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I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Punk Rock Family Memoir

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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,184 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
“A powerful story of punk-rock inspiration and a great rock bio” (Rolling Stone), now in paperback.

When the Ramones recorded their debut album in 1976, it heralded the true birth of punk rock. Unforgettable front man Joey Ramone gave voice to the disaffected youth of the seventies and eighties, and the band influenced the counterculture for decades to come. With honesty, h
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Touchstone (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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SarahJayn
As far as reading this book, I honestly wish I hadn't. If I hadn't, I could still cling to some of the more romantic notions I had about Joey Ramone . . . and The Ramones in general. Sure, I'd heard the stories before of bitter fights about money, mental illness, etc., but somehow it is different hearing it from Joey's own brother. There's a mist of bitterness in almost every sentence in this tale . . . it gets downright caustic sometimes.
That aside, a smaller (very small) part of me is glad fo
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Dr. Detroit
Jun 07, 2010 Dr. Detroit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’d be hard pressed – particularly after a few bottles of suds – to name my favorite band of all time, but the Ramones are always lurking at or near the top of the short list. No one’s life or record collection can truly be complete without all of their studio albums (and “It’s Alive”). Forget Anita Bryant and orange juice; a day without the Ramones is like a day without sunshine.

But despite their genius for effortlessly and endlessly combining the same three chords, more hooks than a drunken o
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Connie  Kuntz
Dec 20, 2009 Connie Kuntz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Musicians, Workers, Siblings, Parents
Recommended to Connie by: It was advertised on my facebook homepage
When I think about what rock-n-roll "means" to me, I go blank. I feel like I should think of sex, drugs, booze, cigarettes, Fashion Week, you know, Rock-N-Roll (!), but I don't. Nope. I just go blank.

Ooooom.

The reason this happens is because I believe that rock-n-roll is pure joy and that only the warmest souls who have a firm grasp on the concept that Shit Happens can create it. That is why I like The Ramones so much.

I enjoyed every page of this book. It is a very detailed memoir about the gl
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Josh Bayer
Jun 16, 2010 Josh Bayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first encountered this book when my brother tossed it my way saying he didn't want it but i thought It was cool, down to earth and intensively interesting. maybe you must come from the same sort of alien world Joey and His brother Mickey Leigh came from to be as engaged as i was.

Heres a quick Pro's and Cons list of the book's attributes.
On a pro side, you will discover a new love of the Ramones music by reading this book. I found myself looking up obscure tracks from Subterranean Jungle Adio
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Nestor Rychtyckyj
Jan 23, 2013 Nestor Rychtyckyj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Along with Johnny Ramones autobiograohy, the Joey Ramone memoir writtne by Mickey Leigh (Joey's brother) and Legs McNeil (of Please Kill Ne and Punk magazine) is essential to trying to understand the Ramones. These 4 guys managed to start a rock & roll revolution that is still reverberating 35 years later. This book is acually more about Mickey & Joey than it is about Joey and Johnny or Dee Dee.
The book is hard to put down - in many ways Joey's sucess with the Ramones is shown as a coun
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Xixi
May 10, 2010 Xixi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What I learned from this book:

Sure SUCKS to be Joey Ramone's brother.

Not only do you get shit on repeatedly by your more famous and troubled older sibling, but your enormous load of potential and talent never fulfills its promise, because your family sabotages it along the way. (And there's no dearth of examples to back up this claim.)

But, alas, all is forgiven now that there's a book around to vindicate the author and clear his name of all the evil rumors his brother had been spreading during
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Susie
Feb 08, 2010 Susie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Started 2/23/10.
Finished 3/3/10.

First of all, I was never a HUGE Ramones fan. I like the Ramones and I have a shit-ton of respect for what they accomplished in breaking new ground and really establishing the punk scene in the US, but I just don't know a lot of their stuff beyond the 8 or 10 big songs. Their music was the inspiration for SO MANY bands and artists that I love, and for that I love them.

