Joey Ramone may well be one of the most famous faces of rock and roll—from what you can see of it anyway. The singer of the Ramones was a leader not only of the band but of the punk scene in New York.
His non-conforming tone and delivery allowed him to be idolised by so many people simply desperate for a punk shot in the arm during the seventies. By the time 1989 rolls around Joey is a bonafide rock star worthy of his upcoming place in Rock Hall. In this vintage clip, we see the great man himself pick his five favourite bands of the 1980s.
The footage, taken from MTV’s 120 minutes feature, is bookended by not only a deliciously retro opening but an incredibly awkward interchange between Joey and the host. While the Ramone is always a little on the awkward side, his gangly physique making most interactions feel a bit cold, this one is especially forced.
Ramone was on the special Christmas edition of the show and was there to generally answer questions, take part in skits, and be Joey Ramone while MTV cameramen performed tilted zooms and other notable camera tricks to make the show feel youthful. While this all feels a bit passe these days, in 1989 it was pure fun. Another role for Joey to take on was him detailing his favourite bands of the eighties, a task he took on with glee, or as close to glee as he gets.
The host asks: “Joey Ramone, were the eighties a great decade for music?” Ramone, remaining deadpan but intelligent, answers: “Well, I think things are getting a bit conservative in the eighties. In some ways thinks got healthier, like Rock and Roll became exciting.” However he’s not all sunshine on the decade, “But for the most part, the best stuff happened right before the eighties.”
Joey continues to talk through some of his favourite bands and albums of the decade saying he likes the “real-life guts bands, the genuine ones”. He picks out five names and gives special nods to Motorhead saying, “there’s no band like Motorhead. Lemmy is just such a character”.
The footage below is vintage fun for everyone but the audio is less than brilliant — but trust us, it’s worth the watch if only to see Joey Ramone stand almost motionless, cross-armed for the majority of the video.
Joey Ramones 5 Favourite Bands:
- The Cramps
- The Georgia Satellites
You didn’t actually think he’d leave out the Ramones, did you?