When Mickey Leigh – musician and brother of punk rock star Joey Ramone – wrote “I Slept With Joey Ramone – A Punk Rock Family Memoir,” he thought he’d told it all: what it was like to grow up as Joey’s younger brother, how the formation of the Ramones band came to be, the behind the scenes highs and lows of the music business in the tumultuous and exciting punk rock era. But that is not the end of the story! The release of the paperback edition features a previously unpublished epilogue, written by Leigh, which bares the shocking drama that ensued following his brother’s death in 2001.
Even though Joey did not live to see it, passing away just weeks before turning 50, Leigh and his mother Charlotte Lesher were determined to keep their promise to celebrate his birthday in a way Joey himself would have done. Literally within days, an all-star all-out rock and roll super concert and party was conceived and carried out…but not without its own drama. You will read about why the other band members (Johnny, Marky and CJ Ramone) decided not to perform at the event and the death threats which resulted from the craziness. Leigh has unveiled the reasons behind the delay in releasing the posthumous Joey Ramone debut solo album, and the continued harrowing negotiations to acquire the tapes for the forthcoming second CD, which Joey’s mother never got to hear. The deaths of two other founding members of the Ramones – Johnny from cancer and Dee Dee from a drug overdose – also shook the rock world and caused tsunami-like repercussions within Ramones Productions Inc., the company that handles all Ramones-related activities. When Joey’s and Mickey’s mother Charlotte died suddenly, it left Mickey as Joey’s heir and Linda Cummings as Johnny’s heir as joint heads of RPI – not an easy transition which is ongoing even today. All this and more is revealed in detail in the new Epilogue included only in the just-released paperback version.
Acclaim for “I SLEPT WITH JOEY RAMONE” has been high and wide. The New York Post called it “compelling” and the LA Times called it “an authoritative history.” Rolling Stone Magazine gave the book a 4-star review, and declared it “A powerful story of Punk Rock inspiration” and Publisher’s Weekly proclaimed it “revelatory reading” and a “compelling portrait.” And Booklist hailed it as “an essential addition to the Ramones files” while Library Journal raves that Leigh “wrote this enlightening book with love and respect…fans will cherish this touching portrait.” Even fellow rock stars were lavish in their praise: U2’s Bono admitted “I wouldn’t exist as a singer without Joey Ramone. Blame him” and radio personality and Bruce Springsteen’s long time guitarist, friend and sidekick Steven Van Zandt acclaimed “Mickey’s cool new book is not only important, it’s very, very moving.”
I SLEPT WITH JOEY RAMONE: A Punk Rock Family Memoir
By Mickey Leigh with Legs McNeil
Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Shuster
Published November 9, 2010
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