and Leeds (The Constitutional).
I did an interview with Richie in Edinburgh. Line-up on Richie's band was Richie (vocals/drums), Clare MissTake (bass), Ronnie Simmons (guitar) and Chris Moye (drums).
Thanks Jennifer L. Beckwith for typing up this interview from tape.


1) Jari-Pekka: After CJ Ramone stopped doing solo records, you are now only Ramones member who is creating new music and who is carrying a torch that way. Marky Ramone is not creating new music.
Richie: I believe that's true right now. You know, I think CJ and I will do a show or couple over the next year or two. We'll do some special shows, maybe, we'll see. We still talk about that, but we have to have the right place.

Richie Ramone and CJ Ramone were playing for the first time together in 2017. That happened at El Teatro De Flores in Buenos Aires, Argentina on February 4, 2017. Also that night were playing Mariano Martinez (Attaque 77) and Seba Expulsado of Expulsados. Read more of that special night here.

2) Jari-Pekka: Something like you did in 2017. It was the 30th anniversary of first Ramones show in Argentina. The Ramones played two shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil (January 31 and February 1) and one in Buenos Argentina (February 4) in 1987.
Richie: That was the first time I went there in 1987. We did it (2017) on the same day, we did the same show, because the first time we (Ramones) ever went to South America, as the Ramones. I was the drummer. I left the Ramones and then they went back and many times after that. Then 30 years ago people were crying. It was beautiful, beautiful.

3) Jari-Pekka: There might be some shows?
Richie: I want the ultimate. You know, I sing, Marky plays drums, CJ plays bass, we could go in a stadium, but it never happened because no, there's no relation.

4) Jari-Pekka: Marky Ramone has said so stupid things of you, CJ, even of Tommy and of some many other people. I'll never understand that.
Richie: I saw a photograph somebody sent me the other day. Where Marky drew a mustache on Johnny Ramone's face on an autograph. It just like I don't understand that anymore and I don't know why he has to be that way. But if that's his thing, that's fine. You know, everybody can do their own thing, you know? He runs around and says we're (Richie and CJ) not real Ramones. It's so pity and childish. Yes, I wish the childishness stop. And there is room for everybody. There's room for me. There's room for Marky. There's no need for this. And I think it's disrespectful to the fans, to do that.
That's what I don't like. My job is all about the fans, I have thick skin. He can say whatever he wants about me or do a mustache on me. I can laugh about it, but I think it's disrespectful to the Ramones fans.


5) Jari-Pekka: About your book I Know Better Now: My Life Before, During, And After The Ramones. You wrote really honest book but Marky didn't. I was maybe first person who understood for example that Marky doesn't even mention in his book (Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone) some of his bands he played few years. There is no any mention of The Misfits, there is no any mention of Osaka Popstar, there is no any mention of Marky Ramone And The SpeedKings...
You Richie wrote really honest and open-minded book.

Richie: And when you read my book, it's like we're sitting together at a bar and I'm telling you stories because I'm speaking very short sentences. I don't have long sentences. So it sounds like me. When you're doing an autobiography, the writer has to understand your voice. That's to understand how you speak and make it come across. By the way in October, I would be doing an audio book. I would be reading the whole book for fans in my own voice, which is gonna be really special.

6) Jari-Pekka: You have had some book reading events...
Richie: I did a little bit in the Ramone Museum and remember you saw the clip of that from the Ramones Museum in 2020. Yeah. I think reading it would be a lot of fun. And I can add a little jokes in there as I go along. And so I'm gonna do the audio book.


7) Jari-Pekka: I am so happy directors and writers has got you to the movies. Movie business is something new to you.
Richie: So much fun. You have to learn the scripts and you have to memorize and you have to study hard to understand. It's really a lot of fun cuz it's new to me you know. I feel like I'm 12 years old again, acting now because, it's all new and fun and with the people we have so many laughs, so many laughs and good times. Also the actors they like to party as hard as rock stars. I fit right in to this.

