Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ramones Museum in Berlin

NY Times
Sunday, September 25, 2005
"HEY HO LET'S Go (to Berlin)"
By GEETA DAYAL

*(reprinted for scholarly purposes only)

In the East Village, the battle to keep CBGB from being bulldozed rages on, but in Berlin the cultural legacy of New York's punk scene has recently been enshrined for the ages. On Sept. 15, The Ramones Museum Berlin - billed as the world's first Ramones museum - opened to the public. A project of a die-hard German fan, Florian Hayler, it houses more than 300 photographs, records, news clippings and other memorabilia. That includes an unwashed pair of jeans owned by the guitarist Johnny Ramone, the drummer Marky Ramone's sneakers and an autographed black leather jacket.

The museum had the blessing of the living members of the group, Marky and C. J. Ramone, Mr. Hayler said. Marky Ramone, speaking from his home in Brooklyn, said, "I'm very flattered that another country will help keep the Ramones legacy alive."

Dee Dee Ramone, the songwriter and bassist who died in 2002, spent much of his childhood in Berlin, a connection made evident by Ramones songs like "Born to Die in Berlin" and "It's a Long Way Back to Germany." Referring to the deceased band members Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee, Marky Ramone said: "Knowing them, they would have been flattered, because they worked very hard. Luckily, they saw most of the punk bands naming the Ramones as an influence. At least they saw that."

Admission to the Ramones Museum is free. "It's a museum for fans, by fans," said Mr. Hayler, 32, whose personal collection, which includes 170 Ramones T-shirts, supplied most of the museum's holdings. Mr. Hayler, who said he attended 101 Ramones concerts, opened the museum because "I didn't have any more space at home."

Traces of vintage New York are everywhere in the museum - issues of the magazine New York Rocker, now defunct, and photographs of the Ramones on the subway and posing on the Bowery near CBGB. "The first time I went to New York, I took a cab to CBGB's at 6 a.m. and waited in front of it until it opened," Mr. Hayler said. The New York-based sociologist Donna Gaines, who has crusaded to keep CBGB open, said: "We need an American Ramones Museum. Seattle has the Experience Music Project, and Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; what do we have in New York?"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Saving CBGB's

An article by Donna Gaines was published today in the Village Voice, covering CBGB's benifit shows and the fight to save NYC's punk Mecca from demolition and oblivion: http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0536,sotc1,67478,22.html
The story appears next week in hard copy---9/7/05 (street date).

After speaking at the SAVE CBGB's rally organized by Little Steven Van Zandt on 8/31/05, at Washington Square Park, Dr. Gaines was interviewed live by Denis McNamara regarding cultural politics, youth and the importance of the club. This interview and much more is now available at: http://cbgb.download.com/1200-11420_53-5150729.html