I SLEPT WITH JOEY RAMONE – A FAMILY MEMOIR BY MICKEY LEIGH WITH LEGS Mc NEIL

Reviewed By FFRUK Writer:  Chris Mcdougall

Joey_ramone_Book

l slept with Joey Ramone is not a kiss an tell that the Hyman estate could not afford a super injuntion to stop it being told, but instead an insight into what it was like to be the brother of the Ramones legendary frontman.

In the first couple of chapters we find out about the childhood of the Hyman brothers, Jeff (Joey) and Mitchel (Mickey)  growing up in the Queens area of New York, the illnesses of Jeff from being born with a tumour on his spine and later having scarlet fever paving the way for upheavels in his health. Mitch on the other hand having a more functional infancy apart from the odd bump which big brother Jeff is on hand to help out. As their Childhood progresses they bond and young Mickey and family start to see the signs of Joeys OCD which of course at that time was never recognized. Luckily Rock n Roll was about to change their paths forever.

Mickey seems to get a head start over his older brother and you get the impression that it will be him that is to be the musical achiever of the family, however Joey bides his time due to his awkwardness and distress caused by too many bullies,and through a pastiche of hippie and glam rock he morphs into Joey Ramone.

We then get to the Ramones saga where Mickey weaves himself into this through being there at the start of the bands early rehearsal's to becoming a roadie and going on early tours until he decides to revisit his own musical ideas from starting a band with Lester Bangs to putting his own band The Rattlers. Meantime The Ramones struggle on with their own tribulations, it's all here, the fall-outs over women, the fights, the American civil war fought with guitars, leather jackets and TV sets.Eventually even Mickey has enough and falls out with Joey over a dispute about owed money and he feels ripped off, this is when the rot sets in and things start to get worse for Mickey.

This book is so touching and heartbreaking in places , but this is not a definitive Ramones biography even with the contribution of Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me; The Uncensored Oral History Of Punk) instead we get Mickey Leigh washing his dirty laundry in public and giving his side of the story and his involvement in the Ramones legacy, however l feel he has every right to put his case across and overall it is a well written account . As the book nears its conclusion, it is so hard to not feel moved and this alone makes this a valued and compelling read.

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FOR THE LOVE OF JOEY  1951 - 2001 :

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