8) Jari-Pekka: Who are your favorite actors?
Richie: I love Jack Nicholson. He is one of my favorites. I don't know where he is been. I guess he is not that healthy because he not doing anything for 10 years. I was never a fanboy. Even growing up I didn't have posters on my walls of people or bands. I'm just my individual who I am.

9) Jari-Pekka: You like the most action and horror movies? Your character name is Vampire King in the movie Protege Moi.
Richie: Horror movies are good. Horror and punk rock are very close you know they're closely related so it works really well. I just got offered I think a role to play a priest so I think I'd be pretty good. These are B-role movies.


10) Jari-Pekka: I know you are really impressed of some Dwarves releases and you did an tour together in 2017. You wanted Marc Diamond (Dwarves, Motochrist etc.) to write for you a song, song Not Afraid. Outro Records published it in March 2022.
Richie: They (Dwarves) invited us on the tour before covid and then we did like 10-15 shows. Marc lives now a couple miles away from me in California. I said, Marc write me a song. One day he came with a song. I said I like that. If someone write the song for me the lyrics have to be right and for me it's all about what it's singing about. I kind of like the lyrics when he was talking about and there was it happened.

Note afterwards: I did this interview with Richie in Edinburgh in September 2022. Album Live To Tell was published seven months later. Read more of Live To Tell here.

11) Jari-Pekka: Tell me something of the upcoming album?
Richie: It is a very, very dark album, the words are very personal. Very dark because of doing covid all that. Maybe personal issues I have and many other people have too, millions of other people were experiencing the same thing.

12) Jari-Pekka: So you wanted to have doomsday feelings?
Richie: Yes. My mind never stops.
Suffocate is a really hardcore song, feeling like you know I'm in a straight jacket, I am trying to find self love, it's about self love. I always like be myself father and try to do that. The words were made by a woman called you Julifer Day. A friend of mine. She wrote those lyrics and Old Ways lyrics.
My sister (Kathleen Branick) wrote lyrics to Live To Tell (song). I have some new lyricists on the record which is kind of nice. I'm finding people who can get inside my head and write words that, wow, I can sing that but that relates to me. So it's different. I am a different artist than the Ramones because I don't write those happy, funny songs like they did. I just don't have that in me. I write different kind of stuff so I feel at this point in time, by this third record people can really understand that I'm Richie Ramone, I'm not the Ramones. I am my own artist. It's taken a long, long time, 10-12 years to get to this point.

13) Jari-Pekka: You told me sad news this going to be your last album?
Richie: I keep going. This is my last record. It is so difficult to write records because I really wanted to mean something when I do it.
You don't want to go through that again. It's very difficult to put it all together on your own, writing music to me is a very lonely dark place, you sit in the room, you have a glass of wine and day after day, its been months and then you think: "oh, throw away, this is no good, I don't know?" One day you're like: "all the best thing, next day: no good".
I need support from other people to: "go, you're on the right track." And you know the cover of Cry Little Sister is awesome and people are like telling me: wow.
But now you can listen to my phone, I already wrote two more songs.

14) Jari-Pekka: If you can ask or invite one or two ladies with who you can make a duet, who they would be?
Richie: I always wanted to do a duet with Pink. I definitely like to do something with a female artist. That could be a separate release or a release on one of their albums or something like that.

15) Jari-Pekka: Some minutes ago you did mention wines. What is your favorite wine grape? Do you like the most Italian, Spanish....
Richie: I like Californian wines. They are very good. To get a decent bottle you gotta spend 50-60 dollars. I don't like drinking the 10 dollars stuff. It can be a little bit of expensive habit. But you're looking for all that. Italian wines are good too. You know the drinking got really slow down now. It's getting harder as you're getting older. So I'm learning how to control myself and make sure I can do things properly.


I updated this listing of countries in November, 2023. I have seen Richie Ramone play in the USA, Australia, UK, Finland, Spain, Ireland, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

16) Jari-Pekka: If we speak now about live shows in this tour in 2022. It was good idea to sing opening tracks of two Ramones' albums in a row: I Wanna Live (from Halfway To Sanity, 1987) and I Believe In Miracles (from Brain Drain, 1989). They were working really well together next to each other.
Richie: They're fabulous. I think they sound really tough, especially I Believe In Miracles, getting to be able to really sing that really tough. It's kinda cool.

