A major piece of rock & roll history is going up for auction: the personal record collection of Joey Ramone. We’re not talking about some impersonal assemblage of CD’s either; this offering consists of nearly a hundred pieces of vinyl replete with dog-eared album covers, price tags, scratched grooves, all the identifying marks that say, “This record spent time somewhere.” But leather-jacketed ideologues may be confused by the fact that the collection of the famed frontman for CBGB saints the Ramones contains hardly any punk at all. Joey was renowned for his music geekery, and his shelves were filled with everything from ’60s pop and soul to psychedelia, prog rock, and folk. Here’s the five most unexpected selections from the punk pioneer’s personal stock.
1. Peter, Paul & Mary, 10 Years Together
In his periods of dissatisfaction with his band, did Joey dream of the Ramones unplugging, growing goatees, and finding their folk footing as Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind…
2. Yes, Close to the Edge
The Ramones’ three-chords/two-minutes aesthetic is a far cry from epic art-rock suites; the simple fact that Joey owned records by Yes, Genesis, and ELP should throw a nice fat monkeywrench into the punk-versus-prog debate forevermore.
3. Carly Simon, No Secrets
In the ’70s it was apparently not uncommon for red-blooded American males to develop unnatural attachments to Carly Simon album covers, but it’s also conceivable that in his mind, Joey was dedicating “You’re So Vain” to his contentious bandmate Johnny.
4. Wet Willie, Drippin’ Wet!
Joey seemingly had a soft spot for this crew of Alabama beard barons, but admit it, a 10-minute track called “Macon Hambone Blues” seems like the sort of thing you’d come up with if you were parodying a Southern Rock band.
5. Keith Moon, Two Sides of the Moon
How big a Who fan was Joey? Well, he was the proud owner of not only a John Entwistle solo album but also this unfortunate answer to the question, “What would happen if Keith Moon’s mic was actually turned on?”