Former Ramones bassist CJ Ramone kicks off a UK and Ireland tour this week (full dates below) with a show at London’s Underworld, in support of his American Beauty album, which came out in March. Support will come from Canadian band Isotope, who describe themselves as “The World’s Greatest Baseball Punk Band.”
“American Beauty is the record I’ve been working towards since I started putting out records as CJ Ramone,” he says. “My songwriting has definitely grown up some, but the raw energy is still there.”
We tracked CJ down as he prepared to embark on the tour and asked him to name his 10 favourite Ramones songs.
10. All’s Quiet on the Eastern Front
I love Dee Dee’s description of NYC on this one. He shows his hoodlum side when he wrote, “Shaky lock and kicky door”. Poetry from the street.
9. Carbona Not Glue
Only The Ramones could have written this one. Twisted, comical lyrics with great vocal melodies and sung with a catchy cadence - a killer combo.
8. She’s the One
Sang this one about every gal I ever fell in lust with. Then I realised I was just looking for an excuse to sing this song! Sorry gals!
7. Rockaway Beach
Their roots are showing on this one. The song’s surf riff could have been written back on the California beaches of the early 60s. Only it’s Queens. I was born in Queens. I still love Queens. And I love this song because it’s great and it’s about Queens. OK!
6. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Prepare to have your heart ripped out. It’s all Joey on this one, and it is one of his most heartfelt performances. Closes the song with the line “Someone had to pay the price”. Beautifully brutal.
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5. Cretin Hop
Fun, fun, fun! Finally gave us the answer to the question, “What comes after 1234?” Answer: “4567, all good cretins go to heaven!”
Hardcore Ramones style. Dee Dee’s vocals and lyrics are… well, they’re Dee Dee. One of my favourite songwriters of all time.
3. Blitzkrieg Bop
Pure anthemic power pop. No one does it better. They play it at Yankee Stadium!
2. Judy is a Punk
In my opinion, the most perfect song written by the band. It contains all the things that made the Ramones the greatest band of my generation. Speed, melody, insanely cool lyrics, Johnny’s amazing guitar tone, Dee Dee’s maniacal bass playing, Tommy’s perfectly played drumming and of course Joeys inimitable voice combined in this song to get the kids hoppin’!
My anthem since the first time I heard it.
CJ Ramone Tour Dates
26 Aug: The Underworld, London
27 Aug: Exchange, Bristol
28 Aug: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
29 Aug: Redrum, Stafford
30 Aug: The Magnet, Liverpool
31 Aug: Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
01 Sep: Limelight, Belfast
02 Sep: The Assembly, Aberdeen
03 Sep: Opium, Edinburgh
04 Sep: The Parish, Huddersfield
05 Sep: The Hairy Dog, Derby
06 Sep: The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
07 Sep: MK11, Milton Keynes
Tickets to all dates are on sale now.