Linda Ramone

Wife of Johnny Ramone, President of Ramones Productions, Inc., and Fashion Icon

Linda Ramone and JD King Inspire New Jacket For Gucci


Read the story in the Hollywood Reporter.

It's deathly chic.

Alessandro Michele’s spring-summer Gucci collection is just now starting to arrive in stores, including this choice piece with an L.A. story.

The single-breasted, pink windowpane-plaid wool blazer features an embroidered monster applique on the back, with the words “Hollywood Forever.”

It’s a reference to Los Angeles' famed Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the final home to classic movie stars Douglas Fairbanks, Jayne Mansfield and Rudolph Valentino, director Cecil B. DeMille and punk rock guitarist Johnny Ramone.

Michele, who told The Hollywood Reporter that he loves L.A. because "it has no rules," visited the cemetery on July 24, 2016, for the annual Johnny Ramone tribute hosted by the musician's widow Linda Ramone, and it’s not hard to see how she and boyfriend J.D. King's retro-romantic style inspires the Gucci designer.

A longtime friend of Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui, Ramone has been a fixture on L.A.’s style scene for years, attending parties for rock 'n’ roll-loving designers John Varvatos and Tommy Hilfiger. In October, she and King were guests at the LACMA Art + Film Gala sponsored by Gucci. And yet, Ramone told Vogue that now, she actually prefers having her clothes made, rather than buying off the runway. Spoken like a true stylista.

Every year, her Johnny Ramone Tribute event draws a starry crowd, including Lisa Marie Presley, John Waters, Rob Zombie, Eddie Vedder, actress Gia Coppola and her stylish mom Jacqui Getty, and apparently, Michele, with all proceeds supporting the Johnny and Linda Ramone Foundation for cancer research. The next event is coming up this summer. 

Read the full story here. 

A Tour of Hey Ho! Let's Go! Ramones and the Birth of Punk With Linda Ramone

Read the Billboard article here:

On the surface, Seymour Stein and the former Linda Marie Daniele [aka Linda Ramone] would seem to have little in common beyond their thick, outer-borough accents. But the legendary music exec, co-founder of Sire Records and Rosedale, Queens native are inextricably linked by their ties to a band who not only changed their lives, but millions of others, too.

"I'd do anything for the Ramones," says Stein, who upon first seeing the four "cretins" from Forest Hills, Queens perform in 1976 promptly signed them to his Sire Records label. But he wasn't the first or last Stein to be so inspired by the Ramones. His ex-wife, the late Linda Stein, was the first in the family to see the band live and would soon after co-manage them with music impresario Danny Fields. Daughter Mandy Stein, who has known the Ramones since she was a toddler, would direct the documentary Gabba Gabba Heyday! in addition to films onCBGBs and the Bad Brains.

Ramones 40th Anniversary Targets Retail and Museums With Marketing Blitzkrieg

For Linda Ramone, too, the band is a family affair -- only literally. She was not only a fan who witnessed some of the band's earliest gigs at CBGBs, but she would also date singer Joey Ramone (a.k.a. Jeffrey Hyman) for three-and-a-half years before leaving him for guitarist and band mastermind Johnny Ramone (born John Cummings) adding another thick layer of tension to the band's well-documented dysfunction.

"When Johnny was dying, he left me his legacy," Linda says from the L.A. Grammy Museum, which last weekend opened its new exhibition "Hey! Ho! Let's Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk," (after debuting at the the Queens Museum last April). "He said, 'I'd rather be here doing my legacy myself, but if I had to pick one person, I'd pick you.'" For Linda, this has meant hosting annual tributes at L.A.s Hollywood Forever Cemetery where Johnny's memorial statue resides and overseeing her late husband's estate and vast trove of memorabilia which once included baseball and horror relics as well as Ramones keepsakes spanning the band's 22-year career and 2,263 shows.

Surrounded by Ramones artifacts, like a Zippy the Pinhead costume and an armadillo doodle drawn by Joey, Billboard spoke with Linda Ramone and tour manger Monte Melnick, and separately with Seymour Stein and his daughter Mandy, to get their reflections of this trailblazing and endearing--if a little nutty--band.

Linda Talks To The Sun UK About Johnny Ramone, Ramones 40

Read the original article in The Sun UK.

LEGS splayed, knees bent, bristling with aggression, Johnny Ramone used his guitar like a weapon.

With his mop of straight, shoulder-length hair, frayed jeans, leather biker jacket and white sneakers, he struck a pose that turbo-charged a rock revolution.

It’s 40 years since the Ramones’ debut album arrived, blasting off with Blitzkrieg Bop’s immortal rallying cry “Hey ho, let’s go!”

Fast, furious, fresh and focused, the 14 songs were over in 29 breathless minutes.

The sound that kick-started punk on both sides of the Atlantic was driven by the machine gun precision of Johnny’s right hand.

They also created great pop hooks, echoed the direct approach of Buddy Holly and early Elvis Presley and even created a rock “wall of sound” to rival the pioneering girl group productions of Phil Spector.

It’s desperately sad that none of the four original members, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy, has lived to celebrate the 40th anniversary.

But this week, I spoke to the woman who knew them better than anyone . . . at a time when appreciation for the Ramones and their enduring influence couldn’t be higher.

Linda Ramone was Joey’s girlfriend for more than three years before becoming Johnny’s wife and love of his life.

We’re marking next month’s release of a dazzling new box-set edition of the debut album which gathers up the original tracks, mono mixes, demos and live recordings.

Larger-than-life Linda tells it straight with no edit button. “They all lived on the same block, they loved the same music, they all were in it together and now they’ve all died,” she says.

“None of them had kids. Maybe it’s better, who knows? I might have had a kid who listens to rap!”

It’s a comment typical of Linda’s  partisanattitude  to the Ramones and supports her mission to keep their name alive since Johnny’s death from prostate cancer in 2004.

“They changed music forever, made it completely different,” she maintains.

“They took away from all the long, overdone guitar solos. Their music was short, simple and cool . . . and they looked so cool too.

“I love The Beatles but the Ramones were just the coolest band ever. Johnny looked amazing and, in later years, he’d admit, ‘Wow, I was good-looking. I didn’t think that back then’.”

Johnny, born John William Cummings in 1948, the only son of a construction worker, dreamed of being a baseball star with his beloved New York Yankees.

He was dogged by pent-up anger, the need for control and a quick temper, and thought a career in the Army might serve as an outlet for his emotions.

Linda says: “He put himself in military school. It wasn’t as if his parents sent him there because he was bad. He wanted to go and he wanted to be a sergeant.”

The idea of Johnny ferociously barking out orders resonates with his short sharp shock approach to music.

“But military school was too strict,” continues Linda. “They wanted him to cut his hair. He said it was really hard having to get up early every morning, make your bed, clean your rifle. Too intense!

“He quit just at the time he was getting into music. When he saw Elvis, he wanted to be a rock star.”As a teenager, Johnny played in a band called the Tangerine Puppets, worked with his dad as a plumber, even delivered laundry, all the time following his passion for new music which included punk forbears such as The Stooges and The MC5.

He hung out with future bandmates, like-minded souls, and by the summer of ’74, the Ramones were up and running.

“Johnny was leader of the band,” says Linda. “I don’t know if he would have liked it as much if he wasn’t. He loved being in charge.”

His first serious guitar was a blue secondhand Mosrite Ventures II for which he paid $54 at Manny’s Music, New York.

Now he had a chance to express himself and Linda provides a telling insight into her late husband: “Johnny felt his anger made him play his guitar that way. If he wasn’t angry, if he was a fluff- ball, how could he have influenced so many guitar players the way he did?

“I mean his stance alone! Nobody stands like Johnny and he looks crazy or angry, his eyes rolling and his hair flowing.

“The whole point of the Ramones is Johnny’s sound. His guitar and that anger drove it. That’s just how he was.

“When he was young, if someone said something to him he didn’t like, he’d just punch you and lay you out on the floor.

“Later on, he would just give you this stare and people wouldn’t even be able to speak.

“I was never intimidated — go figure guess that’s why I lasted. He mellowed out a little when we moved to LA and he retired.”

Linda describes herself as a “music freak” and remembers first seeing the Ramones very early on at Manhattan’s legendary scenester club CBGB.

“There was probably only 20 to 25 people there and the audience used to hang out with the bands. At the beginning, it was the Ramones, Television, Blondie, Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers and Talking Heads.

“I leaned towards the Ramones immediately. I also liked Blondie because Debbie was always so beautiful.”

Her relationships with two Ramones, extrovert guitarist Johnny and shy singer Joey, has been described as one of rock’s great love triangles, up there with George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd.

Ending with one and starting up with another led to an irreparable rift between the bandmates.

They continued to make studio albums and perform live but it’s claimed that Joey revealed his animosity in the song The KKK (Ku Klux Klan) Stole My Baby Away for 1981’s Pleasant Dreams album, which could be a dig at Johnny’s right-wing politics.

Linda tries to set the record straight when she explains the entangled situation: “Well, what really happened is that Johnny fell in love with me, which was shocking because I don’t think Johnny expected to fall in love with anybody.

“I don’t think he ever was in love before. I’m not saying I was the only one in his life, I’m just saying he was kind of obsessed. So I had to leave Joey. At one point before that happened, Joey said to Johnny, ‘I don’t want you to talk to Linda.’ And Johnny was like, ‘She’s my best friend, you’re not telling me what to do.’

“So it was either Joey and me stay together and Joey leave the band or I leave him.

“I’d been with Joey for three and a half years and I believed he wanted to try life without me.

“When I met him, he wasn’t powerful in the band but by the time I left him, he had a voice and I think our parting was mutual.”

Linda recalls bad feelings around the Ramones camp as she began the relationship that would lead to marriage to Johnny.

“Joey had stopped drinking when he was with me but started again the day I left,” she explains.

“Everyone was like, ‘Oh you broke his heart . . . ’ Yeah I broke his heart because when he wanted to get back with me, I was already with Johnny and I wasn’t going back. That’s why Joey got mad.”

It must have been compromising for Linda to be paired with two such widely differing types, despite the image created by the Ramones’ “uniform”.

She says: “They were definitely opposites. Joey was more sensitive and you had to watch everything you said to him.

“He was also very sensitive about the way he looked. He said he was 6ft4 but he was really 6ft6.

Growing up, people hadn’t been very kind to him. Joey’s only real hobby was music and that was our life together. Because I liked Slade and Sweet and Iggy, that was his first attraction to me.”

Linda says Johnny had hobbies outside of music but they were consuming passions.

“He was a baseball fanatic, a genius with his knowledge and his number one hobby. Then came his horror movie collecting. He said hobbies kept him sane.”

Politically, Johnny was a controversial character, staunchly supporting the Republicans while many rock stars, notably Bruce Springsteen and Cher, pinned their colours to the Democrat mast.

Linda says: “I guess people might be surprised but, while the band was together, Johnny didn’t talk about politics.

“At the end, though, he was a Republican through and through and he didn’t care if all our friends from Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) to Rob Zombie were Democrats. Johnny loved debating and read so many books.

“He also loved his retirement and planned his whole life around it. He would always talk about saving enough money to retire so ‘I don’t have to get another job because I can’t do anything else!’

“He was frugal and saved all our money. He was happiest when he retired because we finally got a house with a pool in LA and we were away from the demands of New York City.”

Lastly, we return to the legacy of the Ramones, a band from a world away who seem just as relevant today.

Linda says the The Clash’s late great frontman Joe Strummer had something to say on the matter.

“Joe Strummer, who was a very close friend of Johnny and me, and I still see his partner Lucinda all the time,” she reveals.

“He said all the punk bands were waiting for the Ramones to come over to the UK. He believed the Ramones influenced all punk — Joe Strummer’s quote, not mine!”

And what’s it like keeping the flame burning today?

“When Johnny was dying, he said, ‘I’d rather have been able keep my own legacy alive but, if I had to pick one person, it would be you because I know you’ll do a great job.’

“That’s the most important thing. Johnny, who was never really into giving women any kind of job, gave me the most important one.

“So, for me, it’s all about love for my husband and love for the Ramones.

