Rare Ramones Footage Surfaces On DVD
A host of rare Ramones footage will see the light of day for the first time on the forthcoming DVD, "It's Alive: 1974-1996," due Oct. 2 via Rhino.A host of rare Ramones footage will see the light of day for the first time on the forthcoming DVD, "It's Alive: 1974-1996," due Oct. 2 via Rhino.
Among the highlights are unreleased footage from the same New Year's Eve 1977 show in London that was released two years later as the live album "It's Alive," nine songs from the 1982 US Festival, two songs from a 1995 stadium show in Buenos Aires, eight songs from a June 1977 show at New York's CBGB and clips from the TV shows "Top of the Pops" and "The Old Grey Whistle Test."
"The DVD has been a long time in the making," says former drummer Tommy Ramone (nee Erdelyi), who oversaw the project. "You can see how the group changes over the years, how each individual changes, how when a new member is brought in how that changes the dynamic."
Depending on how well the set is received, further live Ramones DVDs may be issued. "I think down the line -- if people want it -- there will probably be more video stuff coming out," he says. "People showed up at concerts with cameras -- there's stuff out there. And who knows -- there's always surprises coming from the Ramones camp."
A Ramones musical, "Gabba Gabba Hey," has been staged in Australia and Germany in the past few years, but Erdelyi says for now, there are no plans to bring it to the United States.
"We couldn't put it on in the U.S. because of some contractual obligations," says Erdelyi, who served as the show's music director. "We were going to put it on in the U.K., but the financing fell through. That was the last I heard of it. It was a pretty good show. It's hard to imagine what a Ramones musical would be like, but actually, it worked. The Ramones' songs are kind of autobiographical -- a lot of the songs are based on people's lives. It kind of lends itself to a musical storyline setting."
Of late, Erdelyi has jumped back into making music with Uncle Monk, a duo with multi-instrumentalist Claudia Tienan. Those expecting Ramones-style punk anthems are in for quite a surprise. "We do sort of modern indie music with bluegrass instrumentation," he says. "I play mandolin, banjo, fiddle, and guitar, my partner plays guitar and bass. We write original songs with very pertinent lyrics in modern times.
Erdelyi admits he's gotten an "interesting reaction" from Ramones fans that come to Uncle Monk's live shows. "With a lot of them, it's usually the first time they've ever even heard acoustic music," he says. "It's very new to them, and their first reaction is that they're surprised that they like it. And the second reaction is they don't know why they like it, but they do."
The group will tour through December; dates can be found on its official Web site and MySpace site.