Happy Birthday, Marky Ramone. And thanks for the sauce.

July 15, 1952: Marc Steven Bell is born in New York. He turns 70 today, so let’s say Happy Birthday Marky Ramone and I’ll tell you a story.


Before I plumb the depths of my fuzzy memory, a bit of background. Marky Ramone joined the Ramones in 1978. He replaced original drummer Tommy Ramone and, even with his mid-’80s leave of absence, was the bands longest-running stickman. He also played drums for Richard Hell and the Voidoids. He’s in the Rock Hall. He’s a punk rock legend and a hero of sorts to me, as the Ramones are an all-time favorite band of mine.


Flash forward (or back?) to February of 2011. I’m hosting afternoons at legendary Boston alternative station WFNX. Marky Ramone is scheduled to visit the studio for an interview with midday host Julie Kramer. I’m freaking out. I’m going to get to meet a Ramone? And sit in on the interview? Is this real life? Yes, it is. But Marky isn’t stopping by to talk music, per se. He’s got something else to promote.


Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn’s Own Pasta Sauce

That’s right. Punk rock legend Marky Ramone was shilling his own line of pasta sauce. Turns out Marky’s grandfather was a chef. And not just a Sunday-gravy chef: the man worked at the Copa Cabana and the 21 Club in New York City. So Marky knows his sauce. And as a young punk rocker without a lot of dough, spaghetti with his grandfather’s sauce was a cheap, easy meal to prepare.


Put a pair of drumsticks in the man’s hand, and he’s about as solid of a punk drummer as you could ask for. Take the drumsticks and replace them with a pot and a wooden spoon and you’ve got yourself a damn fine pasta sauce. Check out some pics of me and Marky in studio together. Happy Birthday, Marky Ramone. That was some damn good sauce.

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