Copyright: 2006-2014 -> on this page by Jari-Pekka
Laitio-Ramone, Mickey Leigh etc.
Official release date (original version in English): December 1st, 2009
& Schuster. Paperback version got published on November 9,
Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh and punk chronicler Legs McNeil wrote
for many years authorized bio of the Joey called I Slept
With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir. I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family
Memoir is explained to be the story of the Ramones and the rise of punk
music, and a touching memoir about brotherhood from Joey Ramone's
Legs McNeil wrote in October 28, 2008, that book is hysterically funny,
and also a tragic read - just like is his earlier book Please Kill Me.
So Mickey got a help from McNeil.
Final version was hardcover and it has 416 pages. The original rough
manuscript Mickey finished in 2007 was longer as he wrote me in spring
2008: "You gotta wait a little longer. I want this book to be great.
There were so many incredible stories it's been hard to cut it down.
The rough manuscript I finished last year was 770 pages long. I am
finally doing the final editing."
Mickey tells in a book of the recording Joey kind of produced for
Mickey's band Purple Majesty in 1967.
- We (Purple Majesty's members) were 12 and Joey was 16. We recorded
song In This Day An Age we'd actually written ourselves, and a cover of
the Blues Project classic I Can't Keep From Crying. It still amazes me
that Joey did that: at 16 Joey came to our rehearsals, well, it was just
downstairs in our basement, but he heard the song we wrote, booked the
time, paid for the session and "supervised' the recording. After
searching for decades, the guitarist of that band just found his copy!!!
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to hear this again. It's noisy and
crackly, couple of skips, but it is certainly audible. I'm going to take
it to a mastering studio and clean it up as much as possible. If not for
my brother's enthusiasm and his love of being involved in every facet of
rock & roll, I would not have this gem from my past, wrote Mickey in
....and then in December, 2013, legendary a New York, USA, based
independent record label Norton Records released those two
songs as a 7' single on purple vinyl with a picture sleeve. Go to
Records Store here.
TRANSLATIONS OF BOOK:
I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir got translated and published
in Finnish in March 15, 2011. Title in Finnish is: Veljeni Joey Ramone.
of the Like Kustannus
was one of main organisators behind this project.
Publisher is Like Kustannus. Book is translated by Ilkka Salmenpohja.
Book has 450 pages and hard cover. I asked from Mickey Leigh
in January 6, 2011, if book will be translated also for other languages.
- So far the only country it will be available in the near future is
Finland. I am still working on getting it published in other territories
- but nothing is happening that I can speak of yet. I'm trying really
hard to get my agent to focus on getting the book published in other
countries and languages. I really want everyone to be able to read it,
wrote Mickey to me in 2011.
I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir got translated and published
in France on January 15, 2013. Title of French edition is: I Slept With
Histoire D'une Famille Punk Rock. Book was translated by Janique Jouin
and published by Camion Blanc.
I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir got translated and published
in Portuguese in Brazil, in November, 2013. Title is Eu Dormi Com Joey
Ramone: Memorias De Uma Familia Punk Rock. .
PLANS TO MAKE AN FILM??:
There are also plans to make an film of the book I Slept With Joey
Ramone: A Family Memoir. Mickey Leigh wants Johnny Depp to play Dee Dee
Ramone in the film adaptation of this new book (see below). Mickey is
convinced an unknown should play Joey Ramone in the biopic, which is
currently in the hands of producer Rory Rosegarten, but he has a few
suggestions for the supporting cast.
Mickey quips: "Maybe Howard Stern could play Joey. It's not up to me so
I haven't really thought about it but, just for kicks... they're talking
about an unknown... Maybe Adrien Brody - he's a tall skinny guy. I think
Kevin Bacon would be great to play Johnny Ramone; he's a musician... and
maybe Johnny Depp to play Dee Dee if he'd take on a small role."
BOOK SIGNING DATES:
1) December 1, 2009, in official release date at
7PM, Barnes & Nobles Booksellers (Barnes & Noble Tribeca, 97 Warren
St., NYC.) hosts the launch of book. Legs McNeil will interview then
Mickey Leigh, there is also Q&A and book signing to the fans. A limited
edition free bag and poster with purchase of the book during this event
READ REVIEW OF
THE SIGNING WRITTEN BY ADELE HOLTZMAN.
2) Another book launching event by Mickey and Leigh on New York: Tuesday
December 8th at 7:30PM at Goodbye
Blue Monday, 1087 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
3) December 12, 2009: Mickey and Legs will do book signing etc. also at
the This Ain't
Hollywood in Hamilton, Canada.
4) December 18, 2009: Mickey and Legs will do reading at Nick and
Eddies, 1612 Harmon Pl., Minneapolis, MN, USA.
5) January 8, 2010: Mickey Leigh and Legs McNeil will do reading at
Katwong's closing reception for the photography exhibition Katatonic,
Wiesner Gallery, 2nd. Fl. of The Stratton Student Center, 84 Mass.
Ave., Cambridge MA, USA.
