Today’s Guest: Legs McNeil, co-author, I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Punk Rock Family Memoir
Joey Ramone wasn’t really Joey Ramone. Most people know that the “Ramones” name was for the stage, although few sought out and became their stage persona more completely than the former Jeffry Hyman, a spindly, troubled boy from Queens.
If you’re a Ramones fan—or just fascinated with stories of familial disfunction—you’re going to find the new book, I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir, an irresistible attraction.
LEGS McNEIL podcast excerpt: “All along, Mickey was writing songs with Joey and never credited. Years and years of frustration came to light when Bud Light used ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ in a commercial. I don’t think he wanted a lot of money; he wanted recognition. He was there in the studio (when the song was originally recorded), harmonizing with Joey because their voices were almost identical. It was kinda like The Beach Boys, with Carl and Brian Wilson harmonizing with each other.”
The story was written by Joey’s younger brother, Mitchell Hyman, a.k.a. Mickey Leigh, with help from Legs McNeil, a long-time friend of both brothers and the author of the classic music history, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored History of Punk.
Legs, today making his second appearance on Mr. Media, got to know Joey and Mickey in the late ‘70s when he and John Holmstrom co-founded the legendary Punk magazine. I got to know Legs through his later contributions to Spin magazine. His writing always comes with a twist; he’s never dull.