The book will be 176 pages long, according to the publisher, Abrams Images, and will have a foreword by former bandmate Tommy Ramone, who is currently the only member still alive of the original Ramones lineup. Lisa Marie Presley penned the epilogue for the book, and pictures were selected for inclusion by his widow Linda Ramone.
Linda Ramone told the Associated Press that her husband, who died in 2004 and was chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine as the sixteenth best guitarist of all time, began working on “Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone” after he was diagnosed with cancer. The book, Linda Ramone said, includes Ramone’s thoughts on his entire life, beginning with his early days in Queens, New York.
“It was like he knew he was dying, and he wanted to do something,” Linda Ramone said.
Interviews with those close to Johnny Ramone were originally planned for inclusion, said Linda Ramone, but ultimately she decided to leave them out.
“It didn’t make Johnny Ramone’s book more powerful by having other people in the book talking about him,” she said of the decision.
The book will also discuss incidents like the tension between Ramone and former bandmate Joey Ramone after Johnny Ramone began dating Linda, an ex-girlfriend of Joey’s.
“It happened, and of course he talks about it and he talks about how he feels about it,” Linda Ramone told the Associated Press. “The three of us all probably have a different story, but this is Johnny’s story.”
Linda Ramone said she could see the autobiography inspiring a movie about the Ramones and their careers.
Tommy Ramone said in a statement that the writing in the book is a straightforward depiction of life that epitomizes Johnny Ramone and how he lived his life.
“His story is written in his own actual words, so the reader gets an insight into what made him the unique, charismatic and exciting individual that he was,” he said. “It also gives a great view of The Ramones from Johnny’s perspective.”
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.