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Lot #3398
The Ramones: Arturo Vega Hand-Painted Stage Backdrop from Adios Amigos Tour

"Last Tour Backdrop"—the iconic 36-foot-long stage scenery revealed during the Ramones' Adios Amigos encores

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Estimate: $15000+
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"Last Tour Backdrop"—the iconic 36-foot-long stage scenery revealed during the Ramones' Adios Amigos encores

Massive and historic oversized hand-painted stage backdrop used at the massive stadium shows during the Ramones' 1995-1996 Adios Amigos Tour, measuring approximately 36´ x 10.5´, featuring a simple brick design painted in white on heavyweight black canvas, with "Adios Amigos" lettered in bright red. Johnny Ramone has prominently signed within the first letter, "Johnny Ramone, Last Tour Backdrop." In overall very good condition, with overall wear and cracking to paint.

Accompanied by a ticket for their March 16, 1996 show at at Estadio River Plate, Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as the banner's flattened original shipping box with Johnny Ramone's return address (using his legal name, "J. Cummings") penned in the upper left. Johnny Ramone sent the historic backdrop to his friend and renowned Ramones collector, artist Andy Gore.

Gore remarks: 'This is the largest piece of Ramones memorabilia in the entire world to ever be auctioned! A surprise stage reveal at the encores of the Ramones' final farewell tour! The banner was designed and painted by the famous artist and the Ramones' art director Arturo Vega in 1995 for use as the band's final stage back-drop when they played at huge arenas, mostly in Europe and South America.

The banner itself measures about 36 feet long and is made of very thick black cloth canvas, complete with the sewn on canvas support rings used to hang the banner behind the band as they played to sold out arenas. The design itself is quite simple: a massive painted brick wall with the words 'ADIOS AMIGOS' painted across the upper half of the banner. When the black canvas banner was originally painted it only consisted of white paint for all the graphic brick images and wording but this was soon changed by Arturo himself. After he saw the backdrop hung for the first time behind the band as they played their encore songs at a sell out stadium show he thought that the use of white paint for the graphic lettering wasn’t to his liking, too plain. So after the massive back-drop was taken down Arturo took it upon himself to add bright red paint over the words “ADIOS AMIGOS” to make the lettering more prominent, making it stand out from the rest of the brick painted background! No wonder Arturo Vega was the band's art director—he took his job as seriously as the actual band members did!

The way this banner was used was quite unique. The road crew would hang in behind the band's usual stadium backdrop that had the Ramones icon eagle logo on it. It was a surprise reveal and a personal goodbye to their fans from the Ramones on their farewell tour. This historic banner is the last thing all the Ramones fans across the world viewed at the end of the band's final farewell shows!'

From the personal punk rock archives of Andrew D Gore.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Marvels of Modern Music
  • Dates: #667 - Ended June 22, 2023