Rock-Critic Pop Quiz: How Many Ramones Can You Name?


The Voice has spent the week celebrating the 60th birthday of one of New York’s greatest treasures, Joey Ramone. We’ve made our To Do Lists of things we “wanna do” and things we “don’t wanna do,” and we’ve stolen the “Joey Ramone Place” sign on E 2nd St. about a dozen times in the last 24 hours. We figured the best way to round out the week would be testing our smug, smarty-pants rock critics on how well they know a band that has absolutely nothing to do with Brooklyn. So we asked 15 music writers:

Can you name all seven Ramones from their various lineups?

Well, we’ve already proven that we don’t really know The Clash, but you can’t walk down St. Mark’s Place without stumbling over a piece of Ramones merch. Plus there was that swell documentary recently and there’s probably a Glee episode on the way if all that end-of-the-world stuff is true. We once again cobbled a consortium of 15 professional and semi-professional rock critics, all given the usual rules:

1. I will not identify you AT ALL, so it is OK to be wrong. [We will say that our esteemed panel edits magazines, websites, and alt-weeklies. They have written for pretty much every outlet you’ve ever heard of, from Rolling Stone to Spin to Billboard.]

2. You can’t use Google.

We don’t want to be pinheads no more. The answer and results below:

The correct answer: Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy, Marky, Richie and C.J.

Out of 15 polled:
Number of critics that answered correctly and got all seven members: 3
Number of critics that knew five or six members: 9
Number of critics that knew four or less: 3
Most correctly guessed members: Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee, naturally
Most unguessed member: Richie
Number of critics who made a hilarious joke about producer Phil Ramone: 4
Number of critics who went for “Elvis Ramone” bonus points for those two shows where Blondie drummer Clem Burke filled in: 3
Obligatory list of wrong guesses and fake answers: Bobby Ramone, Freddy Ramone, Stewie Ramone, Lucy Ramone, Chaim Ramone, Sheldon Ramone, Bonnie Ramone, Lenny Ramone, Cedrick Ramone, Groucho Ramone, Harpo Ramone, Ramón Ramone, Chris Stein Ramone, Whiney Ramone
Number of critics who just kept naming names until they got one: 1
Number of critics upset that they know more members of Odd Future than the Ramones: 1

Congratulations, panelists! We can officially put the Ramones under Sleater-Kinney and Fleetwood Mac on the very short list of subjects that our panel hasn’t completely embarrassed itself with. However, it’s still achingly obvious that we need to brush up on our knowledge of Richie–the Curly Joe DeRita of the Ramones. Richie joined the Ramones in 1982, drumming on a string of albums that towed the line between overproduced heavy-metal moodiness and the jokey feel of the emerging breed of “college rock”–1984’s Too Tough To Die, 1986’s Animal Boy and 1987’s Halfway To Sanity. Richie left abruptly after some dispute over T-shirt sales, but not before helping mend the shattered friendship between Joey and Dee Dee; he wrote six Ramones songs during his tenure, and here is the hands-down best, the snarling “Somebody Put Something In My Drink.”