"Who's your favourite Ramone?"
It's Joey. However, it's not unquestioning as with, say the Clash (Strummer wins), or a Rorschach test like the Beatles used to be (nowadays it's all John). The Ramones gang-mentality made them slightly harder to distinguish. Johnny was the punk rock anchor, Dee Dee the key song-writer and Joey brought the pop. Tommy, Richie and Marky's importance can't be discounted, though perhaps C.J.'s can.
So while Joe Strummer inspired dozens of songs about him, to the exclusion of his Clash-mates, Ramones tribute songs (as opposed to covers) are legion and less exclusive in their devotion. In these twenty-six Ramonesongs, Joey takes the lion's share but Dee Dee gets enough, while Johnny and Marky also get namechecked. The remainder are bands who just let their tattered Ramones flags fly.
1. Motorhead - R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
Motorhead make most other bands sound like sissies.
2. Eastern Dark -Johnny and Dee Dee
Handclaps, harmonies and hammering guitars - hey ho let's go.
3. Sloppy Seconds - You Can't Kill Joey Ramone
A junk-rock prayer for the dead.
4. Queers - Goodbye California
Joe King embodies the Johnny/Joey - rock/pop dichotomy in one surly man's body and hence all of his songs are Ramones tributes even when they only mention the band in passing.
5. Mr. T. Experience - End of the Ramones
When MTX was a two-song-writer organization, Jon Von's goofy garage-rock tunes always complimented Dr. Frank's more sarcastically cerebral pop-punk songs.
6. Marky Ramones and the Speed Kings - I've Got Dee Dee On My Mind
In the documentary End of the Century Marky says the Ramones greatness lied in their stamina and which Ramone has shown more stamina than Marky?
7. The Vacant Lot - Dee Dee said
May in fact be a love song for former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Meyers.
8. Helen Love - Joey Ramoney
If Bridget Jones formed a twee-pop band who sang only about the Ramones this is what they would sound like.
9. Dr. Frank - I Wanna Ramone You
Solo song from the leader of MTX and it's from his self-penned soundtrack to his novel, King Dork.
10. Lenny & the Piss-Poor Boys - Beat on the Brat
This is CBGB's music; not drugged-up punk or straight-edge hardcore but country, blue grass and blues - Bowery style.
11. Amy Rigby - Dancing With Joey Ramone
Country-tinged power-pop with a sharp eye for detail.
12. Spazzys - I Wanna Cut My Hair Like Marky Ramone
Screeching Weasel surf with the Go-Go's in Australia.
13. Parasites - I Wanna Be Like Dee Dee Ramone
In 1:40 Dave Parasite does a more fitting tribute to tha brudders than his hour-long cover of "It's Alive".
14. Badtown Boys - Dee Dee Took the Subway
A zippy lament for Dee Dee's doomed solo career.
15. Hanson Brothers - Joey Had To Go
A salute to Joey by the NoMeansNo side - band who sound uncannily like NoMeansNo trying to sound vaguely like the Ramones.
16. Greenland Whalefishers - Ramones
The Pogues but Norwegian.
17. The Wildhearts - 29 X the Pain
Actually an advertisement for leader Ginger's very discriminating taste in rock n' roll (with the exception of Kiss who blow no matter what cockamamie theory anyone offers to the contrary).
18. Raging Slab - Dry Your Eyes (For Joey Ramone)
The Ramones inspired seventies-styled sludge-rock bands too.
19. We Vs Death and Tom Sweetlove - No Future (For Joey Ramone)
Some call it post-rock, I call it art for art's sake.
20. Sleater Kinney - I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
Their time as crit-darlings is long gone and this song represents the best of the noise-damaged art-punk they left behind.
21. Guitar Wolf - Kung Fu Ramone Culmination Tactic
Japanese feedback-mongers offer an instrumental tribute to the Ramones (at least I think that's what they're doing...)
22. Swoons - My Grandpa is Joey Ramone
A (possibly) Japanese band who'll make you miss Shoenen Knife (a.k.a the Osaka Ramones).
23. Boris the Sprinkler - Kill the Ramones
Rev. Norb spews out more of his Ramonesaphobia.
24. Huntingtons - What Would Joey Do?
The Huntingtons plied their Ramones-by-way-of Screeching-Weasel shtick for ten years and it never hurt anyone.
25.Acid Reflux - Do Your Parent Know You're a Ramone
A :37 second old-school hardcore smear.
26. Jello Biafra - Joey Ramone
They say generals are always fighting the last war and Jello Biafra is a punk rock general forever fighting against the mid-seventies.
P.S. With so many songs about the Ramones I elected to delete some songs before this turned into a friggin' box set. That being said, please feel free to comment on songs left off.
P.P.S. Still time to vote on the Last Great Ramones Album.
Next: I Was A Teenage Ramone