Veteran drummer Richie Ramone knows the importance of playing live.The former member of the iconic punk rock band The Ramones started playing small gigs, such as weddings and bar mitzvahs, at the tender age of ten.
“I was playing live for a long long time. And that’s where you gain a lot of knowledge of listening while you are playing,” he said over the phone while on tour in Cincinnati.“It’s stuff you can’t get out of a book.”
Ramone, whose real surname is Reinhardt, took on his current alias after joining The Ramones in 1983.Formed in 1974, the four founding members of the band — Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Tommy Ramone — used the same surname in their stage names, despite not being related. Their debut self-titled album, “Ramones,” was released in 1976. Like much of The Ramone’s output, the album was not a commercial success, but went on to influence many other bands.
Ramone didn’t mind changing his name, describing being in The Ramones as “the coolest club you could have ever been in,” he said.
The club is even more prestigious nowadays. All four founding members of the band have been deceased since 2014.
Ramone is now fronting his own band, which is playing at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Skeletunes Lounge, 1201 W. Main St. The drummer and singer is currently on a world tour promoting the Aug. 5 release of his second solo album, “Cellophane.”
Richie Ramone was a member of The Ramones until 1987 and is featured on the albums “Too Tough To Die” (1984), “Animal Boy” (1986) and “Halfway to Sanity” (1987). Not only did he play drums on these albums, but he also wrote a few songs for the band and provided lead and backing vocals on a few tracks.
Ramone’s most popular song he wrote for the band is “Somebody Put Something in my Drink” from the album “Animal Boy.”
”I don’t have one particular (favorite song that I’ve have written), but (“Somebody Put Something in my Drink”) is on top of the list,” Ramone said. “The Ramones kept it in the set for another 13 years. That’s probably one of the top 20 Ramone’s songs of all time, so I’m proud of that.”
Four songs Ramone wrote for The Ramones, “Smash You” (1984), “Humankind” (1984), “I’m Not Jesus” (1987) and “I Know Better Now” (1987), were re-recorded for his first solo album “Entitled,” in 2013.
“Entitled” had a more metal edge to it, according to Ramone, primarily because of the presence of the shredding skills of guitarist Tommy Bolan.
The new album “Cellophane” has a more stripped down, "aggressive" sound to it that is more representative of his band’s llive sound, Ramone said.
“(When doing) my first record I wasn't really touring. I wrote that stuff and then we started to tour. And after two and a half years the sound of the band was in my head of what we were getting live — that’s what (‘Cellophane”) is,” Ramone said.
Co-partner of Skeletunes Lounge, Jeremy Wysong, said he is excited to have Richie Ramone and his band play at the bar and music venue.
“I believe that this is going to be a great show for Fort Wayne and a step in the right direction for Skeletunes (Lounge).”
Wysong was brought on as co-partner of Skeletunes Lounge by its owner Lee Shockley, back when it was still called the Berlin Music Pub. Since then Wysong has worked to give the new bar a more welcoming environment.
”It use to be a rough area and everything. (But) you add a little warm lighting, some warm paint, and it kind of cools everything down a little bit,” Wysong said. “It makes it more comfortable.”
Along with renovating and redecorating the interior of the bar, Wysong also added a ghoulish and campy mural on the side of the building to give it more character.
“I’m also a big fan of b-rated horror movies. I love vintage stuff, horror movies, black and white TV shows... for me, everyday is Halloween,” Wysong said.
Opening for Richie Ramone and his band will be two local bands, Flamingo Nosebleed and Dos Hermanos.
WHAT: Veteran drummer, singer and former member of the iconic punk band "The Ramones" is performing to promote his new album to be released August 5. Local bands Flamingo Nosebleed and Dos Hermanos will be the opening acts.
WHEN: 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Skeletunes Lounge, 1201 West Main St.
ETC: Tickets on sale here: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1183545