May release is
the belated follow-up to Don’t Worry About Me.
By Blurt Staff
On May 22, Joey Ramone’s second solo album, “…ya know?” will be
released (via BMG Rights Management), eleven years after his life was cruelly
cut short by lymphoma. The tracks were drawn from a cache of demos and
unreleased recordings that Joey had cut at various times during the last decade
and a half of his life.
His brother, musician Mickey Leigh, executive produced the
project. “It was of the utmost importance to me that these remaining songs
of Joey’s be finished properly, and made available for the world to hear,”
Leigh says of “…ya know?”,
which is comprised primarily of never-before-heard songs written and sung by
But this is no half-baked grab-bag of odds and ends, and it’s also
a fitting, if belated, follow-up to Joey’s first solo album Don’t Worry
About Me, which was recorded just prior to his death and released the
“…ya know?” – the title
refers to the phrase that was a ubiquitous staple of Joey’s conversation.
Among the people Mickey Leigh and Joey’s manager Dave Frey reached
out to in bringing “…ya
know?” to fruition was veteran producer Ed Stasium, who was
behind the board for many of the Ramones’ greatest albums, including their
early classics Leave Home, Rocket to Russia and Road to Ruin. In addition to
producing ten of the album’s fifteen tracks, Stasium also contributed
instrumentation and vocals to each. The cast of players includes Joan Jett, and
Little Steven Van Zandt, who plays guitar on “Party Line” and wrote
the album’s poignant liner notes, along with such notables as former Ramones
drummer Richie Ramone, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, Dennis Diken of the
Smithereens, Richie Stotts, Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye, punk
survivor Holly Beth Vincent, members of the Ramones’ punk-era contemporaries
The Dictators, and producers Jean Beauvoir and Joe Blaney.
The swaggering album-opener “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is the
Answer” (co-written with Plasmatics guitarist Richie Stotts) will be
released as a limited-edition 7″ single for Record Store Day on April 21.
Leigh reflects “Over the past eight years I’ve been getting
barrages of emails and Facebook messages from Joey’s fans, wanting to know when
this album would be coming out. So having it finally become a reality
gives me a feeling of triumph – not for me, but for my brother, and for his
fans. And there’s not the slightest doubt in my mind that people are
gonna be blown away by it.”