Jari-Pekka: If we talk now about Ramones things.
Where did you first time see Ramones or some of
Monroe: Ummm.. Ramones, wait a moment, I saw
Joey Ramone first time when after Razzle's death (Hanoi Rocks'
drummer) I moved to London, UK with Stiv
Bator (aka Bator) in 1985.
Jari-Pekka's note: Bators is famous of Dead Boys, Lords Of The New
Church, also Dee Dee Ramone and Stiv recorded songs together with Johnny
Thunders, Kris Dollimore, Neil Larsen and Stephen Ritchie (Vom) in Paris
in 1990. You can read lot of those recordings from Rock In Peace: Dee Dee And Joey Ramone
book, book has Vom's interview.
Jari-Pekka: I have some questions about Stiv Bators too,
you and Stiv were good friends.
Monroe: We were best friends. Little Steven
produced Lords and Stiv had met in New Your. I was a big Steven fan
myself. It worked fine and then I met him there. Me, Stiv and Steven
became friends. Produced few Lords Of The New Church songs.
We have done much work with each other and then later on the same summer
made Sun City Artists Against Apartheid record. It was purposed to make
bands conscious of what is happening in South-Africa. They paid crazy
money, millions for bands if they are going supposed play and at the
same time you are supporting white goverment, which are
Jari-Pekka: Joey did take part in that
Monroe: Joey was in this Sun City project too,
we were working with Little Steven, we sang backvocals: na na na naa..
Then we went to make a video to New York and then I moved to New York.
Joey was on these videos too. We three are all side by side on this
video: Steven, Joey and I. Steven is looking a little bit like little
Joey. Joey is singing on it.
At that time I met Joey and then I saw him many times in the city, when he
lived in New York. And then I co-operated with Joey later when I started
to do gigs with Demolition 23 at Grand Club, which was called Cat Club
before. We had "Glam-Trash-Punk" parties.
Jari-Pekka: And there you played Sheena Is A Punk
Rocker, I Wanna Be Sedated and Blitzkrieg Bop
Monroe: Yes, we did every night and I trained
act my own Michael
Monroe songs, a couple of Hanoi Rocks songs and then we decide some cover
favourites and always in the end of the gig we had some guest for example:
Joey Ramone or Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople). It wasn't be any jam. We
played these like real songs. First nights guest was Joey
Jari-Pekka: And was this at the same time you had
Demolition 23 band?
Monroe: Yes, it was in the end of summer 93. We
worked 10 weeks at together. Every monday, 10 weeks in succession. It
was really hard to do something like this in New York. Gang like fans of
New York Dolls etc. came to look.
Jari-Pekka: Was this charity?
Monroe: We hardly could run these nights, we
didn't get any money. It was a cool thing and we done new scene to New
York, it wasn't happened
anything there. We put happening hang out on Grand Club, it was hardest
day on the week (Monday). The folks has partied week-end. But the
happenings were so great. Joey came and we did three songs with him
(Sheena Is A
Punk Rocker, I Wanna Be Sedated and Blitzkrieg Bop). Other guests were for
example Kirk Clark from Warrior Soul, Sebastian Bach from Skid Row.
Sebastian was a big Hanoi Rocks fan and he was there nearly every night.
He wanted always to play some Hanoi Rocks songs. There were quite much
people. Lemmy (Motörhead) was there one night in
Jari-Pekka: Lemmy is a Ramones fan and friend with
Joey, Johnny etc. Motörhead have even made
a song called: R.A.M.O.N.E.S. and later Ramones covered it.
Monroe: Lemmy offered me place in the band after
Hanoi Rocks breaking. The audience of Motörhead is just so
different, if I am there looking liking this. Lemmy is a really cool
man. I and Sebastian Bach (Skid Row etc.) went to the Born To Raise Hell
movie and on the soundtrack I am on backvocals, but it isn't
Monroe: Oh I remember one more Joey Ramone
I was with Joey. It was always great to see Joey there. I was at one
Joey's parties at Ritz in New York.
Jari-Pekka: In one of his birthday
Monroe: Yes, birthday party. There were Lemmy
and others. There I
sang backvocals with Debbie Harry (Blondie) and Holly Beth Vincent, when
Lemmy was playing and singing Baby, I Love You. There played supposedly
Dead Boys at last, it was one of Joey's things. All the bands didn't
have time to play.
Monroe: Couple of years ago in summer 1993. Joey
called Resistance. There were certain players, which jammed. The bassist
(Andy Shernoff) was from the Dictators. Joey asked me to help when they
had a little
project for TV. At that time Bill Clinton was candidate for president.
That project had something to do with Clinton, at that time he wasn't
still chosen. We made Gimme Some Truth, it is John Lennon's song.
Joey wanted to do it and he changed words a bit. It was a political song
and then Joey asked me to play saxophone, we made it for a TV-channel
outside New York and we filmed it on CBGB's stage.
Jari-Pekka: Had you played before at
Monroe: Demolition 23 played there and it was my
first time. I lived near it, only a couple of blocks away on the 3rd
street. It is such a little place, but so legendary.
Jari-Pekka: Have you ever done something with other
members of Ramones?
Monroe: Yes, I once started to write songs with
Jari-Pekka: He has written with Stiv Bators too.
1992 Mondo Bizarro came out, where was Poison Heart. Dee Dee started to
do it originally with Stiv Bators.
(Jari-Pekka's note: as I wrote before, Dee Dee Ramone and Stiv recorded
with Johnny Thunders, Kris Dollimore, Neil Larsen and Stephen Ritchie
(Vom) in Paris in 1990. You can read lot of those recordings from Rock In Peace:
Dee Dee And Joey Ramone book, book has Vom's interview)
Monroe: Dee Dee did Poison Heart originally. Dee
Dee wrote it last with Daniel
Rey. Dee Dee and Johnny Thunders were in Paris living with Stiv Bators,
half of year before Stiv died and I suppose that they wrote it there. Dee
Dee gave to me a couple of tapes, where were a couple of quite good songs.
But I didn't ever do those, he was very enthusiastic when Dee Dee was
Douglas Colvin (his real name). He wanted to start some new things after
Monroe: I saw Marky Ramone quite often. I think
he played at Joey's birthday party too.
Jari-Pekka: Did you see CJ?
Monroe: I saw him, when I also saw Arturo Vega,
who has done
record covers, designed their T-shirts etc. He lived on the corner of
CBGB's. Arturo is a painter. I saw CJ a couple of time after his joining
to band. But Joey was closest to me.
Jari-Pekka: What are you thinking about Joey? Some
people feel that Joey is quite a strange person. But he is
Monroe: Yes that is right (strange), but it is
reason why I
liked Joey. Joey is Joey and really cool. He is a quite conscious about
he is starting and doing. I think that Hand Across Face thing
(Ramones video Something To Believe In) was a grand video.
It is genius how Ramones worked all these
years and keeped their own sound. Expect what they tried with Phil
(End Of The Century album), but it was cool because it was Phil
Jari-Pekka: Do you know that Joey is now co-operating
with Ronnie Spector.
Monroe: No, I didn't. I saw Johnny Ramone at
last in studio, by the time we made demos for Demolion 23 with Little
Steven. Demos like Hammersmith Palais etc.
Jari-Pekka: These lyrics on Hammersmith Palais are
Your City is boring since the punks all went away and etc."
Monroe: It looked like there had just been these
punkdays. But it was the last time when there happened anything. But
last time I saw Johnny, he was doing Johnny Thunders: I Love You on
Jari-Pekka: The Ramones recorded song for the Thunders'
album I Only Wrote This Song For You.
Also Ramones released it on their last studio Adios Amigos too.
Monroe: Johnny was just then there and Jimmy
Clark was our drummer that time. Jimmy was helping Ramones on