6) February 20, 2010. Book reading and signing featuring Mickey Leigh,
Allan Arkush, PJ Soles, Howie Pyro etc. at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery.
(4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA).
You can see in right photo of Mickey Leigh and cartoonist Bobby London.
Bobby is known of Dirty Duck, National Lampoon etc. and he drew comics
to Weird Tales Of The Ramones etc. His long interview is in my third
Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Bobby and dear Maria Montoya-Kaye attended
this signing at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery. Bobby did mention:
- Howie Pyro (ex member of the D-Generation and Danzig etc.) was
had a great reunion (he stayed at my
apartment in New York back in the day with the Blessed and I stayed at
theirs on Bank Street where Sid Vicious later died, Howie told me at the
reading). Howie read from the book, and does a killer impression of
7) March 27, 2010. Book reading and signing featuring Mickey Leigh and
Legs McNeil. VIVE 1977 presents event at the Tattooed Mon. Address: 530
South Street, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
8) July 10, 2010. Bearsville Theater Lounge, Woodstock, New York,
Geraldine "Jeri Ramone" Rapetti of Guitar Principles has
teached to play guitar for over 20 years to every type of student, from
children to teenagers and young adults to senior citizens well into
their 80's, as well as every style of guitar - folk, jazz, rock, blues,
and the classical guitar.
Jeri wrote to me:
- I am a big fan of the Ramones in Woodstock, New York, and have read
all your three books. I appreciate all your time and efforts to keep the
Ramones legacy alive. You have inspired me to want to do the same! I
thought it over for 6 months, what can I do to make a difference, to
contribute to the Ramones legacy?
- I decided to do something here in Woodstock, NY through my company
Guitar Principles. We are presenting an event on July 10, 2010, which
will include a book reading of I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family
Memoir, discussion, and signing by Mickey Leigh. Mickey will also
perform with his band STOP, explains Jeri Ramone.
Event at the Bearsville Theater Lounge in Woodstock will begin at 8PM on
July 10, 2010.
Tickets are 15$ in advance and 20$ day of show. Tickets on sale now:
Call 845-679-4406 or order on-line: www.bearsvilletheater.com.
Guitar Principles page seems
to be pretty incredible, visit their site
and look for example video
gallery and check out information her book titled
Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar.
SOME REVIEWS OF THE I SLEPT WITH JOEY
RAMONE: A FAMILY MEMOIR
1) This review was published in Publishers Weekly
"Singer-songwriter Joey Ramone, who cofounded the rock group the
Ramones in 1974, died of lymphatic cancer at age 49 in 2001. Born Jeff
Hyman in Manhattan, he grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, with low
self-esteem and what is described as an obsessive compulsive disorder,
but he soon escaped to Greenwich Village, where he became a punk
pioneer. Commercial success was elusive. While the Ramones remained an
underground band, they are regarded today as a huge influence on the
entire punk rock movement.
Joey's brother, Mickey Leigh (who formed his own band), recreates that
electric era, striking all the right chords in this dynamic biography.
With skillful writing, he finds Joey's musical roots in their
dysfunctional family life. As they attempted to deal with their
mother's divorce and remarriage, the accidental death of their
stepfather, financial worries and neighborhood bullies, their interest
in rock, drugs and far-out fashions escalated. With angst-ridden
anecdotes, the book traces the trajectory of the Ramones over two
decades, from early gigs and recording sessions through sibling rivalry,
feuds, fights, eccentric escapades and 2,000-plus performances before
they disbanded in 1996. Leigh and Legs's mashup of memories with solid
research makes for revelatory reading in this compelling portrait of a
musical misfit who evolved into a countercultural icon."
2) This review was published in Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus
Reviews is an American book review journal founded in 1933 by Virginia
Kirkus (1893-1980). It serves the book and literary trade sector,
including libraries, publishers etc. (USA):
"The late Joey Ramone is feted with tough love in these
cradle-to-grave memories from his kid brother Mickey Leigh (born Mitch
Hyman). In Leigh's collaboration with longtime punk journalist McNeil
(co-author: The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn
Film Industry, 2005, etc.), Joey Ramone (born Jeff Hyman) is the classic
middle-class misfit whose salvation came in the rock 'n' roll teen
culture of the late 1960s. Growing up in suburban Forest Hills, N.Y.,
Leigh witnessed his sickly, awkward OCD brother transform from a
freakish, sometimes violent kid to a moon-booted glam-rocker known as
"Jeff Starship." In the early '70s Jeff transformed again-into Joey
Ramone, the charismatic Ramones frontman and punk-rock heartthrob.
