The CBGB’s movie is coming, and everyone who ever went there is ducking and hiding. Among them Linda Ramone, widow of Johnny Ramone. She is not happy with the casting of her deceased husband and won’t be coming in from Los Angeles for the premiere at the end of September. We spoke today because the soundtrack listing for “CBGB” came out yesterday and included no songs by the Ramones. There’s just a solo recording by Joey Ramone. But no “Sheena was a Punk Rocker” or “Blitzkrieg Bop” or “I Wanna Be Sedated.” There are tracks by Blonde, Talking Heads, the Police and Television.
This seemed strange since the Ramones were CBGB, basically. They were the group most entwined with Hilly Krystal’s legend. So why no Ramones? Linda isn’t exactly sure. She says she approved one song, but it’s not there. But there’s no love lost between her and the movie’s producers. She’s angry with them for casting Puerto Rican actor Julian Acosta as Johnny. “Johnny was Irish and pale. He was 27 years old. The guy they got is Puerto Rican and looks nothing like him. He’s much older. I asked them to change it, and they said, Too late. Too bad.”
Linda controls the Ramones music with Joey Ramone’s brother, Mickey Leigh. She says the good news is that she and Mickey are on the same page now, and have never been more in agreement about the Ramones’ music. But the CBGB movie, which stars Alan Rickman as Hilly and a variety of young actors as the original rockers who played there, is not for her.
“I just felt so insulted. They didn’t consult us on anything,” Linda says. “The two people who are doing the movie know nothing about CBGBs or the Ramones. They don’t know what they are doing.” Linda is planning a summer tribute to Johnny in L.A. on August 18th.
PS Dave Fine, Mickey Leigh’s attorney, says he is also dumbfounded by the lack of Ramones music in the film.
I’m waiting for more people to chime in here. In the meantime, here’s the new trailer for “CBGB”: