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Lot #9015
Arturo Vega's 1978-1980 Loft Notebook with Handwritten Lyrics by Joey Ramone

Joey's working lyrics for 'Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?,' written inside a notebook from Arturo Vega's historic East Village loft

Estimate: $600+
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Joey's working lyrics for 'Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?,' written inside a notebook from Arturo Vega's historic East Village loft

Incredible circa 1978-1980 notebook from Arturo Vega’s famed Lower Manhattan loft at 6 E. 2nd St. in New York City’s East Village, which contains very early working handwritten lyrics by Joey Ramone for the song ‘Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio,’ featuring verses that do not appear on the recorded version. The lyrics are spread out over three pages, with one page reading: “Hangin out in LA + there nowhere to go, it aint Christmas if there aint no snow [these lyrics would be used in the song ‘Danny Says’ from the same album] Disco’s just a commie plot to destroy rock n roll, heavy metal makes you lame, disco eats away your brain.” On a second page: “Heavy metal keeps you lame, disco eats away your brain, and lately it all sounds the same to me.” On a third page deeper in the book are Joey’s partial final lyrics: “Do you remember lyin in bed, covers pulled up over your head, radio playing so no one could see. Lately it all sounds the same to me.” Recorded with Phil Spector in early 1979, ‘Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?’ was the second single from the band’s fifth studio album, End of the Century.

Also featured in the 33-page (dual-sided) notebook, 5.25 x 7.75, are various sketches and notes made in the hand of Vega, the band’s longtime artistic director who designed the Ramones’ iconic logo, which include: heads and sinister-looking faces, a setlist written from Ramones live shows in 1980, a stage lighting set-up, some accounting numbers, phone number and addresses for various people like guitar tech ‘Little Matt’ Loyla, and a design for the Ramones “Official Fun Club” seal. The notebook also includes handwritten lyrics by journalist Legs McNeil, one of the founders of the seminal Punk magazine that gave the movement its name. In very good to fine condition, with one page detached and the front cover no longer present. Vega’s sprawling 6,420-square-foot loft was where the Ramones played one of their earliest shows in 1975, and it also served as a welcome crash pad for Joey and Dee Dee Ramone. The notebook was acquired by producer Daniel Rey from McNeil, who had originally obtained the notebook from Vega.

From the Ramones and Punk Collection of Daniel Rey, and accompanied by a letter of provenance.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: The Ramones collection of Daniel Rey
  • Dates: #626 - Ended September 25, 2021