Although Leigh planned to pursue his own dreams of rock stardom,
initially he settled for being the Ramones' underpaid roadie. From this
vantage point he saw the band's rise to international cult stardom
through New York City's fledgling CBGB punk scene. He also experienced
firsthand the Ramones' perpetually dysfunctional, dark netherworld
governed by the near-psychotic dictatorial ways of guitar player Johnny
Ramone. Frustrated and broke, Leigh eventually cut his professional ties
with the Ramones and pursued a series of dead-end musical and
occupational activities. When the author focuses on his own uphill
battles, the memoir hits occasional snags. He hit up Joey for residual
money for his backup vocals on the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop"-used in a
1991 Budweiser commercial-and had constant feuds with his brother about
songwriting credit on their several musical collaborations. This belated
demand for money and recognition seems somewhat hypocritical,especially
considering Leigh had previously been determined to stake out his own
identity apart from the Ramones. Nevertheless, Leigh showed dogged
persistence in the face of constant futility. Sadly, though, it took
Joey's losing bout with cancer to fully reconcile the two brothers'
differences and bring them together again. Overlong but intermittently
fascinating behind-the-scenes look at one of punk's most unlikely
3) This review was published in the Austin Chronicle.
Review is written by Margaret Moser:
"Rock & roll isn't always kind to the families of rock stars. Being the
child or spouse of a famous musician is at least as difficult as being
the sibling of one, especially one working in the same field. For Mickey
Leigh, younger brother of Joey Ramone, kinship was bittersweet and
strained with rivalry. Leigh wasn't destined to be an equal, Stevie Ray
Vaughan to Jimmie Vaughan. He was Chris Jagger to Mick, a talent in his
own right forever consigned to his big brother's shadow. With punk
chronicler Legs (Please Kill Me) McNeil, the two coax stories from the
remaining Ramones plus an assortment of friends, musicians, ex-wives,
and parents, reconstructing Joey's catapult to cult stardom, a story
that started beside Leigh then rocketed past him.
Leigh was friends with
John Cummings and Tommy Erdelyi, aka Johnny and Tommy Ramone, before his
brother, and while he benefited from Ramones adventures, his
participation led to a demand for compensation and a subsequent lifelong
feud between the brothers. With due credit for his musical contributions
- Lester Bangs handpicked him for his band Birdland - Leigh's sometimes
petty tone makes A Family Memoir come mighty close to being called An
Axe to Grind."
4) This review was published in the he Village Voice.
Review is written by Roy Edroso:
"The latest entry in the growing field of Ramones Studies is I Slept
With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir. The angle here is that Joey Ramone,
ne Jeffrey Hyman, is examined by Mickey Leigh, ne Mitchel Hyman, his
brother. Mickey also talks a lot about his own life, which is fine for a
couple of reasons. For one, he's got an easy, unforced style (helped by
Legs McNeil, an old hand at historicizing the movement he helped
create). For another, Mickey's life has a lot to do with Joey's, maybe
in more ways than he's aware of revealing.
The Queens childhood opening is like a notebook for early Ramones
records: The boys hang out, watch TV, discover rock and roll, pretend to
be on drugs, and endure bullies, an asshole father ("Daddy liked men"),
and a broken home - all told at great speed, without much moping and
plenty of dumb jokes. (Humor high point: Joey gets knocked into a bush.)
Even Joey's many problems are sort of funny (he was regularly hauled
into the principal's office, but there he "hung out and ate Popsicles"),
though it's weird when he threatens his mom with a knife.
The brothers start playing music, which gives them a sense of
accomplishment, but also of competition. Local cool guy John Cummings,
later Johnny Ramone, is Mickey's best friend, but he doesn't want
anything to do with Joey. For a while, Joey is a misfit among misfits.
But they're all Queens guys - the sort who refer to their psyches as
"upstairs," and request clarification with "Whattaya mean?" - so they
on each other's wavelengths. Some of the guys get up a new band, and
Johnny wants "a good-lookin' guy in front." They get Joey instead, and
the rest is history.
Or someone else's biography. Anyone who picks up I Slept With Joey
Ramone will be interested in the plentiful Ramones bio-nuggets: Who
wasn't talking to whom, what girlfriend Joey had when, how Joey could be
really cool sometimes and a real dick others, etc. But though we hear
some of these details from various witnesses, most of it comes from
Mickey, and he has his own story - in fact, this is his story. He knows
that, like always happens, the people have come to see his brother, and
he's happy to oblige. But he makes sure you get his side, too.
It's not always cozy. Mickey believes his brother could have stuck up
for him more - not just with the guys, but also with the royalties and
career breaks (Joey: "I just plugged [Mickey's] band on MTV!" Mickey:
"But he plugged lots of bands he liked"). He wants you to know the
reason every time he and Joey weren't speaking, and usually
Mickey - according to Mickey - is not at fault.
Don't let that put you off, though. The apple didn't fall too far from
the other apple, and Mickey's bitching is sort of like what you imagine
Joey's would be like if he were the one who wound up schlepping road
cases with a hernia instead of being a star. Mickey is a smaller,
slightly less crooked mirror of his brother. If it seems a little sad
when Mickey pulls out his clippings, so does being a punk icon when your
records always tank. Not to mention scoliosis, problems upstairs, and,
Joey's fights with Mickey may not have the historical interest of his
fights with Johnny Ramone, but they're of the same kind: petty, absurd,
and entertaining. And, unlike Joey and Johnny, Joey and Mickey made up.
Several times. The last time, though, is very sweet. "He pulled me down
to him, and he just didn't let go. I can still feel that hug."