Richie Ramone is the most versatile and dynamic drummer ever to have played with the legendary punk-rock band the Ramones. He was invited to join the Ramones in 1983 and first appeared with the band on their Subterranean Jungle tour. Richie performed in over 500 shows around the world with the Ramones and wrote several critically-acclaimed and fan-favorite songs for the albums Animal Boy, Too Tough to Die and Halfway to Sanity, including the hits Somebody Put Something in My Drink, Smash You, Humankind, I’m Not Jesus, I Know Better Now and (You) Can’t Say Anything Nice — all of which have been re-recorded for Entitled.
Joey Ramone said, “I encouraged Richie to write songs . . . we never let anybody else write our songs.” Richie’s songs are featured on Ramones Mania, the only Ramones album to go gold, and continue to be covered.
Somebody Put Something in My Drink was a staple in the Ramones’ set list through their final show in 1996 and was selected by Johnny Ramone as his favorite Ramones’ song for the album Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits. The bonus disc The Ramones Smash You: Live ‘85, was named after Richie’s song, Smash You.
“Richie saved the band as far as I’m concerned. He was the greatest thing to happen to the Ramones. He put the spirit back in the band.” — Joey Ramone
Richie is the only Ramones drummer to sing lead vocals on Ramones songs, such as, (You) Can’t Say Anything Nice; he also sang back-up with Dee Dee on the Ramones’ controversial
hard-core track Wart Hog.
In 2007, Richie brought his virtuosic drumming to the symphonic world with his composition Suite for Drums and Orchestra, based on Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. He debuted his arrangement as featured drum soloist with the Pasadena Pops Orchestra. His re-working of this musical theatre classic was an immediate hit with critics and patrons wherever it was performed. He is currently working on another innovative orchastral composition inspired by the classic James Bond themes.
In 2011, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave the Ramones a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which brought all three of the band’s drummers (Tommy, Marky
and Richie Ramone) together on stage for the first time. Richie is also featured on the second Joey Ramone solo album, Ya Know? released in 2012.
Richie began playing drums at age four and was touring professionally by age 11. Among his teachers was the jazz great, Joe Morello, of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. At 18, he was awarded a scholarship to Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music; instead he dove into the 1980s New York underground music scene where, under the name Richie Beau, he played with the Shirts and Velveteen. Richie has also recorded with Chubby Checker and the B-52’s Fred Schneider.