This book was not a biography of Joey Ramone, as you might expect, nor was it a biography of the
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Natalie
Jan 24, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a few things:
If you're a hardcore Ramones fan (like myself), be prepared to cry. ALOT.
If you just start reading it, keep reading, don't stop, read all the thank you's in the back, read the print information, the author info. Just keep reading.
You will love this book like i did and the only thing that's keeping it from a full 5 is the unavoidable ending. Call me cheesy, but it really was a tear jerker. it was a perfect add to my collection and really opened my eyes to the chemistry of the band,
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Michelle Gurr
Aug 16, 2011 Michelle Gurr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book! When I was a teenager, I wanted Joey Ramone to be my boyfriend. There is just something very endearing about him. However, after reading this book, there are just some things I wish I hadn't learned about him. Like the fact that he suffered from schizophrenia and OCD and was difficult to deal with at times. People took advantage of him, especially the band. He didn't stand up for himself very often and people walked all over him. But when he did take a stand over something, he ...more
Amy Hasenbein
gosh, while this book was a decent read, it felt like i was reading the whinings of a resentful little brother who never made it. this was a fear of mine going into the book but thought it might have some credibility with legs mcneil as the co-author.

granted, joey ramone...and all of the other ramones...was a flawed, imperfect brute. these guys weren't respected for their emotional maturity.

i'm not sure what the motivation in writing the book was for the author but it just left me feeling sad fo
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Ben
Dec 08, 2010 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Legs McNeill and Mickey Leigh did a very good job with this bio. If you read one punk rock book this holiday season, make it this one!

It's sad that apparently Joey's treatment for OCD was pretty hit or miss even later in his life after he quit drinking. Usually these days most books could stand with some drastic editing, but the writing here isn't sloppy and maintains the standard of humor you would expect from Joey's brother and one of the early champions of The Ramones. Mickey/Mitchell does re
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Amy
Jan 30, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, rockin, 2010
This book is really good insight into Joey Ramones and the Ramones in general.
I enjoyed the beginning of this book a little more than the end. Near the end of Joey's life, he and his brother had several disagreements and weren't speaking. They did reconcile. So near the end of the book, there is less and less about Joey. The book is really a family memoir about Joey and his brother Mickey (also a musician). I could have done with less info about Mickey. I understand it is all context, but I am j
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Rod
May 30, 2014 Rod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that was one crazy story. Thank you so much Mickey for letting us into your life. Well done.

I recently read Johnny Ramones biography. I can easily see how all that stuff fits together perfectly - Johnny even admits his own stupidity and dangerous behavior. The big problem is Joey seemed to have no self reflection. Just crazy and selfish. The perfect Rockstar Punk. I'm glad he wasn't MY brother.

I'm always amazed when people do endless drugs, alcohol, and debauchery but then later cry like a b
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Lara
Dec 16, 2010 Lara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book easily fits into my top 10 of 2010. That said, you need to be a music fan of more than passing fancy. I would call myself a music geek, maybe even QUEEN of the music geeks! The book is written by Mitchell Hyman (aka Mickey Leigh of the Rattlers), brother of Jeffry Hyman better known as Joey Ramone. You'd think this would be a tale of, sex-drug-and-rock-and-roll.. and to an extent it is. More so it's a story of relationships, religious, race and economic bigotry, the birth of a genre an ...more
Kalen
Feb 13, 2010 Kalen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
Fascinating history of the Ramones, told from Mickey Leigh's (Joey's younger brother) perspective. But wow, this was a slow, long read. It was mostly enjoyable but about 100 pages could have been knocked out, easily. Somewhere between the first quarter and the last, there was a lot of "lather, rinse, repeat": Joey and Mickey are fighting, no one in the band is talking to each other, Mickey is broke, Mickey is angry, Joey is angry.... A little of that goes a long way.

Hardcore Ramones fans will en
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Deedee Light
Jan 12, 2011 Deedee Light rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got a punk rock spirt and I loved reading about a punk rock hero. The tale of the family, the brothers and the disease, no, make that diseases that shaped, "Joey Ramone's" AKA Jeff's life is a fascinating tale. And, the book is well written. It's bohemian and touches both the glam and punk scenes of NY. If you like rock, weird and modern pop culture. Pick it up. You won't be disappointed.
Amber Sexton
Jul 12, 2013 Amber Sexton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally got around to this book and I'm glad i did, though i read a review copy. It was such a loving portrayal of an iconic yet very real human being and artist who certainly had a huge impact on my life.

