The mobile work office of the Ramones’ longtime road manager
Classic black Zero Halliburton attaché case carried on the road by longtime Ramones tour manager Monte Melnick during the late 1970s and 1980s. The lightweight polycarbonate case approximately measures 18.25 x 13 x 4.5, and features a pair of custom latches and a three-digit combination lock. The dark gray business interior is cloth-lined with an organizational file panel, leather straps, and a small plate personalized with Melnick’s initials, “M. A. M.” The black carry handle is attached with a pair of handcuffs, which Melnick used to secure the briefcase during shows.
Included with the attachè case is a large assortment of materials related to Ramones tours and Melnick’s daily managerial operations, including: 10 sheets of Ramones letterhead and one sheet of Melnick’s personal stationery; four black luggage tags for the ¡Adiós Amigos! tour; a pair of Ramones luggage bag tags; a collection of twelve laminated backstage and all-access tour passes issued to Melnick; a hefty Guitar Center receipt, consisting of various gear and equipment purchased by Melnick on April 25, 1983, totaling to nearly $23,000; a 1989 Drain the UK plastic Solo wristwatch with pouch; a collection of material related to the Ramones’ 1977 tour of Europe with supporting act Talking Heads, consisting of various flight details, accommodations, and venue information; and a massive archive of Ramones itinerary booklets, pamphlets, and packets related to stateside and international tours dated between 1980 and 1996, including: the 1980 New Zealand tour; the 1983 Subterranean Jungle tour; the 1986 UK and Europe tour; the 1986 Animal Boy Netherlands tour; the 1987 Dixie Tour; the 1987 and 1988 Halfway to Sanity tours; the 1988 and 1989 Mania tours; the 1989 and 1990 Brain Drain tours; the 1994 Acid Eaters US tour; the 1995 Adios Amigos! Tour with White Zombie, and more.
In overall very good condition, with the one case latch broken. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Melnick, in full: “I always liked to own a Zero Halliburton attaché case, they are very strong and stand up to the hard touring life. I would carry around a pair of handcuffs with the case so when I was in a club or a large festival venue I could cuff the case to a strong pipe in the dressing room, leave the case there and know it would be there when I returned.”
Tasked with handling the decidedly ‘non-punk’ side of the band, Melnick served as the Ramones’ full-time road manager for over 22 years, a position that included other default roles such as stage manager, personal chauffeur, road crew handler, and the personal assistant to the band’s lanky leading frontman, Joey Ramone. Melnick relied upon this lightweight attaché case during the Ramones’ most hectic and popular years as an international touring group, using the case as a secure mobile working office that housed documents and materials related to anything and everything from passports, tour itinerary, accounting notes, and venue money. A one-of-a-kind Ramones keepsake with a world of punk rock touring history. From The Monte A. Melnick Ramones Collection.