Martin Scorsese and The Ramones. To me this is a classic pairing. Martin Scorsese is both a New Yorker’s New Yorker and a musical aficionado. The Ramones were the last great rock and roll band and the first punk band. Scorsese’s musical movie roots go as far back as the classic film, Woodstock. The Ramones saved the world from The Eagles and Captain and Tenille.
Martin Scorsese is reportedly planning to direct a biopic about The Ramones. Scorsese still has to finish Silence, which shoots next year, and then find a writer, so no production schedule has been released yet.
The Ramones were more than a band. They were a kind of religion and not just because they invented punk. The band even had a uniform: Ripped jeans and leather jackets. They never had a Top 40 song, but without the Ramones there would be no The Clash, The Misfits, Green Day or Nirvana. The Ramones first hit the stage at a Country Blue Grass and Blues bar on Bowery in 1974.
All four original Ramones are dead. Johnny Ramone, whose birth name was John Cummings, died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Joey Ramone, whose real name is Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Dee Dee Ramone, whose real name is Douglas Colvin, died from a drug overdose in 2002. Tommy Ramone was born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary died a few months ago.
The Ramones’ estate, which is managed by Jeff Jampol and Dave Frey along with Linda Ramone, Joey’s wife and Joey’s brother, Mickey, plan to throw a 40th anniversary bash in 2016 to celebrate The Ramones first album, which dropped in 1976. In spite of past legal hassles, “everybody is cooperating and moving in one direction together as a team,” Jampol told Billboard, who broke the story.
Besides the Scorsese movie there will also be a new Ramones documentary with never-before-seen footage and a book.
“The 40th anniversary of the Ramones is coming up in 2016, that’s when the first album came out. So we have a lot of projects leading up to that. We’re looking at a documentary on the Ramones, we just secured a ton of footage, much of which has never been seen before,” Jampool told Billboard. “It came from the Ramones on the road over the years in the Seventies and a little bit in the Eighties, from a gentleman who had shot them, his name is George Seminara.”
Scorsese won an Academy Award for The Departed. He is well known for his soundtracks. Goodfellas is probably as well known for its music as it is for its “what’s so funny about me” scene. Rock music has fueled Scorsese’s cinematic output since Who’s That Knocking At My Door, a song by the doo wop group The Genies. He recently made a Rolling Stones documentary and shot a concert with them. He did a George Harrison documentary and one on Bob Dylan, he caught the Band’s last concert and put it on screen in The Last Waltz. Scorsese is working on a rock music industry series for HBO.