20 Questions

Marky Ramone (Bamboozle Festival)

by Evan Sawdey

24 March 2011

Marky Ramone is a Grammy-winning, pasta sauce-making songwriter, DJ, and drummer for one of the most influential bands of all time. Appearing at this year's Bamboozle Festival, Marky Ramone sat down with PopMatters to reveal what he uses for stress management, which Fantastic Four character he most resembles, and how it’d be great if a certain world leader tried a certain brand of pasta sauce . . .

It is not often that you find Grammy Award winners that also have their own line of pasta sauce.  It’s an even rarer occurrence to find out that said person is also the drummer for the Ramones.

Yet it is this very eccentric list of accomplishments that has made Marky Ramone who he is today.  Filling in as drummer after Tommy Ramone quit the band in 1978, Marky has occupied the trap set from that year’s Road to Ruin onward, playing on such notable tracks as “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” and “She’s a Sensation”.  When not playing with the Ramones, however, Marky has been able to keep himself occupied with his bands the Intruders and the Speedkings, as well as having laid down tracks with Dee Dee and Joey Ramone’s solo efforts.  And, when not working on his book about the punk scene, you can of course order yourself a case of Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn’s Own Pasta Sauce.

At the end of April, however, Marky will be joining New Found Glory on stage for this year’s Bamboozle Festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and to mark the occasion, he sat down to answer PopMatters’ famed 20 Questions, here revealing that he uses drumming for stress management, which Fantastic Four character he most resembles, and how it’d be great if a certain world leader tried a certain brand of pasta sauce . . .


1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

To be honest, I don’t think I ever watched a movie or read a book that made me cry.

2. The fictional character most like you?

The Thing from The Fantastic Four, ‘cause he rocks—no pun intended.

3. The greatest album, ever?

Not sure I have a favorite album, but there are obviously albums that had a huge influence on me as a drummer. I love the Beatles, the Phil Spector recordings with Hale Blaine—the list is too long so I’ll stop there.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek.

5. Your ideal brain food?

The power plate and watching Alien.

6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?

I got my first Grammy this year and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. We all worked really hard for years and it took a very long time to get this sort of recognition. It’s pretty cool.

7. You want to be remembered for . . . ?

I’d have to say being a member of one of the most influential bands.

8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?

The originals . . . Hale Blaine, Keith Moon, Ringo, John Bonham.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

I’m okay with the masterpieces that I’ve been a part of.

10. Your hidden talents . . . ?

I cook and I’m getting into drawing and I DJ on Siruis/XM.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

To stop drinking booze.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

My car. I’ve had this one for a while. I usually like to switch things up but this one I held on to for close to three years.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or . . . ?

My birthday suit.

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

That would depend on my mood.

15. Time travel: where, when, and why?

Back to the ‘60s and ‘70s when music was real and the city was dangerous.

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation, or Prozac?


17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or . . . ?

Protein powder.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

New York, of course.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

Did you try my sauce, Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn’s Own Pasta Sauce?

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

New music, getting ready to tour the world, my sixth year on air at Sirius/XM, finishing up my book.

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