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01 Jan 1970 |

'77 Punk Legends

Feb 20: I Slept With Joey Ramone book event at La Luz in Hollywood

I Slept With Joey Ramone” book reading and signing
Featuring Mickey Leigh, Alan Arkush, P.J. Soles, Howie Pyro and other surprise guests

Saturday, February 20, 2010, 6 – 9 pm

La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323-666-7667 Fax: 323-663-0243

A Family Memoir
by Mickey Leigh with Legs McNeil

“While the Ramones remained an underground band, they are regarded today as a huge influence on the entire punk rock movement. Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh . . .  recreates that electric era, striking all the right chords in this dynamic biography. With skillful writing, he finds Joey’s musical roots in their dysfunctional family life . . . Leigh’s and Legs’s mashup of memories with solid research makes for revelatory reading in this compelling portrait of a musical misfit who evolved into a countercultural icon.”  —Publishers Weekly

“Joey Ramone is feted with tough love in these cradle-to-grave memories
from his kid brother Mickey Leigh.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“Funny, sad, shocking, surprising, and best of all, brutally honest.” —John Holmstrom, cofounder of Punk magazine

“Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Rockaway Beach,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Sheena is a Punk Rocker,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.” With humor spiked lyrics, a shockingly unique delivery, and backed by the fast, frenetic music of his band, Joey Ramone gave voice to the disaffected youth of the seventies and eighties while defining punk rock in America.  I SLEPT WITH JOEY RAMONE: A Family Memoir (Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster; December 1, 2009; Hardcover/$26; 978-0-7432-5216-4) is the story of the turbulent life of one of America’s greatest rock icons, revealed for the first time by Joey Ramone’s brother, Mickey Leigh, with “Resident Punk” Legs McNeil.

Mickey tells his fascinating, though sometimes troubling, tale of growing up with a rock star with honesty, humor, and grace.  Before Joey Ramone’s signature sunglasses, face obscured by a mop of hair, and towering height became the personification of punk’s early image, he was simply Jeffry Hyman, born on May 19, 1951 in Forest Hills, New York.  Rock ‘n’ roll gave the lanky, awkward teen a sanity-saving outlet for his anti-social behaviors—which included the crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that plagued him throughout his life.

In 1974 Jeff co-founded the Ramones with friends John Cummings and Douglas Colvin.  “Joey,” “Johnny,” “Tommy” and “Dee Dee Ramone” were soon regulars at CBGB’s, honing the brief, rapid-fire concert style that would soon become the stuff of legend.  The Ramones’ 1976 debut album, replete with hooky, three-chord songwriting, cheerfully dumb humor, and boundless energy, heralded the true birth of punk rock and created the blueprint that countless bands would follow to the top of the charts.

Despite their enormous musical and cultural influence, a career spanning two decades, and a handful of undisputedly classic albums, the uppermost levels of fame were always just out of reach for the Ramones.  The infighting, romantic betrayals, and addictions that tormented the band also strained personal relationships along the way.  As these pressures peaked, Mickey saw them take their toll on the kind, caring boy he once shared his bedroom with in Queens, who began to periodically display an uncharacteristically malicious persona. After forty years of extreme closeness, the two brothers engaged in a conflict that had them pushing and pulling at each other throughout much of the 1990’s, though, in the end it was Mickey who was again closest with his brother during Joey’s battle with lymphatic cancer that ultimately ended his life in 2001.

To ensure the story was balanced, complete, and told fairly, Mickey and Legs interviewed dozens of family, friends, colleagues, and industry professionals who were there as Joey’s life unfolded.  Both a tribute to the rise of punk in America and an intimate look at a journey filled with music and challenges, I SLEPT WITH JOEY RAMONE is an enduring portrait of a man who struggled to find his voice and of the brother who loved him.


MICKEY LEIGH has been an influential player in the rock & roll world since the late seventies.  After forming Birdland with Lester Bangs in 1977 he became the lead singer/guitarist/songwriter for the Rattlers and Stop and was a contributor to the music of the Ramones.  He has written the monthly column My Guitar is Pregnant for the Lower East Side-based newspaper the New York Waste since 1996; created and published the Coney Island High Times, a monthly magazine for famed rock club Coney Island High; and written reviews for magazines including Audio Review and Time Out New York.  This is his first book.  He lives in New York City.

LEGS MCNEIL is the coauthor of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, a book widely hailed as the definitive work on the subject.  The cofounder of the seminal magazine that gave punk its name, he is a former editor at Spin and editor in chief of Nerve.  He divides his time between New York City and his home in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania.

Los Angeles Times review: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-book28-2010jan28,0,3973540.story

By Mickey Leigh with Legs McNeil
Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
On-sale December 1, 2009
$26.00 / hardcover
ISBN 978-0-7432-5216-4

Dionysus Records

February 11th, 2010

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