I Know Better Now: My Life Before, During, and After the Ramones

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Five years, three studio albums, hundreds of shows, and a place in music history. At a cursory glance, Richie Ramone’s time with The Ramones seems awesome, an integral part in one of punk’s seminal influences during a tumultuous time in the band’s history. And yet, Richie’s tenure with the band has been one of the great question marks in its history. Why did he leave so abruptly? Did he really deserve all the scorn in the aftermath? And how did he go from being heralded as the band’s savior to being considered one of its greatest betrayers?

I Know Better Now answers all those questions and more, finally pulling back the curtain on Richie’s time with the band and exploring his relationships with Johnny, Joey, and Dee Dee. Along the way, he shares the story behind “Somebody Put Something in My Drink,” chronicles how the band endured as the punk scene changed and hair metal emerged, and puts a spotlight on the peculiar foibles that made the band both famous and infamous.

But the book is more than an autobiography; it’s also a musical study of what made The Ramones’s singular sound so effective. Richie delves into how their playing style was more nuanced and carefully crafted than some might expect, revealing the techniques necessary to deliver that hard-pounding sonic assault that so many love.

I Know Better Now humanizes these mythic figures but doesn’t deify Richie in their place. He’s as honest about his own missteps and failings as anybody else in the book, and it makes him an immensely sympathetic and engaging narrator.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 324 pages
Publisher Backbeat Books
Publish Date 2018-11-01
ISBN 9781617137105
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue Mar-19
Category Music & Movies


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