There's something timely about reading of the childhood bullying Joey endured. Also just the amazing confluence of events that brought us the Ramones was fascinating.
Bridget
Nov 23, 2010 Bridget rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

As a music lover and a fan of memoirs, I knew I had to read this book. I Slept with Joey Ramone gives a first-hand look at the birth of punk music. It's a masterpiece and gave me a new respect for the Ramones. Even if you aren't a fan of their music, you will still enjoy this book.
Derick Douglas
Jul 27, 2012 Derick Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Interesting first hand history of the Ramones
Eric
Feb 19, 2017 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read many books on the Ramones (including Marky's about a month ago) and I am surprised to say that this one includes the best account of the important first few years of the Ramones. It probably also includes the best account of the less important later years. The author was there for the whole thing - as early bandmate of Johnny, Ramones roadie, co-writer with Dee Dee, member of contemporary bands, and, of course, Joeys brother. I wasn't quite as interested in the family squabbling detail ...more
Jeff
May 29, 2016 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Ramones music captivated fans with a manic pace, wacky but fun lyrics, and simple, infectious hooks that were filled with pseudo rebellion and impossible to dislike. This book is the complete antithesis of everything the Ramones tried to convey.
"The Mickey Leigh story"(as it should have been called) is an overwrought, bitter, depressing look at the Ramones from the point of view of Joey Ramone's very frustrated little brother. There is some insight that makes it a worthwhile read, but be pr
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Cat
Dec 24, 2016 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A die-hard Ramones fan, Joey being my hero, of course I devoured this book. I'll say I enjoyed it, although I found a lot of it to be hard to believe. Conversations you had when you were 10? Not so sure. Of course there's going to be bias coming from his own brother, but I'm sure some of it was a little exaggerated. Mickey Leigh is not much of a writer, but I was really in it for the content. Nonetheless, it was a quick read for a little insight to one of my favorite people.
Elizabeth
I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir tells the stories of Joey Ramone and his younger brother. Written by said younger brother Mickey Leigh and acquaintance Legs McNeil, this is described in the publisher's blurb on the back of the book as a memoir. That is partially correct - Leigh's story is intertwined with his more famous brothers and his point of view is interesting. However, the book devolved into an airing of family secrets and sibling resentment, and ultimately felt like a trashy te ...more
Robert
May 26, 2010 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a mist over the seventies..a fog..The Ramones and Patti Smith blew it away like some God's breath from Mt. Olympyia. But there was no light. The light came in the 80's when I picked up a book "A Boy's Own Story". When the darkness and the mist now set in,I blow it out with Patti Smith and the Ramones cranked up loud. And I settle the diffusion by reading Edmund White. Read this book about Joey Ramone. If you have a fucked up family..a life that makes no sense..read it. And read City Boy ...more
bup
Mar 13, 2010 bup rated it liked it
A ragged but compelling read. Mostly about Jeffry Hyman/Joey Ramone, Mickey Leigh/Mitch Hyman gets a little defensive and whiny about his own actions at points. Distractingly so. Also, it's weird how it's a first person account of knowing Joey Ramone his whole life, but then throws in quotes from other people, always with "XXX recalled" or "ZZZ admitted." Like he's a third-person researcher. Which I guess he was - he interviewed a lot of people to help with the book - but still, it's often scene ...more
Eileen Kelly
didn't finish it. wasn't worth it:(
Michael Martin
Dec 13, 2013 Michael Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mickey Leigh is the younger brother of Jeff Hyman (who you know better as Joey Ramone). This great biography by Leigh and Legs McNeil is a terrific book, following the turbulent and loving relationship between the two brothers, from childhood to Joey's death in 2001 from lymphoma.

I thought I knew most of the story, but nothing really prepared me for all of the details contained in this book. It's a great read, from an insider view of the jealousies and competitiveness between the band members (J
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Gina
May 06, 2010 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ramones fans, and rock fans in general
Ages ago I wrote a blog post where I had different documentaries face off against each other, and one of the match-ups was "The End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones" against "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster". It occurred to me at the time that the Ramones could totally have used a good therapist. I think it more than ever.

The book can be kind of depressing as there is so much sadness, ugliness, resentment, and mental illness. And drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. I have great compassion for
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jaymaster77
is this book the "Pale fire" of punk rock? is Mickey Leigh in fact the new Charles Kinbote?
sure, this book is presented as a "family memoir" but...Joey Ramone's name is the most prominent on the cover, and it's his photo one sees, so it's probably not completely wrong to assume the book would be his biography... right? nope, more or less midway through the narration derails into Mickey's continuous complaint about how unfair all of the Ramones (including his brother) and most of his family were
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Rebecca Coyte
Jul 03, 2016 Rebecca Coyte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrific read for anyone interested in The Ramones, the history of the NYC punk scene, or rock n roll.

Mickey Leigh, the brother of Joey Ramone, tells a touching and brutally honest story of life with his rock star brother: from their early days in Forest Hills, Queens to Joey's untimely death from cancer in 2001. I loved the anecdotes and first hand accounts from all the early players in the NYC punk scene and felt like I was there watching this movement evolve. Mickey is as real as it gets,
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