Why You Should Read Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone
John Cummings, aka Johnny Ramone, played in a band back in the day you might have heard called the Ramones. Much like the band’s music, his book Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone is a fast, fun read. As one of the founding members of the early punk rock scene in New York, there are plenty of reasons to pick up the book and give it a go. But for now, I’ll give you five.
1. It’s Short
This baby is less than 200 pages and is only eight chapters long. Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone is straight facts, no fluff, about the major events of his life and how his experiences shaped him. And the content, like the early scene at CBGB’s, is sure to give any punk rock fan their much-needed dopamine fix.
2. Healthy Advice for Inspiring Musicians
The dude nailed it as far as setting himself up for an early retirement. Johnny Ramone explains in Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone, he had a goal in mind, stuck to it, and was able to save a good chunk before the Ramones broke up in the early 90s. His goals for retirement, along with a few moments where he lays down facts about the music industry, would be solid advice for those forming a band of their own or in the process of signing a deal. Respect your punk rock elders, swine.
3. Full History of Band Members
As Johnny Ramone tells his story in Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone, he is also telling the history of the Ramones. Both Joey and he were the only two that played with the band from start to finish. Tommy drops off in the 70s, Dee Dee later in the 80s. Who they are replaced by, the member’s importance to the band, and why it matters are revealed within the book.
4. Brighter Side to the Angry Man
Always read Johnny Ramone was a bit of a dick through the other biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies I’ve read. And in Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone, he doesn’t shy away from the fact. Sometimes he plainly points out, he just didn’t like the people he was around. However, there are moments when you see a humble side to the grouch. One you don’t hear so often, especially when he speaks about his wife Linda. There are always two sides to the story. You best hear his version before making your final assumption about one of the greatest guitarists in punk rock.
5. Grade Assessment for Each Album
And never seen this before, but Johnny Ramone gives his two cents about each of the Ramones‘ albums in Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone. Grades them with an explanation on each! Seeing how he was there during each recording, cool to hear his thoughts on the sounds of the Ramones.