“But if I didn’t think the Ramones were one of the best bands in the world, I couldn’t be this passionate about it.”

So “hey ho, let’s go” crazy for the Ramones once again.



    Ramones 40th Birthday Bash Keeps On Rolling

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    To Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins it’s no surprise that 40 years after they changed the face of punk music, Queens, New York’s favorite sons, the Ramones, are bigger than ever. “I think the Ramones go from generation to generation like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, these are ageless bands,” he says. “For me, Zeppelin always works, [Jimi] Hendrix always works, it doesn’t sound old. And, for me at least, Ramones music is like that.”

    Rollins has no doubt that if the Ramones were alive today they’d be enjoying their status as music legends. “In 2016 it very well could be if the Ramones were able to magically regenerate and play they would be doing the Hollywood Bowl, they would be an act people would be standing in line to get tickets to,” he says. “They were very successful in their time, but if you could take the love and appreciation they have now it would be headlining Coachella.”

    This is not just speculation on Rollins’ part. We are speaking at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on a Sunday evening, where Johnny Ramone’s widow, Linda Ramone, is hosting her eleventh annual tribute to her late husband. Thousands have come into the cemetery to watch a double feature of the Ramones film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, as well as hear a Q&A from members of the Rock ‘n’ Roll High School cast, a speech from Rollins and a special performance from X’s John Doe and the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones.

    For Linda, one of the gatekeepers of the Ramones’ legacy, along with Joey Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh, and in particular Johnny’s legacy, making sure to keep the name vibrant is the best tribute to her late husband, who loved the band. “Johnny loved being a Ramone,” she says. “He thought it was so cool being Johnny Ramone, it made him feel like king of the world.”

    Co-managing the Ramones legacy with Dave Frey is Jeff Jampol, who also manages the Doors, as well as the estates of Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Rick James, Muddy Waters and more. Jampol has carved out a unique niche for himself “managing legends,” as he puts it. To him, the trick is to focus on bringing in new fans, not just pleasing the diehards.

    “The Ramones are very popular and they’ve had a fan base for 40 years, and one of the issues I have to deal with is many of my partners and vendors are focused 100 percent on the Ramones existing fan base,” he says. “But I would say 70 to 80 percent of our focus is on potential new fans.”

    To him, there’s no reason new fans can’t feel the same sense of discovery hearing the Ramones for the first time he did in 1976. “There was a magic to Jim Morrison that connected to me as an 11-year-old and there was a magic to the Ramones that connected to me as an 18-year-old and that feeling is giddy, powerful and important,” he says. “I truly believe that art saves lives, I truly believe it saved mine and I truly believe it was my rope to sanity. And one of my primary missions is to carry that music and message forward so that 11-year-olds of today and the future can experience that same galvanizing response and reaction. So things we do are focused to bringing that legacy and that magic forward in ways that are credible to say an 11 to 30-year-old fan, as well as existing fans.”

    John Doe, Henry Rollins, and Steve Jones Celebrate Johnny Ramone

    Read the whole story and see photos at the LA Record. 

    If you’ve ever gone to an event at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, chances are you’ve stopped by Johnny Ramone’s grave to pay respect or just gape at the memorial’s majesty. Sunday night, at the twelfth annual Johnny Ramone Tribute, the punk legend’s wife, Linda, invited thousands of Ramones fans into the cemetery to pay respects and celebrate the man’s life and legacy while supporting the Johnny & Linda Ramone Foundation, which donates to prostate cancer research and animal rescue.

    This year’s attractions included back-to-back screenings of cult punk films Ladies and Gentlementhe Fabulous Stains and Rock & Roll High School. The latter’s cast and crew reunited for the first time ever (!) for a panel alongside Steve Jones (Sex Pistols and Jonesy’s Jukebox on KLOS), John Doe of X, and the ever-well-spoken Henry Rollins, who delivered an impassioned speech on the Ramones’ influence. “What the Ramones gave us will always be in our DNA – we can never get it out!” he declared, and thousands agreed. With the 40th anniversary of the classic Ramones having just passed, there will

    ©2016 Linda Ramone