The Ramones, the legendary punk band from Queens, spent 20 years influencing and shaping the American punk and by extension pop music scene. You can hear and see that influence today in the sound of bands like Green Day and the Strokes.
Their look, leather jackets, t-shirts, torn jeans and sneakers expressed a minimalism that was reflected in their stripped-down, short, simple songs. The Ramones' final show was at the Palace in Hollywood in 1996, and by then, Joey Ramone had already been diagnosed with lymphoma which eventually led to his death in 2001.
Now, 12 years later, fans can finally own a piece of Joey's life and legacy as nearly 100 records along with a variety of other personal items is going up for auction online.
"Joey left behind lots of things, and one of the coolest things I think is his Rolodex," said RR Auctions vice president Bobby Livingston. "It's got business cards from EMI records and Geffen records, and he was also fond of Japanese restaurants in the Bowery, so there's lots of those too. Or if you want to call Lucinda Williams."
The Ramones lead singer's records show his eclectic taste in music. Dating back before 1977, there's everything from Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones to Pat Boone and the Righteous Brothers. In addition to the records, there are also personal letters, handwritten song lyrics, his passport, wallet, leather jacket and several t-shirts, all worn by Joey Ramone.
Livingston says the Ramones, Joey and Johnny in particular, were avid collectors and had a relationship with East Coast- based RR Auction for years.
"Every time Joey and Johnny would be on tour in the Northeast they would come see us and buy autographs from us. One time Joey came and wanted a set of Rolling Stones autographs from the Brian Jones era, and he had no money, he had to go outside to our offices and ask his manager for the cash to buy the Rolling Stones," said Livingston. "Another time they invited us backstage, and here in Boston you've got rock royalty, Aerosmith and people like that from Boston, and they were all backstage and the Ramones totally ignored those people and just wanted to talk to us about their autograph collections."
Joey Ramone's memorabilia will be for sale from Feb. 14 until Feb. 21.