Ramones Exhibit at Queens Museum

Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk
Debuted April 10, 2016 at Queens Museum in New York

The Queens Museum in New York and GRAMMY Museum® in Los Angeles have announced they are partnering to present an unprecedented two-part exhibition celebrating the lasting influence of punk rock progenitors the Ramones. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk opened on April 10, 2016, at the Queens Museum in New York, where over 4000 fans spanning 4 generations attended. The exhibit will close on July 31, 2016, and then moves to Los Angeles on Sept. 16, 2016, where the second part will debut at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles.

The two-part exhibition commemorates the 40th anniversary of the release of the Ramones’ 1976 self-titled debut album and explores the lasting influence the punk rockers had on their hometown from their start in Forest Hills, Queens to their history-making performances at CBGB. The exhibit highlights their musical achievements, and places a special influence on the dynamic synergy between New York City’s music and visual arts scenes in the 1970s and 1980s. The Queens Museum iteration begins with their roots in Queens and reveals their ascendancy in both music and visual culture, while the GRAMMY Museum version will contextualize the band in the larger pantheon of music history and pop culture.

Featuring 400 items, the exhibition is organized under a sequence of themes – places, events, songs, and artists – and include materials by figures such as Arturo Vega (who, along with the Ramones, designed their famed Ramones logo), Sergio Aragones (cartoonist for Mad magazine), John Holmstrom (Punk magazine founder and cartoonist), Shepard Fairey, and Yoshitomo Nara (who, for this exhibit, has created a large-scale version of one of his famous paintings of his recurring character Ramona, whom he named in homage to the Ramones). Also included in the exhibit are contributions from the estate of Joey Ramone and the Johnny and Linda Ramone foundation, as well as works from well-known rock photographers such as Roberta Bayley (who shot the first Ramones album cover) Bob Gruen, Mick Rock (End of Century album), and David Godlis, along with Danny Fields (Ramones’ first manager), Monte A. Melnick (Ramones’ tour manager), and others who were intimately involved with the group throughout their career. There are flyers and press materials from early in the band’s career, personal photographs, merchandise, clothing, and entire walls of the band’s album covers. Spencer Drate who did the design and typography for the albums “Road to Ruin” and “End of Century” that are part of the albums permanently on display, stated that he was literally “thrown” into working for Sire records. He never thought that almost 40 years later his talents would be attributed to the 2 most iconic albums of the Ramones career. As central figures at New York’s CBGB, the Ramones served as both subject and inspiration for many visual artists, resulting in a large body of works, many of which are featured in this exhibition.

“The Ramones represent a resistance to the status quo and so many of the artists who they influenced, and who they were influenced by, embody that same ideal,” said Laura Raicovich, President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum. “As an institution, we are thrilled to explore the nexus of art and the Ramones, from their roots in Queens to the international diaspora of punk.”

“This is so amazing, the best RAMONES collection ever,” said Linda Ramone, Johnny Ramone’s wife. “Gonna be a real cool time, fun for all! Gabba Gabba Hey!”

“Many aspects of culture changed as a result of the genre of music, attitude, and style the Ramones established 40 years ago, and “art” is certainly among those aspects,” said Mickey Leigh. “That the Ramones’ effect on our lives is being acknowledged, to the extent of a museum exhibit dedicated solely to them, is extremely meaningful. There will now exist an exhibit, representative of that contribution, which solidifies a link in the chain of our sociological history, and will be beneficial to current and future generations who want to learn about it.”

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity! Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Queens Museum | New York City Building | Flushing Meadows Corona Park | http://www.queensmuseum.org

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