By Eddie Jorgensen
It’s been 46 years since Marc Bell – better known as Marky Ramone – landed a job drumming for one of the greatest punk icons of all time. He’d already been playing around with Dust in the early 70s, which is now considered one of heavy metal’s most influential bands. But it wasn’t until a handful of years later that he joined with Richard Hell & the Voidoids to release the fabulous punk classic ‘Blank Generation’ on Sire Records. Then, in 1978, through a happenstance meeting at legendary punk club CBGBs, Marc would find himself joining The Ramones, changing his name to Marky, and eventually recording on the band’s ‘Road To Ruin’ album.
Later that same year, he would also team up with producer Phil Spector to track yet even more drum parts on The Ramones’ ‘End of The Century.’
Marky Ramone was with the group, on and off, until its demise in 1996. At that point, he’d performed more than 1,700 shows with The Ramones and was featured on more than 15 of their releases.
It wasn’t until 2000 that he would record yet again with one of his Ramone handmates, this time putting down drum tracks for singer Joey Ramone’s solo album ‘Don’t Worry About Me.’
On Feb. 16, Roseville’s Goldfield Trading Post will host Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg band. The ensemble will play some of their own material, along with vintage Ramones tracks and pieces from Marky’s solo records with The Intruders project. SN&R caught up with Marky while preparing for his run of California shows.
SN&R: That was quite a long run with The Ramones: Any particular tour that you liked more than the others?
Marky Ramone: The first time we went to Japan and Australia was a unique experience. We especially enjoyed our time in Tokyo. One of things that makes it memorable is there was an earthquake while we were on stage playing
SN&R: The Ramones have won a handful of accolades, including being put in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement award and more. What do these mean to you as an artist?
MR: I was happy that the punk rock genre was finally being recognized and appreciated like other genres of music. Even though we had always received such strong support from our amazing fans, we were still grateful that we were the first in our genre to receive these awards.
SN&R: Did your former band, Dust, get to tour much outside of the New York City area? Do you still encounter fans of the band when you’re on the road?
MR: When Dust was touring, we actually did some routed dates with Alice Cooper, John Mayall, and Uriah Heep in the Mid-West but the majority of our shows were in the New York area. Over the years there has been renewed interest in the band which is why Sony re-issued and remastered both of our albums. I think the band has developed a bit of a cult following because we were one of the first American heavy metal bands. I do often get asked if we will ever do a reunion but, at this point, it’s not very likely.
SN&R: Every musician has a couple of songs they like more than the others. What are your favorite Ramones songs to play live?
MR: Mine are “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker,” “Rock N’ Roll High School,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and “KKK Took My Baby Away,” to name a few. While those songs really represent the band’s musical output, there are so many others I also enjoy performing.
SN&R: What do you remember about the recording of your last record, “Adios Amigos!” when compared to earlier releases?
MR: The Ramones had a regular process where each member would focus on their part in the studio, and then later, we’d listen to the mix together and all give our input. So, in that sense, it was similar to how we recorded our other albums.
SN&R: Who are the current members of your touring and recording ‘Blitzkrieg’ band?
MR: The band members are Iñaki “Pela” Urbizu (vocals), Martin Blitz (bass), and Marcelo Gallo (guitar). They’re great guys and we always have a lot of fun. Our show is high-energy and it’s great to see a whole new generation discover punk rock music.
SN&R: Will we see a new record anytime soon?
MR: We are working on some new material that should be released in 2024, which I think our fans will enjoy.
Marky Ramones’ Blitzkrieg will play Goldfield Trading Post on Feb. 16. Jerk!, Screaming Bloody Marys and Pure Trash are also on the bill. Doors for the all-age show open at 7 p.m. and the performances start at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 at https://goldfieldtradingpost.com. Roseville’s Goldfield is located at 238 Vernon Street.