17) Jari-Pekka: I don't remember if you had played in many earlier tours Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
Richie: Yeah, I've done that. I've done that on tours before. I think that's a great song. Not everybody has my records, so they have to sit there through 8-9 songs in the show that they may have never heard. So when you give them, ahh, the Depeche Mode song (Enjoy The Silence) and you give them Have You Ever Seen The Rain?, it's something that they can relate to as well as you Sheena Is A Punk Rocker and Rockaway Beach and stuff song like that. But now that I'm getting one more material in my own, it's moving away from all having to cover all those Ramones songs. So I keep the tough ones, especially in the encores. That's what I'm getting more of a catalog of my own and people are accepting it. You can see I'm doing my own stuff and they know that. They know I Fix This now. I could see the people singing the words to me, you know, that takes time, you know, it takes time for them to and I'm starting to see more and more Richie Ramone Church when I come back. That means they're coming to the shows. So you know, so that's important.

18) Jari-Pekka: About encore...
When I come out and I do, "I'm not ready" with the guitar. Nice. Just singing with the little guitar. People like whoa, you know, like usually you come in on encore you do something like crazy. But I start out very easy with that. And then it builds and they go out. Wow, that's really nice.

19) Jari-Pekka: I think it was good idea that Ronnie (Simmons) sing Animal Boy and Wart Hog. It gives diversity and gives chance you to rest your voice.
Richie: We do Animal Boy just like the Ramones did it. Except Ronnie sings it. He does a good job, He's got a really gravelly voice. And he said that too, he takes care of those two. It gives me a rest in the set as you said. I think the set list is really, really nice now. It's a beautiful flow and it doesn't stop, right. We just go, go, go, go. But it doesn't sound rushed. And someone told me the other day like you guys live are like are superheroes, you never look at each other and you know exactly where you're going with each song. And I was like, wow, that's kind of a cool thing. It's kind of an interesting way of looking at it.

20) Jari-Pekka: You were saying yesterday that you quit smoking four years ago (2018)?
Richie: Over four years. July was four years.

21) Jari-Pekka: So it is helping singing.
Richie: I've learned how to sing. I mean I'm singing night after night and it doesn't bother me. Last night I was strong as ever, it was really powerful. I had this powerful thing going on. I've learned how to breathe, and I've opened up extra registers. So all that's working out really well. Not that I wanna be, but I'm not a crooner. I'll never sound like Joey Ramone. I don't want to sound like him. He's just special, you know, but yeah I think I'm getting my own voice and my own identity now that people are accepting. They'll go, wow, that sounds good Richie.

22) Jari-Pekka: I'm thinking sort of all those things are great, like how much you are looking at audience and taking them part of the show.
Richie: In the Ramones it wasn't there.., we weren't a smiley band. We really didn't smile. I think times are different now, 30 years later to where they wanna see you smile. Reach out to them and things like that. It's different than the 80's ya know. The whole world is different. I will smile with them and I will point at them and I will have a good time with them and sing to them, you know, that's what they want. And that's like in the 80's we would finish the show, we go run, running into the van and run away. I don't do that. I go from the stage right back there to the merch table and shake everybody's hands and take 100 photos. They really like that, you know, it's all about them.

23) Jari-Pekka: In your Ramones years Johnny and you were doing that from time to time, to see the fans after the shows?
Richie: That most of the time we left afterwards. It was more like he (Johnny) stayed behind a glass wall. But now everybody knows everything with the Internet. They know all about, you know everything that's going on, so you can't really hide anymore.

24) Jari-Pekka: When I found my homepage in 1995, it was for many years only place where people could find updated information of the Ramones. There were no Facebook etc. then. Official Ramones site was founded four years after mine site. And when you wrote me for the first time, it was about the animal rights in 2006.
Richie: And I know you a long time, you know a lot of my history from my divorce to everything, all the crazy stuff. Oh. Almost 17 years of talking.